The Senate began debate on H. 3516, commonly called the roads bill, and adopted the Senate Finance Committee amendment. The committee amendment increases the motor fuel user fee two cents per year over six years. When fully implemented, the legislation is estimated to generate about $792 million for road repairs. The bulk of this week was spent allowing senators to prepare amendments and outline their individual visions for the roads bill.
Next week, expect significant debate on those amendments as the Senate works toward a final bill that can become law. The bill remains in interrupted debate, a priority position on the Senate’s calendar, pending second reading.
Additionally, H. 3726, was ratified this week and sent to the governor for approval. The goal of the legislation is to make the retirement system financially solvent and make sure the benefits promised to state employees are provided.
Bills passed by the Senate this week include:
H. 3034 - Changes the in-state tuition eligibility requirements for certain veterans and related persons receiving educational assistance.
H. 3792 - Reduces the minimum number of toilets and lavatories required for all middle and high school football stadiums built or renovated after the effective date of the bill.
H. 3221 - Requires the S.C. Department of Education to work with district superintendents and finance officers to develop a statewide program, which includes a series of criteria that establishes three escalating levels of fiscal and budgetary concern, including fiscal watch, fiscal caution and fiscal emergency.
S. 626 - Allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue special license plates, including ones honoring South Carolina’s electrical linemen, the Lions Club and Virginia Tech.
READ SECOND TIME:
S. 446 - Senators Leatherman, Setzler, Williams and Campbell: Amends current statute pertaining to the credit a taxpayer may claim against a contribution made to the Industry Partnership Fund at the South Carolina Research Authority, or SCRA.
S. 499 - Senator Malloy: Removes the requirement that the Department of Motor Vehicles must charge a $50 fee to place an identifying code on the driver’s license of a person who is convicted of or pleads guilty to certain violent crimes.
Look ahead to next week and beyond:
H. 3516 is expected to continue to receive significant attention when the Senate reconvenes.
The General Assembly’s Sine Die adjournment, the last day of the legislative session, is Thursday, May 11.
Compiled by South Carolina Senate Pro Tempore Communications Director Michael Ulmer.