Happy Memorial Day Weekend from the Chamber! Please stay safe and take time this weekend to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom.
South Carolina Is Among Most Military Friendly States In The Country…. A new study from WalletHub found that South Carolina is home to more veteran-owned businesses than any other state in the US. South Carolina’s military community is one of the strongest in the nation, and the Chamber is proud to support measures that promote a business-friendly environment for our veterans, like H.3147. This bill, which unanimously passed the House, is currently being held up by Senator Gerald Malloy. H.3147 makes South Carolina more military friendly and help our veterans by phasing out the state income tax liability on military retirement benefits. We are scoring and continue to urge the Senate to take up this bill.
Introducing the new Business Week website... The new website makes it easier for students to apply and find information about the week, and is responsive to mobile devices and tablets. In addition, now anyone can sponsor Business Week online - It's as easy as clicking here!
Chamber hosts first ever Lunch and Learn... And it was a success! Attendees earned professional development credits, ate lunch and heard presentations on a variety of Employee Health Benefit topics. Check out our pictures from the event here. Mark your calendars for our next Lunch & Learn on August 11, we'll be focusing on Worker's Compensation!
Chamber announces Washington Night in Columbia...On August 24, members and guests will be able to interact with our SC Congressional delegation as they discuss issues in Washington that affect #scbiz. A reception will follow the event where guests can speak one-on-one with their Congressional delegation, renewing ties with elected officials and their staff. Learn more about this event here and secure your spot now!
Senate budget de-funds Certified Work Ready Communities (CWRC) program... The Senate removed from its budget funding for a critical workforce program in South Carolina. CWRC is a community-based workforce and economic development effort that helps businesses select, hire, and train and retain a high-performance workforce. The House budget includes funding for one year and the Senate's does not. This is an important program that aids in the workforce development of our state and the Chamber urges the Senate to include funding for CWRC in their 2016-2017 budget.
"We need to support our South Carolina senators and encourage them to demand a vote on Mr. McWatters’ nomination. Every day the U.S. Senate doesn’t, our economy and American workers pay the price. $50 million a day to be exact." - Chamber President Ted Pitts, Columbia Regional Business Report: VIEWPOINT: U.S. Senate needs to finish the job on the Ex-Im Bank
Statehouse Update: The House gave third reading to amended roads billS.1258 Wednesday. As it stands now, the bill allocates DMV fees & fines, the Vehicle Sales tax, STIB bonds and the existing DOT funds to begin to fix our roads and bridges. This bill also includes the reform language from the House passed, amended version of H.3579 (now in conference committee). As we said last week, this is a step in the right direction. However, the Chamber remains committed to ensuring a long-term solution for infrastructure.
H.4145, the Coordinating Council for Workforce Development bill, was amended and passed unanimously out of full education committee Wednesday. The amendment allows the Council to create subcommittees or advisory groups of state or local government stakeholders to assist in its work, and also allows them to elect a chairman to serve for 2 years, rotating the chairmanship between an education and business appointee. We will continue working toward the creation of a scholarship/grants program for training and certification of underemployed adults as we continue efforts to help close the skills gap. Workforce development is a top priority of the SC Chamber as outlined in our 2016 Competitiveness Agenda.
There is one legislative week left.
Bills on our radar:
S.868– Eminent Domain for Pipeline Companies Summary: As amended, 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: On House Uncontested Calendar
H.5093 - Nuisance Suits Related to Existing Uses of Real Property Summary: Amends existing housing and redevelopment code to provide that existing industrial facilities shall not be eligible for nuisance suits. Chamber Position: Monitoring Status: Carried over after deliberations by a House LCI Subcommittee
H.4967 - Business License Compliance Reform Act Summary: Simplifies and reforms the business license tax process Chamber Position: Actively pursuing amendments to improve the legislation STATUS UPDATE: Chamber President Ted Pitts testified in support of this bill in front of the Ad-Hoc Subcomittee last week stating, "business licensing in South Carolina is one of the most unfriendly in the nation." The bill was carried over.
H.5109 – South Carolina Business License Tax Standardization Act Summary: Aims to streamline the process for obtaining a business license within South Carolina cities and towns Chamber Position: Actively pursuing amendments to improve the legislation STATUS UPDATE: Currently residing in House LCI Committee
*Business Licensing Reform is a top priority for the Chamber as detailed in our 2016 Competitiveness Agenda
College of Charleston cuts tuition for students in Professional Studies program...