Tonight, at 11:59 pm, it’s “Crossover Day” at the Statehouse. This is the day when legislation has to cross from the House to the Senate, or the Senate to the House, and still be considered under the normal rules. After crossover, it requires a two-thirds vote to be considered. Essentially, hundreds of bills will die unless they’re non-controversial (memorial resolutions) or extremely important (the tax conformity bill we mention below).
This is one month before “Sine Die” which is Latin for “without days” … the final day of the legislative session May 10th is the last day of session… except when it’s not. The General Assembly usually passes a “sine die resolution” that allows the General Assembly to stand in recess all summer pending the call of the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. The General Assembly routinely comes in a few weeks after sine die to take up gubernatorial vetoes, conference committee reports, and other business. There’s already a sine die adjournment bill for 2018.
We’ve written in weekly updates and op-eds about the Manufacturer Liability Protection Act and the Automatic Stay legislation – which were our two notable pro-business victories this year
- What made crossover?
GHS Agreement: S. 1116, a bill that ratifies the restructuring of the Greenville Health System, was passed as local legislation out of the Senate a couple weeks ago and is now in the House. The Chamber supported the compromise bill and is now in the House for consideration.
High-Impact Tax Incentives: S. 404 expands job development credits, a valuable recruitment incentive the state uses to attract industry. The bill essentially opens the credit up companies that may lease space for white-collar jobs, rather than reserving them largely for manufacturing. This legislation passed the Senate, but has been stuck in the House Ways & Means Committee.
Affordable Housing: H. 3867 is a bill that incentivizes developers to partner with non-profits to build affordable housing – a desperate need in Greenville. There's an effort by opponents of this bill to strip the housing tax credits from the bill; we've been working against those efforts. This bill passed the House last year and is stuck on third reading in the Senate. Several unrelated amendments were approved a few weeks ago that may weigh down the bill and negatively impact its passage.
Expungement: Our expungement legislation passed the House 103-0 last year, and has been stuck in the Senate on the contested calendar. Over the summer and fall before the 2018 session, opponents of the bill had time to rally. Opponents want to water down the bill by only expunging misdemeanors. That will still help people, but won’t solve the workforce issues of whether a mistake means you have to check the “have you been convicted of a felony” box for the rest of your life. If it gets watered down, it will fall far short of helping expand our workforce and reduce recidivism.
- What won’t make crossover tonight?
DACA: The March 5th DACA deadline became somewhat arbitrary for Congress, and legislation at the state level to allow DACA recipients to obtain occupational licenses also failed to gain momentum this session.
Angel Investor Credit Extension: This bill would reauthorize Angel investor tax credits, a credit used to incentive venture capitalists to invest in South Carolina startups. Since the credit sunsets in December of 2019, it has to be reauthorized. A number of personal and political hurdles doomed this bill in 2018. Unfortunately, this bill didn’t make the crossover deadline, and we'll be re-filing it for the 2019 session.
Tax Conformity: South Carolina must pass legislation to conform to the new federal tax laws in order to keep South Carolinians from paying an additional $200 million in taxes next year. The tax conformity bill did not make crossover, however, conformity bills have generally been easy to move through the legislature. Most observers think this will pass this year.
So, that’s a quick wrap from our auxiliary office in Columbia this morning. Sign up for our weekly updates, and we’ll fill you in Friday on what happened this week.