The unified voice of business
The Competitiveness Update is an electronic newsletter sent to South Carolina Chamber of Commerce members every Friday during the legislative session that provides updates on what’s happening at the State House.
Thumbs Up: To the South Carolina Senate for finding common ground to begin addressing dire infrastructure needs.
Thumbs Up: To House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee Chairman Bill Sandifer (Oconee) for spearheading the unanimous passage of the project labor agreements bill.
Thumbs Up: To Governor Nikki Haley for meeting with the Chamber's Pinnacle members this week to discuss critical business priorities.
Thumbs Up: To Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman (Florence) and Senate Rules Committee Chairman Ronnie Cromer (Newberry) for their steadfast attempt to mediate a compromise on the Business Freedom to Choose Act.
Thumbs Up: To Governor Nikki Haley for nominating Ms. Cheryl Stanton to lead the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.
Thumbs Up: To the Senate Finance Special Transportation Subcommittee for crafting a bold road funding plan to address the state's infrastructure needs.
Thumbs Up: To Rep. Eric Bedingfield (Greenville) for spearheading the effort to remove the trial lawyer friendly False Claims Act from the House Ethics bill.
Thumbs Up: To Rep. Stephen Goldfinch (Georgetown) for thoughtfully cross-examining environmentalists during their misleading testimony on a Pollution Control Act fix.
Thumbs Up: To U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and U.S. Reps. Joe Wilson, Jeff Duncan, Trey Gowdy and Mick Mulvaney for receiving Spirit of Enterprise Awards from the U.S. Chamber for their 2012 pro-job votes.
Thumbs Up: To Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler (Cherokee) for introducing comprehensive infrastructure funding legislation, highlighting two priorities of the business community’s Road Map to the Future.
Thumbs Up: To U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham and U.S. Congressmen Jim Clyburn (SC-6), Trey Gowdy (SC-4), Mick Mulvaney (SC-5) and Tom Rice (SC-7) for joining the business community at Washington Night.
Thumbs Up: To DHEC for proactively designing a central permitting database to better inform businesses of permits they need to open or expand in South Carolina.
Thumbs Down: To Senators Wes Hayes (York), Darrell Jackson (Richland), Floyd Nicholson (Greenwood) and Clementa Pinckney (Jasper) for siding with government monopolies over the interests of constituents and business related to flow control.
Thumbs Up: To Representative Nathan Ballentine (Richland) for attempting to add an amendment to the budget dedicating all new revenue from the Board of Economic Advisors' last projection towards infrastructure needs.
Thumbs Up: To Representatives Jenny Horne (Dorchester) and Eddie Tallon (Spartanburg) for leading the charge to recommit legislation that could have a lasting negative impact on workers' compensation rates across South Carolina.
Thumbs Down: To the Coastal Conservation League for arguing in court that every contested permit decision must be reviewed by the DHEC Board, an unprecedented act that only delays the process of furthering economic development in South Carolina.
Thumbs Up: To the 106 bipartisan House members who understand the importance of funding the state's infrastructure needs.
Thumbs Up: To House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Brian White (Anderson) for including $60 million in the FY 2013-14 budget for bridge repair.
Thumbs Up: To Senators Shane Massey (Edgefield), Thomas Alexander (Oconee) and Vincent Sheheen (Kershaw) for leading the charge in the Senate on the passage of government restructuring legislation.
Thumbs Up: To South Carolina taxpayers for growing the economy, resulting in new dollars that can be reinvested in our roads.
Thumbs Up: To House Speaker Bobby Harrell (Charleston) for leading the infrastructure conversation in the House.
Thumbs Up: To Governor Nikki Haley and Senators Hugh Leatherman (Florence), Shane Massey (Edgefield), John Courson (Richland), Larry Martin (Pickens) and Vincent Sheheen (Kershaw) for reaching a fair and balanced compromise on government restructuring.
Thumbs Up: To the 89 House members who chose to support the private sector over the public sector on common-sense flow control legislation.
Thumbs Up: To the 41 legislators honored with Business Advocate Awards during this week's Business Speaks event.
Thumbs Up: To Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin (Pickens) for his committee's swift approval of Workers' Compensation Commissioner Aisha Taylor, a refreshing change from past years.
Thumbs Up: To Public Utilities Review Committee members for instituting a lobbying ban on PSC candidates, a policy that should be put in place for all judicial candidates. Thumbs Up: To the entire South Carolina Senate for passing two major reform bills during the first two weeks of the legislative session, a trend we look forward to continuing as the Senate addresses infrastructure funding priorities.
Thumbs Up: To Governor Nikki Haley for making infrastructure funding a priority in her Executive Budget, dedicating more than $90 million to critical infrastructure needs.
Thumbs Up: To Senator Nikki Setzler (Lexington) and Representatives Bruce Bannister (Greenville) and Todd Rutherford (Richland) for being elected to lead their respective parties in the Senate and House and to Senator Harvey Peeler for his reelection to the Senate Majority Leader post.
Thumbs Up: To Senators Kevin Bryant (Anderson), Lee Bright (Spartanburg) and Shane Martin (Spartanburg) for their remarks on the Senate floor highlighting that funding infrastructure is a core function of government and must be a top priority in this year’s budget.
Thumbs Down: To Representative Kit Spires (Lexington) for introducing a pharmacy benefit manager bill (again) that would benefit his own business but raise costs for employers and employees by hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
The South Carolina Chamber would like to thank the following: