Legislative Agenda and News

Every year the Chamber’s Board of Directors adopts the Annual Legislative Agenda, a set of issues and positions the Chamber will advocate at a federal, state, and local level. The agenda is presented to the Board for approval by the Public Policy Council which is comprised of members representing every sector so that all aspects of the Chamber's membership are represented and that everyone has a fair and equal voice.

If you are interested in participating in our Grass Roots efforts, please contact Marc Jordan, President/CEO, by e-mail at Marc@NorthMyrtleBeachChamber.com and download the application form.

Fill out the application and send it by fax to (843) 280-2930. For your convenience, you can pay online.

Legislative Grass Roots Network Sponsored by: Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS®


The North Myrtle Beach Chamber has added its name to the list of hundreds across America, in defense of our small businesses and non-profit/charitable organizations. This conforms with our chamber’s position to protect our small businesses.

uscc-cobrand
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
 

Dear Marc,

As you know, the Administration's proposed changes to overtime pose a serious threat to the employer community and salaried workers as a result. We anticipate the final regulation to be issued as early as the first week of May.

You can take action by signing on to a letter to Congress expressing support for a bill that would prevent the regulation from taking effect.

Click here to read the letter.

The deadline for sign-ons is Wednesday, April 20 at 5:00 p.m. ET.
 To add your organization's name, please email David Alim and we'll make sure your name is added.

As you know, the proposed regulation would raise the salary threshold under which employees would have to be paid overtime for hours worked beyond 40 per week from the current annual level of $23,660 to $50,440. Such a dramatic increase will force employers to decide whether to reclassify millions of employees to nonexempt status or increase their salaries to keep them exempt.

Learn more about this issue by viewing the U.S. Chamber's comments to the Department of Labor (full comments are available here, and a summary here), and reading more on the Chamber's Above the Fold blog about how this rule could impact not just private employers, but nonprofits and state and local governments.

With your help, we can build the case that this proposed rule will not boost employees' income, but instead will force employers to reduce employees' flexibility, benefits, and growth opportunities.

As always, we are happy to provide additional information and answer any questions you have regarding this issue. Please email federation@uschamber.com.

We appreciate your support on this critical issue,

Rob Engstrom
SVP
U.S. Chamber of Commerce


 

Week in Review

 

 

 

"I am going to put this entire system on trial."
Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) speaking about the Department of Transportation and how the state allocates road funding during his filibuster on the roads bill this week.

Volume VI, February 19, 2016

 

2016 Roads Debate Starts The Way It Ended

Senator Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) began the roads debate by taking to the podium much in the same way he ran out the clock on the roads debate last year. Senator Davis said he saw the groundswell a filibuster can create last year and believes there is value in the strategy again this session. Senator Davis made it clear he was not pleased with what he viewed as a lack of progress on reforming the Department of Transportation (DOT) and he planned to hold the floor until 24 senators tell him to sit down or there is a solution which seeks to hold the DOT accountable to the executive branch and not the legislature. He also explained his lack of support for a gas tax increase until we change how the money is being spent. The Senate adjourned on Thursday with Senator Davis still holding the floor and after roughly 7 hours of filibustering between Wednesday and Thursday so far. As expected with 7 hours of floor debate, the conversation periodically shifted subjects ranging from the President's ability to nominate a Supreme Court Justice to South Carolina's natural resources and even into the history of SC Governor Olin Johnston dispatching a National Guard machine gun company  to take the highway department offices after he disbanded the Highway Commission in 1935. 

 

Spillways Not Yet Open to Move Dam Bill Downstream

Representatives on the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Subcommittee would likely take exception to those saying the entire house took the week off. Even during the furlough week, the committee met all day Wednesday to hear testimony on a proposal by Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) which would change the regulations under the Dams and Reservoirs Safety Act following the October floods that saw a large amount of dam breaches during the once-in-1,000 year flood. The testimony made it clear the bill still needs a lot of work before it is fully vetted and ready to move forward. The bill would require detailed inspections of hundreds of dams in heavily populated areas, require certain dam owners to post bonds to potentially remove structures if the dam endangers lives, and it would increase fines for violations. Proponents of the bill believe increasing inspections and regulations will help protect citizens and businesses downstream. However, there was a substantial amount of testimony from farmers and citizens arguing the “one-size-fits-all" regulations will raise costs and would be an unnecessary burden for many average citizens and farmers that own some of the 2,400 dams in the state. The subcommittee will meet again next year and Committee Chairman Davy Hiott (R-Pickens) has indicated they will get take their time and get this right and not rush legislation since this is a reaction to something that just happened in October.

 

Haley Endorses Rubio and Candidate Tracking

Governor Nikki Haley made national headlines this week when she endorsed Republican Presidential Candidate Marco Rubio. The endorsement came on Wednesday, just days before South Carolina republicans will take to the polls to vote in the primary on Saturday.  Meanwhile, all the candidates have been making campaign stops all around the state and making their last push before the vote. Next week will see the republicans clear out and Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton holding all of the rallies and headlines ahead of the democrat's primary next Saturday, February 27, 2016.

 

House Deliberates on the Budget Next Week

The House will return from their furlough and immediately jump into budget deliberations with the Ways and Means Committee set to meet starting Tuesday. The House is hoping to have the budget on the House floor for the week of March 21st. 

 

Numbers to Know

 

$36 Million

Estimated amount spent by presidential candidates and their Super PACs in South Carolina, as of Wednesday, according to ad spending tracker SMG Delta in a report released by NBC News.
 

13%

Percentage of jobs in SC that require licensing through the state's government. The lowest percentage in the nation according to the White House Council of Economic Advisors.
 

$1,000

The average occupational licensing costs to the average household per year according to the same report.
 

$19.1 Billion

Statewide economic impact of tourism to South Carolina announced this week. The number represents a 5.5% increase from the previous year.


 


 

Click the image below to read the Legislative News

 


Check Out Our New Advocacy and Legislative Website: www.NorthMyrtlBeachVoice.com!

 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce advocates for pro-business policies on behalf of the national business community. The Chamber has seen a wide variety of success in its advocacy efforts due in large part to an expansive grassroots reach and powerful advocacy and engagement resources. By becoming a Free Enterprise Network (FEN) partner, the North Myrtle beach Chamber of Commerce has access to the very same resources used to drive the U.S. Chamber's grassroots program.

The public policy, legislative, and grass roots website is located at www.NorthMyrtleBeachVoice.com.

The website is an easy-to-use content management system offering everything the Chamber needs to recruit and engage grassroots supporters , allowing us to manage advocacy campaigns. This independent website provides a forum where our supporters and stakeholders can be educated on the issues that face our industry and allows them the opportunity to effectively communicate their positions with their elected officials. Through a wide variety of voter education, legislative and political action resources, our supporters will be able to directly participate in advancing the Chamber's pro-growth agenda.

The advocacy website provides the following features:

  • Voters Resources:

o   Information about local, state, and national elected officials

o   online for to directly contact the officials

  • Take Action: pre-defined letters to elected officials to express position in support or against specific proposals, bills, etc
  • Latest News: brief media clips with links to more information on topics of interest for the Chamber and members
  • Key Issues/Legislative Watch: monitoring the legislative updates on topics of interest: renewable energy, transportation, etc, etc.
  • Chamber Legislative Agendas:

o   Local agenda

o   State Agenda

o   Federal Agenda

  • Polls and Surveys: the website allows for easy set up of membership polls and surveys with reports and statistics


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