The Carolinas AGC reviewed several budget issues that need to be resolved in this last official week of the 120th SC Legislative Session. Since the Senate took several weeks to complete their work on the budget, a resolution was passed last week that will allow the legislature to return to Columbia on June 18, 19 and 29 to take final action on the budget before the end of the state’s fiscal year.
Senate Approves Budget with Road Funding Intact
The SC Senate gave final approval to their version of the $6.9 billon dollar spending plan last week. The Senate was required to give each section of the budget a roll call vote, which took them a day and half to complete. The bill will now head to a Conference Committee made up of three members of the House and three members of the Senate. Including in the budget is $50M in for roads and bridges. The amendment, as approved, directs the money to the State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) so it can be used for bonding, which would generate approximately $500 million in bonds. The amendment requires SCDOT to submit a list of bridge, interstate and rehabilitation projects to the SIB for consideration.
The Senate Finance committee met late last week and gave a favorable as amended report to S.731, the Highway Engineering Permanent Improvements legislation. The bill mirrors the $50 million proviso in the budget. Senate Finance Chairman, Hugh Leatherman told the committee, “Since we cannot issue bonds on a proviso, this needs to be put into permanent law.” The bill would send $50 million to the SCCOT that then would be transferred into the State Infrastructure Bank. Leatherman offered an amendment to specify that DOT would transfer $50 million into the SIB each year and the amendment was adopted.
Port Tax Credit
Last week the Senate Finance Committee gave a favorable report to H.3557, the Port Tax Credit legislation. The bill would extend options to third party logistic carriers if they meet the qualified criteria and would also remove the cap of $4 million and change it to $8 million. The $8 million would then be used for flexibility for volume to the port. Read More.