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  • State Legislative update

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    May 04, 2018
    The Final Stretch of Session
    This week the House amended the Senate’s version of the budget - and it wasn't without controversy. House members proposed changes that set off a lengthy debate over defunding abortion clinics which led to a meltdown on the floor over race, religion, and respect. Meanwhile, across the lobby, the Senate continued their week-long debate on abortion.  With no end in sight to the Democrats' filibuster, at 1:00 a.m. Friday, the Senate voted 24-21 to recommit the abortion bill to committee.  This opens the door for Senators to address other issues in the final 3 days of session, including the budget, which will now head to a conference committee. 

    The legislature adjourns on May 10.
     
    Utility Issues Addressed in Budget
    During the budget debate Wednesday, the House adopted an amendment that would allow the SCDOT to use federal monies  to cover the costs associated with moving water and sewer lines impacted by road construction projects. 

     “From the funds authorized in the current fiscal year, the Department of Transportation may use its federal-aid road and bridge program funds for the relocation of public water and sewer lines in accordance with federal guidelines.”


    The proviso comes after House and Senate legislation (S.932/H.3739) which established thresholds for covering the costs of utility relocation, stalled in the House this year.  The proviso is broadly written and will essentially
    provide for a “pilot program” to address funding for relocation of utility lines over FY18-19.  
    The Final Stretch of Session
    This week the House amended the Senate’s version of the budget - and it wasn't without controversy. House members proposed changes that set off a lengthy debate over defunding abortion clinics which led to a meltdown on the floor over race, religion, and respect. Meanwhile, across the lobby, the Senate continued their week-long debate on abortion.  With no end in sight to the Democrats' filibuster, at 1:00 a.m. Friday, the Senate voted 24-21 to recommit the abortion bill to committee.  This opens the door for Senators to address other issues in the final 3 days of session, including the budget, which will now head to a conference committee. 

    The legislature adjourns on May 10.
     
    Utility Issues Addressed in Budget
    During the budget debate Wednesday, the House adopted an amendment that would allow the SCDOT to use federal monies  to cover the costs associated with moving water and sewer lines impacted by road construction projects. 

     “From the funds authorized in the current fiscal year, the Department of Transportation may use its federal-aid road and bridge program funds for the relocation of public water and sewer lines in accordance with federal guidelines.”

    The proviso comes after House and Senate legislation (S.932/H.3739) which established thresholds for covering the costs of utility relocation, stalled in the House this year.  The proviso is broadly written and will essentially
    provide for a “pilot program” to address funding for relocation of utility lines over FY18-19.  
     
     
     
    Thank you to our members for your continued support and recognizing the importance of continuing to educate the public and our elected officials about the importance of investing in South Carolina's transportation infrastructure. 
    View 2018 SCFOR Leadership
    View 2018 SCFOR Membership
     
     
     
    House Passes Tax Conformity Bill
    On Monday, Governor Henry McMaster urged the House and Senate to pass a tax conformity bill this session. By Thursday, the  House had fast-tracked the conformity bill to accommodate the federal tax code changes of 2017.  The bill included a provision to keep the tax bill of South Carolinians from rising more than $200 million. The bill now heads to the Senate. 

    Since the mid-1980s, South Carolina  has passed a perfunctory bill every year to conform the state's tax laws to federal tax law.
     
    Fishburne Approved to SCDOT Commission
    The sixth Congressional delegation met Thursday to screen and approve Barnwell Fishburne for the SCDOT Commission. Fishburne is a real estate developer from Walterboro.  

    Chairman of the Delegation, Senator John Matthews (D-Orangeburg) noted that he was excited to have some rural representation on the Commission and expressed concerns about I-95 and I-26.  

    Fishburne echoed the need to improve the interstates, especially I-95, citing his experience with economic development boards. According to Fishburne, companies like Boeing and Volvo had to specially package materials so they would not be damaged by the poor road conditions during transit. 

    He also noted that he is excited about the SCDOT's strategic plan and is planning to meet with each county in the delegation to learn more about their specific issues. 
     
    Wooten Elected to House
    Republican Chris Wooten ran unopposed to win Tuesday's special election in House District 69 in Lexington County.  The owner of a personal training business and assistant football coach at River Bluff High School is replacing former Rep. Rick Quinn, who was indicted for misconduct.
     
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    Headlines
    Lee Bright Shows Slight Advantage in Polls
    Former state Sen. Lee Bright holds a narrow, early lead in the crowded 13-candidate GOP primary race to replace U.S. Rep. Trey Gowdy, a poll by a Republican group set for release Thursday says.  Read More…
     

    Video gambling can save South Carolina?
    An op-ed in the State Newspaper touts gambling as a resource to help state government pay for things – including roads.  Read More… 

    Homeowners off Greenville's Pelham Road win protection against commercial encroachment
    About 2,000 people in a residential enclave of Greenville County bounded by commercial development and Interstate 85 have gained extra protection against the market forces of growth.  In a near unanimous vote Tuesday night, the Greenville County Council codified the mostly residential status of a 644-acre area just off the Pelham Road exit of Interstate 85.  Read More…
     
     

    It's Election Season!

    SCFOR has compiled a comprehensive listing for the SC House of Representatives that includes both primary and general election opposition as well as how legislators voted on Act 40 last year.   

    We truly appreciate the support of our friends in the legislature for providing much needed funding to repair our roads and bridges.  We encourage you to support your legislators in any way you can - and most importantly, get out and VOTE in the upcoming elections!