As part of SCACPA’s dedication to Advocacy on behalf of the CPA Profession, here is your weekly update of actions being taken during the 124th Legislative Session, prepared in cooperation with our lobbying partner, Copper Dome Strategies.

Friday, June 11, 2021

The House of Representatives adopted its revised version of the state budget on Wednesday and the Senate quickly non-concurred setting up a Conference Committee to resolve the differences between the two versions.

Both chambers adopted a Conference Report relating to the future of state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

Gov. Henry McMaster announced a new workforce training initiative between the SC Technical College System and the SC Department of Employment and Workforce.

McMaster also announced Monday he has allowed the state of emergency in South Carolina to expire, formally ending the heightened state in place since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. The order had been in effect for 451 days and was used to close schools, restrict restaurant capacity, limit nursing home visits, utilize the National Guard and more. McMaster first issued a state of emergency on March 13, 2020, as the state and nation began locking down as the virus started spreading nationally. Over the past few months, McMaster has largely rolled back all pandemic restrictions.

All federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs will be terminated statewide effective June 30. The termination is due to an unprecedented workforce shortage, including those in the hospitality, tourism, manufacturing and healthcare sectors. For more details, click here.

COVID Vaccination Reminder: All South Carolinians aged 12 and older are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccinations. Online appointments can now be made at more information from DHEC on the virus, click here. Stay safe!


The House of Representatives on Wednesday adopted its revised version of the state budget. After receiving the Senate amended version of the FY21-22 General Appropriations Act, H.4100 (Ways and Means Committee) last month, the House committed the bill back to the Ways and Means Committee due to a revised budget estimate from the State Board of Economic Advisors (BEA). The $31 billion budget includes $10 billion in general fund revenues and one-time surplus revenue of $1.3 billion. The revised budget also includes $524 million in new recurring revenue.

Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith (R-Sumter) noted that since state agencies operated under a Continuing Resolution for the current fiscal year, this plan incorporates two years of funding requests and needs. He said the House used the governor’s Executive Budget as a template and commended Governor McMaster for working with them on shared priorities.

The budget adopted includes:

  • $250 million – Pandemic Stabilization Reserve Fund
  • $71 million – 3% state employee pay raise
  • $72 million – $1,000 teacher pay increase
  • $65 million – Raises K-12 base student cost to $2,516
  • $10 million – Full-day 4-year-old kindergarten
  • $30 million – Scholarship Trust Fund
  • $3 million – Statewide Broadband Office
  • $10 million – Broadband expansion
  • $16.7 million – DHHS – Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS)
  • $14.8 million – DHHS – Medicaid Maintenance of effort
  • $1.5 million – DJJ – Marine and wilderness programs
  • $7.6 million – Judicial Department Virtual Courtroom Expansion
  • $10 million – Judicial Department Case Management Modernization

For the Technical Colleges:

  • $10 million – Recurring base increase (tuition mitigation)
  • $51 million – Lottery Tuition Assistance
  • $10.3 million – Maintenance, renovation and replacement
  • $2.5 million – ReadySC
  • $16 million – Workforce Scholarships and Grants
  • $17 million – SC WINS
  • $18 million – High-demand job skill training equipment

The above amounts for the technical colleges are included in the Senate version of the budget and will not need to be addressed by the Conference Committee. $134.6 million was appropriated individually to the 16 technical colleges. The Senate version includes $134.8 million and some of the amounts to the colleges differ slightly. Those amounts will need to be worked out in conference committee.

Next week the budget Conference Committee will meet to resolve differences between the House and Senate versions of the state budget. The House conferees are Representatives Murrell Smith, Bruce Bannister and Jackie Hayes. Senate conferees are Senators Hugh Leatherman, Harvey Peeler and Nikki Setzler.

The General Assembly will return the week of June 21 to adopt the budget Conference Report before sending the bill to the governor. Finally, they will return on June 29 to address any vetoes of the governor.

In addition to the annual state budget, the General Assembly must determine how to appropriate $2.1 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. Also up for debate is the $525 million from the Savannah River Site (SRS) settlement, much of which is likely to be directed to the three-county region primarily impacted by SRS. Those decisions are likely to occur sometime in the fall of this year.

The Revised Ways and Means Committee budget can be found here.

The governor’s executive budget can be found here.

Individual state agency budget requests can be found here.

The Senate Finance Committee budget spreadsheet can be found here.


Both chambers this week adopted a Conference Report on H.3194 (Reps. Lucas, G. M. Smith, Simrill, Rutherford and others) relating to the future of state-owned utility Santee Cooper. The bill makes reforms to the quasi-state agency that would make it operate more like an investor-owned utility and provide greater state oversight over utility rates and bonding issues. However, the section that included a process for the eventual sale of the utility was deleted. The bill was ratified Wednesday and is awaiting action by the governor.


Gov. McMaster on Tuesday announced a new workforce training initiative between the SC Technical College System and the SC Department of Employment and Workforce.

Under the new partnership, unemployed South Carolina claimants will have the option of exploring short-term retraining programs offered at their local technical college in lieu of conducting a weekly job search. Upon enrolling in and attending a short-term training program, the claimant continues to forgo the weekly job search requirement and receive benefits. The cost of the workforce training program is free to the student because of Gov. McMaster’s January allocation of $8 million in Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEER) funds to the state’s technical colleges, which will provide scholarships to cover the cost of retraining 3,100 South Carolinians.

SC Technical College System President Tim Hardee said they have identified 11 programs for this initiative that are 16 weeks or less in length, lead to an industry-recognized credential or certificate, and have a high placement rate in critical workforce areas. Currently, there are an estimated 82,000 available jobs in South Carolina. For more details, click here.


A Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee met again on Wednesday to take testimony on S.290 (Senator Climer) that would eliminate the Certificate of Need (CON) requirements relating to the licensure of health care facilities and S.370 (Senator Talley) that amends aspects of the program. The committee took no action on the bills but heard testimony both for and against the bills. Entities testifying in support of total elimination of the CON included the Institute for Justice, Americans for Prosperity and the Charleston County Medical Society. They all testified that numerous states are eliminating CON because it doesn’t accomplish the goals established for its implementation. They argued the suspension of CON during the pandemic provided evidence the program is no longer necessary. Proponents of the CON program, including nursing home representatives, testified in opposition to eliminating the program. The subcommittee plans to meet again to continue the debate and hear from more stakeholders. They cannot take action on the bill until the legislative session begins in January.


The General Assembly adopted H.4285 (Reps. Lucas, Simrill and Rutherford), a Concurrent Resolution to allow the bodies to meet post adjournment at the call of the President Pro Tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives to consider certain specified matters, including the state budget. The schedule is as follows:

June 14-18 – Conference Committee meets

June 21-23 – Conference Report adopted by both chambers

June 29 – Address gubernatorial vetoes

The General Assembly will also meet again in the fall to address redistricting and appropriate the $2.1 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act and the $525 million from the Savannah River Site (SRS) lawsuit settlement.


Look to SCACPA’s “View from the Dome” updates on the SCACPA website and our social media every week during the legislative session and beyond. You can always stay up-to-date with SCACPA’s respective blog pages for Governmental TopicsLegislative Topics and Regulatory Topics.

June 4: House Ways and Means Committee Unanimously Adopts New Version of $31B State Budget

May 28: As SC Budget Undergoes Revisions, State Agency Directors Seek More Funds for Staff Salaries, Filling Vacancies

May 21: General Fund Revenues are $412M Above Expected Collections, Per BEA Report

May 14: Conformity Bill Awaits Gov.’s Signature; Decouples with 10 Federal Provisions, Exempts $10,200 of Unemployment Payments

May 7: Tax Conformity Bill Reaches Calendar for Senate Readings

April 30: With Two Weeks Left in Legislative Session, Here are 10 Tax Bills About to be Considered by the Full SC House Ways and Means Committee

April 23: House is Signaling its Approval of Senate’s COVID-19 Liability Safe Harbor Act

April 16: Crossover Deadline Passes, Senate Finance Committee Starts Draft of New $31B State Budget

April 9: Conformity Moves Through House, with Tax Break for $10,000 in Unemployment Benefits

April 2: Senate Approves Bill Concerning Attorney’s Fees Connected to DOR Actions

March 26: House Receives Senate’s Bill for Pass-Through Trade and Business

March 19: Conformity Begins its Journey with Approval from a House Ways and Means Subcommittee

March 12: Senate Finance Committee to Consider a Pass-Through Trade and Business Bill

March 5: House Ways and Means Committee is Cautious With its Version of State Budget

Feb. 26: Senate Approves “COVID-19 Liability Safe Harbor Act,” Bill Now Heads to House

Feb. 19: Senate Sets Priority on COVID-19 Liability Safe Harbor Act as its Debate Continues

Feb. 12: Senate to Consider Personal Finance Courses Requirement to Replace Economics Classes for High Schoolers

Feb. 5: Senate Nears Approval of $200M from Reserve Fund for Vaccine Distribution

Jan. 29: DOR Tells Economic Development Subcommittee That SC’s Tax Revenues are Strong

Jan. 22: Board of Economic Advisors Places State’s Tax Revenue Collections at $336M Above Forecast

Jan. 15: McMaster Delivers State of the State, Recommends $123M More for Small Business Grants

Jan. 8: 2021 Legislative Session “Pre-View from the Dome”

Dec. 18: A First Look at Pre-Filed Tax Legislation of Interest for the 2021 Legislative Session