A week ago Thursday marked “Sine Die” for the SC General Assembly, the last scheduled day of the 2022 legislative session. Sort of.
Despite this year’s session being technically over, legislators will be returning on June 15 to take care of unfinished business.
While the General Assembly checked off several items on their to-do list – early voting, minimum standards for police training, fixing the sex offender registry, ban lower pay for disabled workers, and officially calling for a national convention to amend the U.S. Constitution – other legislation didn’t make it to the finish line. Supporters of splitting DHEC, creating hate crimes law, streamlining the approval process for new hospitals, and legalizing medicinal marijuana will have for next year’s legislative session.
Other bills passed both houses, but the House of Representatives and Senate passed different versions of them which will have to be addressed in a conference committee. That includes most prominently the state budget – the Senate version includes a $1 billion tax cut and $1 billion one-time rebate, while the House version offers a $600 million tax cut and increased spending for transportation and local project and rural schools.
Conference committees will also be formed to forge compromise on creating vouchers for K-12 private school students, and banning “Carolina squat” trucks that have been modified so their front is much higher than the rear of the vehicle.
But, of course, the budget is the focus of activity. Once it’s passed, the General Assembly is prepared to return later in June to address potential gubernatorial vetoes.