The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has published an annual Legislative Report since 2010 to provide the state’s business community and the public with information on how state legislators cast their votes on business issues.
The 2020 legislative session was one for the history books – marked by an abrupt end to regular session in mid-March and short, intermittent sessions every few months thereafter to deal with primarily COVID-19-related issues. In the absence of a budget, the legislature enacted a Continuing Resolution – keeping spending levels roughly the same as the previous year. They took action to allocate nearly $1.9 billion of federal CARES Act dollars for South Carolina, prioritizing the Unemployment Trust Fund and rural broadband. Other wins included the passage of bills reauthorizing the Angel Investor tax credit and creating a new credit for developers of affordable workforce housing.
One issue arising out of COVID, a liability safe harbor for businesses acting in good faith, took priority for the business community but the bills introduced did not move far. The Business License Tax Standardization Act passed both the Senate and the House, but the final version includes some troubling language about third party tax auditors operating on a contingency fee basis. Overall, many bills died this session, including Comprehensive Education Reform, as the legislature shifted all of its attention toward COVID-specific items during this unprecedented session, but the General Assembly was able to deliver on some items of critical need to the business community in the COVID-19 era.
Prior Year Reports