A new budget bill

The big news from last week’s legislative session is that the state’s revenue projections, despite the COVID pandemic, are higher than expected and will cause the House to revisit our budget bill.

The SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office released revised revenue estimates that show $1.3 billion in new non-recurring revenue, which includes a $647 million current budget surplus, and $385 million in recurring new general fund revenue.

The Ways and Means Committee will look at writing a new budget bill that considers some needed state employee pay raises and legitimate state agency needs, while working to eliminate wasteful spending and ensuring a balanced budget.

The House passed its annual tax conformity bill that puts the state and federal tax codes in line. This is an important bill to ensure that when you go to file your taxes, our state rules match those of the federal government.

This year we had a very large amount of people file for unemployment in SC due to the pandemic conditions and shut-down. This bill exempts the first $10,000 of benefits these folks received from state tax income, ensuring that they are not penalized for the hardships they involuntarily faced.

Last Thursday was crossover day in the legislature. Any legislation that clears either the House or Senate after crossover day requires a two-thirds majority vote to even be debated by the other body this year, greatly narrowing down bills that can pass both houses this year.

House Speaker Jay Lucas appointed me to serve on a joint House and Senate ad hoc committee to study river flooding in Georgetown and Horry counties caused by Duke Energy dam released water. The committee will hold its first meeting this Tuesday.

The Georgetown County Legislative Delegation (comprised of Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, Sen. Ronnie Sabb, Rep. Carl Anderson and myself) met last Monday to make appointment recommendations to Gov. McMaster for various county boards and commissions.

All South Carolinians age 16 and up are eligible for COVID vaccinations. Click here to find a vaccination provider.

34.5% of South Carolinians have started the vaccination process. 20% are fully vaccinated. 2,169,505 vaccines have been given to South Carolina residents to date.

It’s an honor to represent District 108 in the House. Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt

Please click here to donate to my reelection campaign.