Legislative Update

From the Senate: Investing in the Future of South Carolina

Posted

In June, the General Assembly reconvened to pass the state’s budget. H. 5150, South Carolina’s General Appropriations bill for the Fiscal Year of 2021-2022, solidified funding for necessary projects, state agencies and community improvements. The budget, as adopted on June 28:

Appropriates nearly $1 billion in state and federal funds for road projects.

Funds a 3% pay raise for State Employees and covers all increases to health plan premiums.

Appropriates $300 million to the Department of Commerce to assist in job creation and economic development.

Funds the statewide Caring for South Carolina Children initiative.

Appropriates $61 million to increase behavioral health care access across the state so that every citizen has services within 90 miles.

Provides $1 billion to provide up to $850 rebate checks per tax return.

Appropriates $40 million to the Department of Natural Resources for land conservation efforts and $25 million to the Conservation Bank to protect significant natural resources.

Funds the operating costs of State Veterans Nursing Homes.

The budget also increases funding for criminal justice initiatives, including the following:

$15 million to increase salaries for law enforcement and $20 million to increase salaries for correctional officers.

Fully funds 39 new positions at SLED, and fully funds 87 new positions at the Department of Corrections. Fully funds the statewide body camera and vest program.

The budget improves the state’s public education system through the following:

Funds a $4,000 increase to teacher salary.

Funds a 5% pay raise for bus drivers.

Provides $140 million in capital funding for disadvantaged school districts.

Freezes tuition rates for the upcoming year for universities and technical colleges.

Provides $82 million for need-based aid in higher education.

Allocates $39 million to expand tuition-free job training at techincal colleges.

New Laws Enacted in 2022

H. 5182: Establishes the Opioid Recovery Act to use state funds from opioid-related settlements to promote and implement strategies to address opioid-related issues in South Carolina.

S. 108: Establishes a two-week early in- person voting period and allows qualified absentee voters to cast a ballot by mail prior to Election Day.

S. 11: Provides state employees with six weeks of paid leave after giving birth. Provides co-parents two weeks of paid leave.

S. 1087: Lowers the South Carolina income tax rate.

H. 4408 appropriates $2.4 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for roads, rural infrastructure, flood resilience and broadband access.

Working for You

This year, I secured project funding on behalf of my constituents, including funding to address Clarendon County’s abandoned wells and for the Westend Neighborhood Park Construction.

I sponsored S. 210 to extend Medicaid coverage to qualifying individuals under sixty-five years old.

I helped pass S. 436 to provide for three million dollars in community development tax credits throughout South Carolina. I also co-sponsored S. 1077 to issue bonds aimed at alleviating storm-related recovery costs and S. 152, legislation that created the

County Green Spaces Sales Tax Act to fund the preservation of our state’s natural resources and beauty.

I look forward to continue advancing legislation that betters our communities when the Senate reconvenes in January.

Contact Me

My priority as your Senator will always be to serve your best interests. Please do not hesitate to contact me regarding any matter that is important to you. You can reach me at my email address listed below.

Senator Kevin L. Johnson

613 Gressette Building Columbia, South Carolina 29201 KevinJohnson@scsenate.gov.

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