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February 12, 2016 Chamber Website   Facebook Twitter YouTube
Presidential Series continues as John Kasich Stops by Chamber Friday….  Ohio Governor and Republican Presidential Candidate John Kasich spoke to Chamber members Friday morning just a day ahead of The GOP debate in Greenville and a week before the First in the South primary. He opened with an overview on his experience balancing budgets in Congress and why he decided to run for president. He then took questions from the crowd on a range of issues, including Medicaid, higher education affordability, and the Federal Reserve. Click here to see Gov. Kasich’s full address to the Chamber.

Chamber releases statement on bill that would repeal Right to Work law… Chamber President Ted Pitts,  SC Manufacturers Alliance President Lewis Gossett, and President & CEO of Cox Industries, Mikee Johnson released a statement following the hearing for H.4555, a bill that would allow unions to solicit membership and interfere with many employees' ability to choose whether or not to join a union. Excerpts below:
  • The surest way to put hardworking South Carolinians out of work is to pass this legislation like H4555 that would repeal our Right to Work laws… the State Chamber will continue to fight to protect our right to work laws that attract business to our borders, grow our economy, and ensure good jobs for all South Carolinians.” – Chamber President Ted Pitts
  • …We believe that all employees should have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to join unions or not. South Carolina's manufacturers know most folks will not choose the corruption, strikes, and economic despair that unions bring…” – SCMA President Lewis Gossett 
  • ….As a business owner who employs roughly 500 people, and as a representative of the business community, I urge House members to put a stop to this bill that would be harmful to all South Carolina workers....” - President & CEO of Cox Industries, Mikee Johnson
  • Read the full release here.
  • Midlands Biz: State Chamber, SCMA, Business Community release statement following hearing on H.4555 Bill to repeal Right to Work law 
Chamber honors Rep. Greg Duckworth with Business Advocate Award… The SC Chamber recognized Representative Gregory Duckworth (R-Horry) with the 2015 Business Advocate Award in Myrtle Beach last Friday. The award was given to members of the General Assembly based upon performance on votes tracked by our 2015 Legislative Scorecard. Read the Chamber’s full statement here
- Midlands Biz: State Chamber honors Rep. Gregory Duckworth with Business Advocate Award

Chamber to host SC Midlands Job Fair...We're partnering with the US Army, Local Chambers, SCDEW, SCBIZ and ECPI University to connect employers with professionals seeking greater opportunity in South Carolina. With over 3,000 job seekers projected to attend, this is the largest professional job fair in the state. Regsiter here.

Chamber Coverage:

#SCBIZ News: 

February 17-18, 2016
Join us for a discussion about the future of the South Carolina workforce! Register today! Presented by Bank of America.
Love where you work? Apply today to be honored at the 11th annual Best Places to Work in South Carolina event. Deadline to apply is April 1, 2016.
May 11-13, 2016
Each year, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and the SC SHRM State Council recognize the state’s top Human Resources professional. 
Award applications and nominations are due by March 11!

ROADS: After debating beginning the roads debate all week, President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) announced definitively that the Senate will address the road bill next week. He made it clear he’s determined to reach an agreement telling the Senate, "Come next week prepared to put in some time on this bill." He also recommended the body bring an extra toothbrush, just in case. #FixSCRoads

Bills on our radar:

H. 4555Freedom of Employment Contract Act
Summary: This bill intends to repeal South Carolina’s right to work status which would allow unions to mandate membership and interfere with many employees' ability to choose whether or not to join a union. 

Chamber Position:The State Chamber released a joint statement with the SC Manufacturers Association on behalf of the business community adamantly opposing this legislation. Read the full statement here. 

STATUS: The House L.C.I Business and Commerce Subcommittee adjourned debate on this bill on Tuesday.

H. 3166 - Unemployment Benefits
Summary: This bill requires a clear drug test result for in order to qualify for unemployment benefits

Chamber Position: Support

STATUS: Passed out of the House yesterday and now heads to the Senate

H. 3031 -  Minimum Wage
Summary: This bill intends to raise the minimum wage in South Carolina 

Chamber Position: The Chamber opposes this legislation. On the issue, Chamber President Ted Pitts released this statement: “Nearly half of minimum wage earners work for businesses that employ 50 people or less and [raising the minimum wage] is a sure way to slow job creation and squeeze our small businesses who are struggling to get by themselves.”

STATUS: The House L.C.I Business and Commerce Subcommittee adjourned debate on this bill on Tuesday.

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: Passed out of Senate Judiciary Committee for Tuesday and headed to the Senate Floor

H. 4781 -  SC Education and Economic Development Coordinating Council
Summary: This bill reinstitutes the EEDA Coordinating Council which was previously disbanded in order to refocus efforts on workforce readiness.

Chamber Position: Support

STATUS: Passed out of Education and Public Works Committee and headed to the House floor

H. 4457 – Magistrate Jurisdiction
Summary: Increases the civil jurisdiction of magistrates from $7,500 to $15,000.

Chamber Position: Monitoring

STATUS: Passed the House on Wednesday, now in Senate Judiciary Committee

Infrastructure Poll

Would you support a gas tax increase to fix our roads?





  • Nexen Pruet's Todd Davidson to serve as General Counsel of Greenville Chamber Board...
  • Clemson scientist’s research on tropical forests featured in journal...
  • Greer’s BMW plant sets record with $9.8B in exports through Port of Charleston...
  • United Way of the Midlands invests $300,000 into new housing rebuild and repair initiatives...
  • Chocolate Nirvana finds temporary home...  
  • Lockheed Martin picks Greenville for T-50 FACO site...
  • TD Bank names Kelly Carson senior relationship manager... 
  • GHS Lunch and Learn series to begin...
  • 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.
Does your company have news or an event that you’d like featured in next week’s ChamberBuzz? Send info to!


BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina | Duke Energy Carolinas | South Carolina Electric & Gas



AT&T | Bank of America | BB&T of South Carolina | Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd, P.A. |  

Kinder Morgan | Michelin North America, Inc. | Milliken & Company | Nexsen Pruet, LLC | 
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. | Santee Cooper | Sonoco | Wells Fargo

South Carolina Chamber of Commerce | 1301 Gervais Street, Suite 1100 | Columbia, SC 29201