This Week in Columbia & Raleigh
The state capitol’s in Columbia and Raleigh were busy again this week. The South Carolina General Assembly had a one-day session, while the North Carolina General Assembly continued their interim work before session begins again next week.
The South Carolina General Assembly gaveled back into session this week. The main objective was to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government past June 30 and provide emergency funding for COVID-19 related requests.
The continuing resolution passed almost unanimously in both chambers on Tuesday. Here are some of the highlights:
- $25 million appropriated for additional COVID-19 testing
- $15 million appropriated for safety measures of the June elections
- $155 million appropriated from surplus funds for a COVD-19 reserve account
- Funding for the hiring of 1,000 contact tracers to monitor the spread of COVID-19
The South Carolina General Assembly may comeback in June to appropriate the nearly $2 billion in federal aid it received as a part of the CARES Act.
However, the sine die resolution passed indicates the South Carolina General Assembly will gavel back into session in September. They intended to finish the state 2020-2021 state budget and continue exploring tax reform measures, including the business license reforms.
The North Carolina General Assembly conducted business this week ahead of their next legislative session, which begins on May 18. The House Select Committee on COVID-19 working groups began meeting again this week. In fact, three of the four met this week. Below are some brief highlights:
- Economic Support: This working group tackled one main issue this week. The focus was on modernizing debt settlement prohibitions. The committee heard a presentation from Greg Roney from legislative analysis. You can read the draft bill here and a summary here.
- Health Care: This working group heard updates from Sec. Mandy Cohen and other key health care stakeholders like: North Carolina Board of Nursing, Association of Home and Hospice Care, and the Assisted Living Association.
- Education: This working group heard updates related to school nutrition, the broadband infrastructure office, and public health’s perspective on reopening schools for the 2020-2021 school year.
If you are interested in going back and watching or listening to any of the updates from these key stakeholders, you can visit the House Select Committee on COVID-19 website.
The legislature’s joint Revenue Laws Study Committee met yesterday to discuss some procedural changes to the tax code. However, one of the major points of discussion centered around how to handle loan forgiveness benefits from the Paycheck Protection Program. The committee’s intent is to ensure that businesses that received benefits would not be taxed on those benefits.
Posted by: Joe Bost, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs @ 1:30:00 pm