Statehouse Update May 2-4

Statehouse Update May 2-4

Just two weeks remain in the regular legislative session. The budget is back with the House after the Senate passed its version last month. Once it passes the House (again), lawmakers from both chambers will sit down in conference committee to decide on the final state budget. Also on the House floor is a bill that would largely eliminate state Certificate of Need requirements for state healthcare providers, which would lower medical costs and improve healthcare access. A number of other significant bills are in committee and on the floor as well. 

In other news, the House last week passed a historic education scholarship bill that now awaits the governor’s signature (read our analysis of the bill to learn more).


  • S.164 – This bill would eliminate state Certificate of Need (CON) requirements for most South Carolina healthcare facilities. CON forces healthcare providers to go through an extensive approval process before constructing or expanding facilities or making certain purchases, and the outcome hasn’t been great for healthcare. Repealing CON would give people more options for healthcare and result in lower prices because of increased competition. The House 3-M Committee recently advanced an amended version of the bill, which now sits on the House floor. Read more about it here.
  • S.343 – This bill would exempt all crisis stabilization unit facilities from Certificate of Need (CON) requirements. Currently, only these facilities which are operated by or in partnership with the Department of Mental Health, and offer services to adults, are exempt from CON. A House 3-M subcommittee is considering the bill Tuesday 1.5 hours after adjournment. 
  • H.4159 – This bill would establish general parameters for practicing telehealth, which allows doctors to provide services remotely to patients. A House 3-M subcommittee is considering the bill Tuesday 1.5 hours after adjournment. 


  • S.208 – This bill would allow counties to impose additional driver’s license and motor vehicle licensing and registration fees on new residents (subject to a local referendum). We oppose this proposal and believe the state should not enact policies that will penalize future residents and deter economic growth. The bill is on the Senate floor, though it is contested. 
  • S.284 – This bill would allow local accommodations and hospitality tax revenue to be spent on the development of “workforce housing”. Such revenue is currently restricted to things more closely associated with tourism, such as improving beach access or paying for tourism-related advertisements. Expanding how these funds can be spent will increase demand for tax revenue and could inspire tax-hike proposals. The House Licenses, Fees, and Other Taxes subcommittee takes up the bill Tuesday after 1.5 hours House adjournment. 


  • H.3253 – This bill would prevent any governing body of a municipality, county, or other political subdivision of the state from enacting or enforcing regulation that bans short term rentals (SRTs). SCPC supports this common-sense proposal (learn more about it here). A House 3-M subcommittee considers the bill Wednesday at 9 AM.  
  • H.3877  This bill would increase the number of anesthesiologists’ assistants than an anesthesiologist can supervise from two to four  a positive step, as the current limit seems rather low. The Senate Medical Affairs Committee considers the bill Thursday at 10 AM. 
  • S.260 – This bill would require anyone who serves alcohol to take a minimum four-hour class with a test and receive a certificate. It would also create a new state alcohol server training fund. While more education and training may be necessary for some, creating a new regulatory regime for all alcohol servers is not the correct approach to this issue. The bill is on the Senate floor, though it is contested. 
  • S.566 – This bill would allow a brewery to sell up to 2,000 barrels of beer each year at retail, wholesale, or both, and deliver or ship the beer to licensed retailers in the state. Beer in amounts over 2,000 barrels would generally be subject to distribution and wholesale provisions in the law. The House Judiciary Committee considers the bill Thursday after House adjournment. 


  • H.3690 – This bill requires the S.C. Retirement System Investment Commission to cast shareholder proxy votes based on pecuniary factors, which means those having a material effect on the financial risk or return of an investment, and excluding those promoting ESG objectives. The RSIC may only delegate shareholder proxy-voting rights to investment managers if they invest based on pecuniary factors, if the commission believes there would be a “superior” economic benefit in doing so, or if the commission wants to avoid a concentration of assets with one or more investment managers.  The Senate Finance Committee takes up the bill Tuesday at 3 PM.
  • S.634 – This non-binding resolution expresses the view of the Senate that public funds should not be dedicated to economic development projects that benefit a corporation that promotes ESG. The resolution is on the Senate floor. 


  • S.95 – This resolution would amend the S.C. Constitution so that the state comptroller general is appointed by the governor with Senate confirmation rather than being elected by voters. The proposed change comes after it was revealed the comptroller’s office is responsible for a $3.5 billion accounting error spanning at least a decade. The resolution is on the Senate floor and needs a two-thirds majority to pass. 



As of Tuesday morning, eight of the Senate’s 15 scheduled committee meetings are scheduled to be livestreamed this week, while 10 of the 13 House meetings are scheduled to be livestreamed. Under a February House bill inspired by SCPC’s research, all legislative committee meetings would have to be livestreamed. Here you can find the full list of House and Senate meetings for the week