Legislative news

April 17, 2015





Moving SC Forward: The South Carolina House passed legislation that provides much needed funding for the state’s infrastructure. 




House Passes Infrastructure Plan

On Wednesday, by a vote of 87-20, the House passed a $427 million infrastructure plan that reduces the state’s 16.75-cents per gallon gasoline tax by six cents and reinstates the 6 percent state sales tax on wholesale gasoline. The plan also increases the sales tax cap on vehicles from $300 to $500. The House plan enables the governor to appoint the South Carolina Department of Transportation Commission and provides a funding mechanism to return some roads to counties. The legislation also provides $50 million in income tax relief.
“The state’s business community praises the leadership of Speaker Jay Lucas, Representative Gary Simrill (chairman of the Ad-Hoc Transportation Committee) and the House of Representatives on passing a bill that provides much needed funding for our state’s infrastructure,” said Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce. “Their action is an acknowledgement that another year must not pass without addressing the state’s growing infrastructure problem, an issue that has galvanized the energy and attention of business leaders - small and large - from every corner of the state. Now, the Senate must take action and debate and pass funding for infrastructure.”
South Carolina lags far behind neighboring states in highway funding with the annual average amount spent on roads per mile: South Carolina - $15,000, Georgia - $35,000, North Carolina - $150,000. These figures do not even take into account recent funding packages passed in both Georgia and North Carolina. The business community urges elected leaders to come together to agree on a comprehensive and sustainable funding plan for the long-term economic competitiveness of the state.




On the Federal Front….
Governors Support Ex-Im Reauthorization

Thirty governors, including Governor Nikki Haley, sent a letter to Congress this week urging reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States that assists in financing the export of goods and services to international markets. The Bank’s charter is set to expire at the end of June.
At the March 31 Washington Night, several South Carolina congressmen discussed the Bank and its reauthorization. “What we have with the Ex-Im Bank is competition,” said Congressman Joe Wilson. Hear more from Congressman Wilson. Congressman Mark Sanford said he will support the Ex-Im Bank because it is so important to his district. Congressman Mick Mulvaney presented arguments from both sides of the Ex-Im Bank, but said it will likely be reauthorized with reforms. Congressman Tom Rice also discussed businesses in his district, specifically in rural areas, that use the Ex-Im Bank. Hear what Congressman Rice had to say about the Export-Import Bank.




Coming Up: Health Care Forum Next Week

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s Competitiveness Agenda Series continues Thursday, April 23 with the Health Care Forum in Columbia. Topics including workplace wellness, employer best practices, the Affordable Care Act, the state of insurance and Certificate of Need will be discussed. The Forum will feature health care and business experts who will share knowledge, innovations, successes and lessons learned.


Back to top