It was a busy week in Columbia as the House debated the budget with over 90 proposed amendments. The majority of amendments were proposed by members of the SC Freedom Caucus, a self-prescribed group of conservatives dedicated to standing on conservative values. The amendments included removing funding from public colleges that engage in DE&I work, removing advertising funding from SC Educational Television (ETV) and trying to eliminate state employee’s ability to access family planning medication with their state health insurance. The amendments were tabled, ruled out of order or withdrawn. Many elicited lively floor debate and eventually resulted in unified vote to table by the Republican and Democrat caucuses.
A thriving business community relies on bipartisanship and a functioning legislature. We are appreciative of our legislators and House leadership for working late into the night this week to ensure the House passed a balanced budget that included many of the Charleston Metro Chamber’s budget priorities including teacher pay increases, increased funding for roads and bridges and funding for workforce scholarships and programs.
H. 3014 Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act (favorable)
The Hate Crimes bill passed out of the House last week 84-13 after debate on a number of amendments. The bill was read across the Senate desk on March 14 and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. No committee hearing has been scheduled yet.
H. 3797 Military Temporary Remote School Enrollment Act (favorable)
H. 3797 passed the House unanimously. The bill will be a huge help to military families making a permanent change of station. The bill will allow military families to electronically enroll their students in school and provide proof of residence within 10 days of moving to SC.
The bill now resides in the Senate Education Committee.
H. 4060 Education and Workforce Readiness (favorable)
H. 4060 is the second bill to come out of the Ad Hoc Economic Development Committee created by House Leadership. The bill establishes a Statewide workforce readiness goal of 60% by 2030, a uniform dual enrollment system, requires high schools to provide remediation courses in literacy and math for those who do not currently possess the academic qualifications to pursue post-secondary education, requires all high school seniors to complete a FAFSA (with exceptions), requires mandatory agreements between public two and four year institutions to provide a minimum of 60 transfer credits to students that have earned an associate degree and creates a system to provide information on the economic value of a major.
The SC House will be on furlough through the end of next week, while the Senate will continue their work in Columbia. As always, we will keep you up to date on the Chamber’s Legislative Priorities. Have a great weekend!