LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: House, Senate Remain at Odds on $60M of Budget

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: House, Senate Remain at Odds on $60M of Budget

The General Assembly is set to return to Columbia on Wednesday, June 27, to allow members to continue working on specified unfinished business, including Tax Conformity, the state budget, and legislation dealing with the fallout of the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.

 For the budget, the House and Senate are divided over how to spend roughly $60 million in funding that is available because state debt has been paid off. The House wants to use most of that money for a new State Law Enforcement Division lab. The Senate has instead proposed $20 million of that funding to help S.C. colleges and universities renovate old buildings and fund other local projects.

The Sine Die Resolution allows the legislature to continue working on specified matters after the May 10 Sine Die adjournment, including allowing conference committees to work through differences on legislation passed by both bodies. Included in the list of bills still under consideration is Tax Conformity in both the Senate and House.

Sine Die adjournment is Nov. 11. 

View from the Dome

By Copper Dome Strategies

ISSUE: JUNE 22, 2018

With one week left in the state fiscal year, legislators plan to return to Columbia the week of June 25 to adopt the state budget and take up any other conference reports on outstanding legislation. Although the 122nd Session of the South Carolina General Assembly has concluded, a Joint Resolution to allow the General Assembly to continue past the mandatory May 10 Sine Die deadline was adopted prior to adjournment to allow members to continue working on specified unfinished business, including the state budget, Tax Conformity and legislation dealing with the fallout of the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project. The General Assembly will return to Columbia on Wednesday, June 27.

BUDGET

The Conference Committee working to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions in the FY 2018-19 General Appropriations Act H. 4950 (Ways and Means Committee) met briefly on Monday, June 18, but did not take any action and adjourned to the call of the chair. They are expected to return to Columbia to resume their negotiations on Monday, June 25, two days before the General Assembly is scheduled to meet to adopt their conference report. Members are Senators Leatherman, Matthews and Bennett and Representatives White, Cole and Clyburn.

The House and Senate are divided over how to spend roughly $60 million in funding that is available because state debt has been paid off. The House wants to use most of that money for a new State Law Enforcement Division lab. The Senate has instead proposed $20 million of that funding to help S.C. colleges and universities renovate old buildings and fund other local projects.

Should they not be able to reach a consensus on the budget, prior to adjournment both bodies did adopt a Joint Resolution S. 671 (Senator Leatherman) that would allow state government to continue operating at current funding levels for the next fiscal year beginning July 1 if the legislature fails to pass a state budget.

The Capital Reserve Fund appropriations bill H. 4951 (Ways and Means Committee) was signed into law by the governor on May 7.

Budget Conference Committee information can be found here.

The governor’s Executive Budget can be found here.

HEALTHCARE

Governor Henry McMaster on Wednesday announced the South Carolina Opioid Emergency Response Plan, which details strategy and guidance developed to support state and local efforts to combat the opioid epidemic. The state Opioid Emergency Response Plan was developed as part of the ongoing collaboration of more than two dozen organizations that comprise the recently formed S.C. Opioid Emergency Response Team (SCOERT), which was created by Gov. McMaster in December 2017. The State Law Enforcement Division and the S.C. Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services serve as the lead agencies of the SCOERT. The team has identified four focus areas to address the opioid problem, including: education and communication, prevention and response, treatment and recovery, and coordinated law enforcement strategies. View the plan here.

PRIMARY ELECTIONS 

The June 12 primary elections saw four South Carolina House of Representative incumbents defeated. Republicans Phyllis Henderson of Greenville and Greg Duckworth of North Myrtle Beach were defeated, along with Democrats Mary Gail Douglas of Winnsboro and Bill Bowers of Hampton. Bowers was one of the longest-serving members having first been elected in 1997.

COMING UP

The General Assembly will reconvene in Columbia on Wednesday, June 27, to adopt the state budget Conference Report and any other outstanding conference committee reports.

Copper Dome Strategies will provide the 2018 version of its annual “Rearview: A Look Back at the Legislative Session” in the coming weeks.

By |2018-06-25T18:30:33+00:00June 22nd, 2018|Featured, Governmental, Legislative/Advocacy, Tax|0 Comments

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