Guest Editorial by Leslie Hope, Dir. SC Government Relations, Carolinas AGC
Carolinas AGC saw the first year of two-year legislative session wrap up just weeks ago. Thus far the members of the General Assembly have introduced 2143 bills. All bills that did not pass before they adjourned this year will be carried over until the session that begins next January. Unfortunately, the legislature only passed 105 bills this session, leaving a lot of work for the second year of the session. Staff in Columbia was able to keep the construction industry in the forefront of several issues and ended the year with several successes, the highlights of which are below:
Gov. Nikki Haley signed into law a $600 million road funding package that includes $50 million in recurring funds allocated to the State Infrastructure Bank to be bonded for $500 million, $50 million in one-time funds to be used for bridge repair, and moves half of the sales tax on automobiles to the Highway Fund on a recurring basis, generating approximately $41 million annually. This is the first time in over 20 years that the legislature has allocated money for the roads in South Carolina. While it is a huge step in the right direction, the legislature and the Governor agreed it is was only the first step in tackling the state’s multi-billion dollar highway issue.
The SC Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act of 2013, H.3093, was signed into law this session by Gov. Nikki Haley. This bill established provisions allowing a taxpayer making qualifying investments in the rehabilitation of an abandoned building to receive income tax credits or credits against property tax liability in an amount comprising up to twenty-five percent of the rehabilitation costs. These tax credits are available through 2019.
S. 438, also known as the PLA bill, provides for fair and open competition in governmental contracts by stipulating that state or local entities, officials and employees, in regard to a public building, may not require or prohibit a bidder, offeror, contractor or subcontractor from entering into or adhering to an agreement with one or more labor organizations in regard to the project; and may not discriminate against a bidder for becoming or refusing to become a signatory to an agreement with one or more labor organizations. The bill also provides that state and local entities shall not award a grant, tax abatement or tax credit based on the inclusion of such agreements. Read More.