Record-Breaking Progress for Chamber Priorities This Week

Staff Report From Charleston CEO

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

The House and Senate got to work Tuesday and it paid off! Activity this week represents record progress and major wins for multiple Chamber priorities. View our 2020 Legislative Agenda for a full list of priorities.

The first order of business was to pass a Continuing Resolution, which was passed by both the House and the Senate. The bill is essentially the same as the one passed last month; it gives money for COVID response, funds government until the General Assembly can return later in the fall to pass a budget and freezes Santee Cooper’s status until the General Assembly can address it next year.

Angel Investor Tax Credit Program

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee found a workaround to get the Angel Investor tax credit extension approved. It was added through “free conference powers” to another bill, S.76. That bill has now been approved by both chambers and is headed to the Governor’s desk for his signature. This allows qualified investors to receive a tax credit for investing in high-impact small tech companies in the state. A big thanks to Chairman Murrell Smith, Representative Alan Clemmons (R-Myrtle Beach) and Representative Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville) for getting that workaround done.

Workforce Housing

The House then took up bills returned from the Senate, one of which being the Workforce Housing bill H.3998. The House concurred with Senate amendments on the Senior and Workforce Affordable Housing tax credit. It now goes to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Military Service, Education and Credentialing Act

The House also took up several conference reports on bills Tuesday, including the Military Service Credentialing Act S.455. You will recall this clears red tape and allows military spouses to enter our workforce in a more timely manner. This was also a Department of Defense and Military Base Task Force priority. This is a huge win for military families in our region.

Business License Reform

Finally, late in the afternoon the House and Senate adopted the Sine Die (end of session) resolution. The resolution will allow for any bill that has passed either chamber to be taken up. This includes another big Chamber priority, Business License Reform bill H.4431. We have received word from Senate Finance that they will likely take up this key legislation that streamlines and standardizes the process when they return this summer/fall. In what turns out to be a really odd year, it is looking more and more likely it will be a great year for businesses in our region and state.

The House and Senate may come back in June in order to direct where COVID-19 federal funding will go. They will both be back for a couple of weeks in mid-September to pass a budget for the year. As always we will keep you up-to-date on the latest developments at the federal, state and local levels.