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Legislative Update

This week, members of the General Assembly returned to Columbia for likely the last time this legislative session to finalize and pass the FY2024-25 budget (H.5100), along with several other bills that were in conference committees. Notable items included in the final version of the $14.4 billion budget package adopted by both bodies include: • $200 million to immediately reduce the individual income tax rate from 6.4% to 6.2%.

  • $200 million to SCDOT for the acceleration of bridge infrastructure improvements throughout the state.  •
  • $200 million for local road work approved by County Transportation Committees.
  • $200 million to raise teacher salaries and increase starting teacher pay from $42,500 to $47,000.
  • $117.4 million to SCDOT for rural road safety work.
  • $94 million for technical college scholarships for critical needs jobs through the SC Workforce Industry Needs Scholarship Program (SCWINS).
  • $55 million to the South Carolina Ports Authority for land acquisition adjacent to the North Charleston Terminal for future economic development efforts.
  • $41.4 million to the Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) for water and sewer projects.

Additionally, the Headquarter Recruitment Incentives/E-Zone Tax Credit Expansion (H.4087) bill made it out of a conference committee this week and passed both the House and Senate. The bill modernizes the states’ incentive offerings to attract more headquarters projects and knowledge-based employers. The legislation also expands tax credit offerings to employers who retrain their employees through upskilling, management development, or recertification in production-related competencies and lowers the financial threshold a recycling project must meet to qualify for tax credits while also expanding the types of projects that are eligible. The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature.

Lastly, the Judicial Reform (S.1046) bill made it out of a conference committee and passed both the House and Senate. The bill modifies how judges are selected in South Carolina through changes to the composition of the Judicial Merit Selection Commission (JMSC) and the number of judicial candidates that are reported to the full General Assembly. The bill now awaits the Governor’s signature. More information on the final budget package can be found here.

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