THE BUZZ THIS WEEK….. “Pressure is mounting on senators. The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is calling on its members to tell their senators to end the filibuster and vote on a bill this week.” – Associated Press 2/23/16
SC Chamber turns the heat up on senators... JOIN THE ROADMENTUM! How to get around a 46 man road block…. The filibuster continued this week as momentum to pass a roads bill continues to build. To break through, the Chamber announced our #SCSpeaksOut campaign and called for members to contact their senators directly to tell them it’s #timetovote for our roads.
As horror stories continue to flood in from across the state, from $1000 wasted on tires in 2 days to potholes causing collisions, it is becoming clearer that we must #fixscroads NOW. See below for what real South Carolinians are saying about #scroads, click here to submit your own, and contact your legislator here! Senators are hearing from the other side and they need to hear from us!
#SCRoadsDebate dominates media cycle… and the State Chamber made sure the voice of #scbiz was heard loud and clear. Our President & CEO Ted Pitts sat down with WLTX to weigh in senate’s inaction stating, “The business community has spoken clearly that the infrastructure's not acceptable.” Click below for the full video:
#SCRoads Chamber Coverage:
"The S.C. Chamber of Commerce has also jumped into the fray, calling on the Senate to end its filibuster and take action on the roads bill as soon as possible. Ted Pitts, president of the state chamber, said there needs to be a plan to both fund road maintenance and reform DOT." GSA Business: Haley takes shot at Senate for blocking road bill
“The S.C. Chamber of Commerce is pressuring state senators to pass a road-repair bill when they return to Columbia Tuesday. ‘The business community is taking notice of the Senate’s continued inaction, and we urge senators to do their job and vote to pass a roads package that increases funding, holds the (Transportation Department) accountable, and fixes our roads and bridges once and for all,’ said chamber president Ted Pitts”– The State: S.C. Chamber of Commerce urges senators to pass roads bill
“Also, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is calling on its members to tell their senators to end the filibuster and vote on a roads bill this week.” –WLTX: SC Senators to Continue Roads Debate
“The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce on Monday asked members to contact senators and demand that they begin voting, citing accidents on Interstate 85 in the Upstate as one reason the state cannot afford to wait any longer. ‘There is a wreck every three hours on I-85 in South Carolina,’ the chamber told its members. ‘That means, while our state senators debate, eight accidents are happening per day, 56 accidents are happening per week, 240 accidents per month just on I-85 alone. All the while, our state senators continue to debate, filibuster and kick the can down the road.’” – Greenville News: Chamber calls out Senate on roads, cites I-85 wrecks
“And quite frankly, it continues to frustrate the business community that we keep being told ‘we want to fix our infrastructure,’ but we’re not seeing any sizable actions to get to the issue.’” Chamber President Ted Pitts on #SCRoadsDebate– Post and Courier: Frustrations grow over roads filibuster
“SC roads cost you time and money says SC Chamber of Commerce. The SC Chamber of Commerce says the poor road in SC are costing you time and money. The SCCC says that rough roads cost drivers $1.1 billion in extra vehicle operating costs. They say that only 29% of resident are driving on what is considered “good” pavement in the state. Almost half of primary roads are considered ‘poor.’” – WBTW: SC roads cost you time and money says SC Chamber of Commerce
Tell us what you think... Last week's infrastructure poll revealed that 84% of those surveyed support a gas tax increase to #FixSCRoads. Do you agree? Did the #SCRoadsDebate sway your opinon? Vote in this week's poll to have your voice be heard and click here to tell your legislator why our roads MUST be funded!
Infrastructure Poll Would you support a gas tax increase to fix our roads?
Join us for the 3rd Annual South Carolina Midlands Job Fair on March 9, 2016 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center from 9 am-3 pm. The largest job fair in the state!
ROADS: No need to rubberneck, it’s just the worst political traffic jam you’ve ever seen. After speaking for nearly seven hours on Tuesday and well into the evening again on Wednesday, Sen. Tom Davis’ filibuster (which began last May) came to an end when Sen. Lee Bright took the wheel on Thursday. That didn’t last long though because the Senate cut out for another 4 day weekend at 2pm that same day. Are our senators telling us they’d rather continue to waste tax dollars on pothole claims rather than fix our roads? State Chamber of Commerce President Ted Pitts released the following statement on the Senate’s continued failure to act.
“Senators who continue this inaction are essentially telling voters they would rather waste hard earned tax dollars on paying for pothole claims and car damage than funding a measure to fix our roads. Reform at the DOT is necessary and should be included in this bill. There is no reason why bringing accountability to the DOT cannot be part of dedicating funds for much-needed infrastructure improvements. Let’s put together a plan to do both and stop wasting time and tax dollars when we could be repairing crumbling roads and bridges, strengthening our economy, clearing traffic congestion, and making our roads safer.”
Senators will return to the Statehouse at 10 am Tuesday morning to continue the “debate.” FYI: The Senate has had the road bill for 317 days and counting and 0 votes.
BUDGET: With the Senate at a standstill, the House Ways & Means Committee approved in its budget $250 million for infrastructure - $185 million sent to CTCs for state highways, $65 million in recurring funds made available for bonding, and $37 million to DOT for costs related to the October floods. The budget also includes $130 million in tax relief funds and an investment of over $400 million in public education. The bill now heads to the House floor, where the budget debate is scheduled to begin on March 21st.
Bills on our radar:
S.868– Eminent Domain for Pipeline Companies Summary: This bill as amended prohibits condemnation authority by a specific energy industry sector.
Chamber Position: The SC Chamber testified in opposition to an amendment approved by subcommittee which sets a precedent for singling out a specific industry sector and has the potential to limit future energy infrastructure development in South Carolina.
STATUS UPDATE: S.868 received second reading in the Senate on Thursday and is up for third reading next week (however amendments can still be offered).
H.4857–Coal combustion residuals Summary: This bill would require that any disposal in South Carolina of utilities’ coal ash be limited to Class 3 landfills.
Chamber Position: Monitoring
STATUS UPDATE: The House ratified the bill on Thursday by a vote of 101-1, it now heads to the governor's desk to be signed into law.
H.4717 – S.C. Farm Aid Fund Summary: This bill makes farmers with total crop losses of 40% or greater from the flood eligible for a limited state grant.
Chamber Position: Support
STATUS: Given second reading in the House on Thursday by a vote of 95-6.
H.4967 - Business License Compliance Reform Act Summary: This bill addresses and reforms the business license tax process
Chamber Position: Monitoring
STATUS: Introduced on Tuesday and referred to the House Committee on Ways & Means.
SCE&G donates $25,000 to help farmers hit by October’s floods...
Fireflies to launch single game ticket sales on Friday…
Carlos Phillips hired as new Greenville Chamber President and CEO…
Nexsen Pruet's David Gossett recognized by General Counsel for Client Service…
Duke EnergyFoundation gift supports Children’s Series at FMU’s PAC…
Bank of Americadisplays its presidential treasures…
Fluornamed to FORTUNE Magazine’s Most Admired Companies for fifth consecutive year…
Riverbanks Zoo Free Fridays: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Residents of Richland and Lexington counties will receive free admission to the Zoo and Garden every Friday during the months of January and February.
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