Join us for a new type of Legislative Day for 2017! We will begin in the afternoon with a tour of the State House at noon and then head over to the My Carolina Alumni Center from 3-5 p.m. for a program of speakers. Governor Henry McMaster will be speaking as well as other state level elected officials and member of our local delegation. Following the program, we will have an evening reception for the General Assembly.
Governor Henry McMaster
2017 Legislative Day - Hot Topics
As we approach the Chamber’s 2017 Legislative Day visit to our state’s capital, there are numerous pieces of legislation being discussed that are of major importance to Sumter and to the state of South Carolina.
During last weekend’s Chamber retreat, one of our breakout sessions focused on Legislative & Military Affairs and how we as an organization can affect positive change. Among the feedback received was the need for the Chamber to place a greater focus on advocacy for our community at the state level. In the future, our plan is to publish a list of legislative priorities that we believe will help our community to grow and prosper.
Here is a brief update on issues at the State House and what will be just a portion of next week’s Legislative Day program.
Transportation & Infrastructure As a carryover from 2016, one of this year’s hottest topics is funding for transportation and infrastructure. House Bill 3516 is scheduled to begin debate this week. Though it appears the House and the Senate will have their own variations on level of funding needed and how that funding will be secured, it is evident that an increase in the state’s gasoline tax is very likely.
Business Licensing Reform Other bills of heavy importance to our community involve Business Licensing Reform. Currently, the South Carolina General Assembly and the South Carolina Municipal Association are in discussions to determine the best way to establish a streamlined process that reduces costs for local businesses while ensuring other taxes are not increased or added by communities due to loss of revenues from business license fees.
Medical Marijuana A new topic being heavily weighed is whether South Carolina should legalize medical marijuana. The medical, law enforcement, and business communities are taking a hard look at this legislation and how it could affect South Carolina.
This year the agenda will also have a new twist. We will be incorporating a guided tour of the State House at noon for anyone interested in attending, with official program beginning at 3pm in the My Carolina Alumni Center at 900 Senate Street.
Our program will run from 3-5pm and will open with Governor Henry McMaster, followed by Major Frank O’Neal with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and Darrell Scott, contract lobbyist for the Mid-State Chamber Coalition. We will also have an opportunity to hear from our own legislative delegation.
Immediately following the program, we will have a reception where our attendees will have an opportunity to network with members from the General Assembly.
Chris Hardy, CCE, IOM President & CEO Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce