U.S. Senate costs economy $50 million a day ignoring Ex-Im Bank... Chamber President and CEO Ted Pitts penned a letter to the editor in The State newspaper outlining the negative economic effects of the Senate's failure to vote on Mark McWatters’ nomination to the board of directors of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
"In the past five years, Ex-Im supported $3 billion in S.C. exports for 67 companies, 35 of which are small businesses. But a few years ago, a small group in Congress decided to attack Ex-Im... I encourage our S.C. senators to demand a vote on Mr. McWatters’ nomination. Every day they don’t, our economy pays the price: Fifty million dollars a day to be exact."
HR Conference takes Hilton Head... The Chamber, in partnership with the SC SHRM State Council, hosted the 26th annual Human Resources Conference and presented the 2016 Human Resources Professional of the Year this week in Hilton Head! Attendees got updates on topics ranging from FLSA regulations to retaining millennial employees from experts in the HR Field, networked in the lively exhibitor area and at the seaside reception, and more. See highlights from our live twitter coverage of the event below and see a complete roundup of the days activities on our blog!
SCE&G and SC Chamber to host End of Year Awards ceremony at the Brunson-Dargan Homework Center... We're celebrating our largest homework center for a job well-done this school year! With 60 students currently enrolled and over 300 students helped in its six years of operation, Brunson-Dargan is one of our most successful homework centers. Learn more about this great event here.
Business Week 2016 is officially booked! We've reached maximum capacity for Business Week students but it's not too late to get involved- We're still accepting sponsorships! Click here to learn more about how you can help us help the future business leaders of South Carolina.
Have you registered yet? We're partnering with Hyper Growth Business Strategies to host the first ever South Carolina Scaling Up Business Growth Workshop on Tuesday, May 17 at Charleston Southern University. Chamber Members get $100 off! More information here!
Employee Health Benefits Lunch & Learn
May 25, 2016
*NEW* Get up-to-date information on SC business issues and earn professional development credits all while eating lunch!
Statehouse Update: Upon returning from a long, state holiday weekend, the Senate on Wednesday called up for debate H.3430, the Unsafe Used Tire bill. Senator Vincent Sheheen has blocked the legislation since the inaugural day of the 2016 session, and he furthered his opposition by filibustering the bill and impugning the intent of the legislation and its supporters. We, along with The SC Tire Manufacturers Council, have championed this effort – going back to 2014 – as a public safety initiative which will take hazardous tires off the road. Following the Council’s State House luncheon last week, Senators Nikki Setzler, Thomas Alexander, and Shane Massey worked with the Chamber and Tire Manufacturers to overcome the objections of Sheheen in bringing the bill up for discussion. But before any significant progress could be made, debate was cut short. Another attempt is likely to be made to allow for extended debate.
Workforce Development: Senate Education Higher Education Subcommittee favorably passed an amended version of H.4145 to the full committee yesterday morning. The revised version maintains measures supported by the SC Chamber, by initiating the “Pathways to New Opportunities” program and a way for adult learners to get scholarships for the training and certification necessary to improve their lives and close the skills gap. The bill will be up for consideration at the next full Education Committee meeting.
The House chose to take the week off, and will return next week, where the Pollution Control Act legislation awaits on the House Calendar, as well the anticipated veto of H.4717, the SC Farm Aid Bill. Governor Haley has until midnight on Tuesday to veto the bill. There are three legislative weeks left.
Bills on our radar: S. 1062- Nuisance Suits Related to Existing Uses of Real Property Summary: This bill amends existing housing and redevelopment code to provide that existing industrial facilities shall not be eligible for nuisance suits. Chamber Position: Monitoring Status: S.1062 was carried over in Labor, Commerce and Industry Subcommittee
H.4967 - Business License Compliance Reform Act Summary: This bill 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: This bill 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
H.4717 – S.C. Farm Aid Fund Summary: This bill allows farmers with total crop losses of 40% or greater from the flood to be eligible for a limited state grant. Chamber Position:Support; Scoring vote for Legislative Scorecard STATUS UPDATE: House concurred with Senate amendments, bill has been ratified and sent to the governor for approval.
H.5226 – Electric Service Summary: This bill requires the public service authority to sell power to processors at market-based prices. Chamber Position: Oppose on basis that the legislation interferes in contract negotiations. Status: LCI Subcommittee adjourned debate on this bill Tuesday
AT&T, Avtec join to facilitate enhanced broadband push-to-talk capabilities...