House Floor Actions
March 13, 2023
The House concurred in Senate amendments to H. 3604 (Project Scout), a joint resolution appropriating $1.2 billion from the Fiscal Year 2021-2022 Contingency Reserve Fund and $86
million from the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 projected general fund surplus for infrastructure
funding to foster economic development and enrolled the legislation for ratification (R. 0006).
The legislation facilitates Project Connect, the construction of a manufacturing facility near
Blythewood, in Richland County, by Scout Motors, a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group, to
produce electric trucks and sport utility vehicles. The Department of Commerce is appropriated
$1 billion to provide funding to Project Connect for: (1) road access and improvements,
including a new interchange on Interstate Highway 77; (2) water and wastewater infrastructure;
(3) required site improvements and mitigation; (4) a railroad bridge over I-77 to support rail
spur construction; (5) a training center run by Midlands Technical College to train workers for
the manufacturing facility; (6) land acquisition; (7) soil stabilization; and (8) other necessary
purposes as recommended by the Department of Commerce for Project Connect, subject to
review and comment by the Joint Bond Review Committee. Provisions are made for a $200
million loan for additional soil stabilization that is not eligible for forgiveness and must be paid
back to South Carolina.
The following are some items of interest in the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 State Government Budget passed by the House. The budget now goes to the Senate for them to ammend and then send back to the House later this year where a conference committee of 3 House members and 3 Senators will finalize the budget and present to both bodies.
The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H. 4300, the General
Appropriation Bill, and H. 4301, the joint resolution making appropriations from the Capital
Reserve Fund, which together comprise the $13 billion Fiscal Year 2023-2024 State
After $796 million is transferred to the Tax Relief Trust Fund that
provides for the residential property tax caps, $11.4 billion in recurring revenue is available for
appropriation ($1 billion of that is new recurring revenue). The budget’s $1.6 billion in
nonrecurring revenue includes $209 million in Capital Reserve Funds.
The Capital Reserve Fund is devoted to capital needs at the state’s colleges, universities, and
technical schools with the $209 million in these nonrecurring funds allocated among the
institutions for construction, repairs, renovations, and maintenance of various facilities.
The budget funds the enhancements to the state financial reserve accounts, used to cover
revenue shortfalls, as provided for in the amendments to the South Carolina Constitution that
were approved by voters in the 2022 general election and ratified by the General Assembly.
$140 million is used for the first phase of the General Reserve Fund increase. $181 million is
used to increase the state’s Capital Reserve Fund from two to three percent of General Fund
In keeping with the “Comprehensive Tax Cut Act of 2022,” $96.2 million in recurring funds is
used for the second year of the tax relief schedule, allowing the highest income tax bracket to
be lowered from 6.5 percent to 6.4 percent.
The Department of Transportation is afforded $200 million in nonrecurring funds for repair and
maintenance of the state’s bridges.
The County Transportation Committees are allocated $250 million in nonrecurring funds to
accelerate projects on the state’s lower volume and secondary roads.
The state’s commercial airports receive $50 million in nonrecurring funds for capital
State employee pay raises ($124 million): full-time state employees who make no more than
$83,000 a year receive a $2,500 increase in base pay and full-time employees making more
than $83,000 a year receive a 3 percent salary increase The salary increase is structured so that
no state employee will receive less than a 3 percent raise and 86 percent of employees will
receive more than a 3 percent raise.
$40 million is used to reduce the unfunded liability of state retirement plans, completing the
final year of the pension stabilization commitment adopted in Act 13 of 2017.
The state’s health insurance plan receives $122 million in recurring funds to cover the increased
costs of operating (with no additional monthly premium costs).
The budget invests $590 million new dollars in K-12 public education.
The budget legislation includes the revised educational funding formula established last year
that consolidates numerous budget lines into the single State Aid to Classrooms. This year,
additional lines are consolidated into the simplified funding stream. The funding formula’s
weightings continue to apply, including those added last year to emphasize more funding for
students in poverty and students with disabilities. After satisfying fundamental requirements,
local school districts are afforded greater flexibility in spending State Aid to Classrooms.
Districts are subject to accountability and transparency requirements for publishing their
expenditures of federal, state, and local funds online.
An average per pupil of $5,377 is provided in State Aid to Classrooms.
The budget provides for a $2,500 teacher pay increase across all salary levels. This allows the
state’s starting salary for teachers to increase from $40,000 to $42,500.
Education Improvement Act:
• $3 million in recurring funds is provided to increase the amount that each teacher is
provided for purchasing classroom supplies (from $300 to $350).
• $30 million in nonrecurring funds is appropriated for instructional materials.
• $42 million in nonrecurring Education Improvement Act funds is provided for the
Literacy Instruction Program to expand training in Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading
and Spelling to all K-3 teachers in the state. Teachers who complete this LETRS training in the
science of reading are compensated with a $500 stipend.
• $10.2 million in recurring funds is allocated to the Child Early Reading and
Developmental Education Program.
• $9.5 million in recurring funds is appropriated for career and technology education.
• $2 million in recurring funds is provided for the Jobs for America’s Graduates program.
• $1.8 million in recurring funds is appropriated for Teach to One math resources and
• $3 million in recurring funds is provided for computer science education.
• $2 million in recurring is appropriated for intensive developmental education and
• $15 million in nonrecurring is appropriated for high intensity tutoring efforts to recover
from the educational losses resulting from the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
• $10 million in nonrecurring funds is provided for instructional support for school
• The State Department of Education Grants Committee is afforded $14 million in
nonrecurring Education Improvement Act funds.
$16.7 million is used to raise state per pupil expenditures from $300 to $5,1000 for SC
Department of Education and First Steps full day 4-K.
Capital Funding for Disadvantaged Schools: $120 million (in the allocation of these funds,
incentives are provided for school and school district consolidation). $20 million of this funding
is devoted to school safety upgrades including new door locks, bulletproof glass, and security
measures for school entry points.
School bus drivers: $17.3 million in recurring funds is appropriated to provide a 20 percent
School bus purchasing and leasing: $21 million in nonrecurring funds is allocated — along with
$11 million in lottery funds and provisions for spending unclaimed prize money.
Department of Public Safety: $14.9 million in recurring funding is provided for school resource
officers (enough to provide an SRO for every school).
A provision is included that prohibits school districts, or any of their schools, from using any
funds appropriated or authorized by the budget legislation to offer students any monetary
incentive or inducement to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The budget continues to include a higher education tuition mitigation initiative in which a total
of $69 million in additional recurring funds is distributed among the state’s institutions of
higher learning. To retain these appropriations, the institutions must comply with provisions
for freezing in-state tuition and mandatory fees during the 2023-2024 academic year for all instate undergraduate students at all public four-year and two-year University of South Carolina
As noted earlier, the Capital Reserve Fund is devoted to capital needs at the state’s colleges,
universities, and technical schools with the $209 million in these nonrecurring funds allocated
among the institutions for construction, repairs, renovations, and maintenance of various
Full funding is provided in Education Lottery funds for the LIFE, HOPE, and Palmetto Fellows
higher education scholarship programs.
Tuition grants: $51 million (in lottery funds is provided through CHE and the Board of Technical
and Comprehensive Education).
Need-based grants: the Commission on Higher Education is provided $80 million in lottery
The Higher Education Tuition Grant Commission is allocated $20 million in lottery funds.
The Commission on Higher Education College Transition Program Scholarships to assist
individuals with disabilities: $4 million in lottery funds.
MUSC receives $5 million in lottery funds for SC First Scholarships that place physicians in rural
areas and other underserved communities.
Nursing Initiative (the Commission on Higher Education): $10 million in lottery funds.
The USC system is afforded $3.5 million in lottery funds for its Carolina Internship Program.
The Board of Technical and Comprehensive Education is afforded $100 million in lottery funds
for SC Workforce Industry Needs scholarships that help provide full tuition at technical colleges
for SC WINS recipients seeking degrees in industry sectors with critical workforce needs.
Ready SC Program: $2 million in lottery funds (to the which provides worker training at the
state’s technical colleges that is customized to the needs of new and expanding business and
Tech Board SC Youth and Small Business Grants: $3.5 million in lottery funds.
The Tech Board is afforded $7 million in lottery funds for high demand job skill training
The Department of Employment and Workforce is afforded $7.4 million for statewide
Deal Closing Fund that the Department of Commerce uses to recruit new business to the state:
$3.7 million in nonrecurring funds.
The Department of Commerce is afforded $10 million in nonrecurring funds for the Locate SC
Site Inventory, $5.5 million for strategic marketing, and $200,000 in recurring funds for SC
Manufacturing Extension Partnerships.
The Rural Infrastructure Authority: $5 million in recurring funds for Water Quality Revolving
Loan Fund match and $2 million in recurring funds for planning and technical assistance for
small and rural utilities.
The Department of Agriculture receives $20 million in nonrecurring funds for its Growing
Agribusiness Fund, $1.1 million in nonrecurring funds for consumer services equipment
replacement, $500,000 in recurring funds for marketing SC agricultural products, $500,000 in
recurring funds for agribusiness infrastructure, and $1.9 million in nonrecurring funds for
enhancements to local farmers’ markets.
Clemson PSA: $3 million in nonrecurring funds for its poultry research facility, $1 million in
nonrecurring funds for statewide program support, and $2.1 million in nonrecurring funds for
critical research infrastructure and dam maintenance.
SC State PSA: $2.5 million in nonrecurring funds for agribusiness development and expansion
support, $2.5 million in nonrecurring funds for the Camp Daniels Training and Activity Center,
and $500,000 in recurring funds for agriculture innovation research.
The Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism receives $12 million in nonrecurring funds
for destination specific tourism marketing grants, $2.5 million for SC Association of Tourism
Regions promotions, $25 million in nonrecurring funds for state park development,
enhancements, and maintenance, $7.5 million in nonrecurring funds for film incentives, $3
million in nonrecurring funds for its Sports Marketing Program, $250,000 in nonrecurring funds
for the Undiscovered SC Grant Program, and $2.1 million in nonrecurring funds for the state’s
The Arts Commission is provided $2.5 million in nonrecurring funds for arts education programs
and $450,000 in nonrecurring funds for cultural arts and theater center grants.
The Department of Archives and History receives $100,000 in recurring funds for the SC African
American Heritage Commission, $500,000 in nonrecurring funds for Historic Preservation
Grants, and $1 million in nonrecurring funds for the commemoration of the 250th anniversary
of the American Revolution in South Carolina.
The Department of Natural Resources is provided $20 million in nonrecurring funds for habitat
protection and land conservation acquisitions and $10 million in nonrecurring funds for marine
resources coastal infrastructure maintenance.
The Conservation Bank is provided $18 million in nonrecurring funds for conservation grant
The Department of Health and Environmental Control is afforded $47.5 million in nonrecurring
funds for the Dam Safety Emergency Fund, $5.6 million in recurring funds for permitting
services, $1 million in recurring funds for the Uncontrolled Hazardous Waste Sites Contingency
Fund, $1 million in recurring funds for the air quality program, $753,830 in recurring funds for
local community management of coastal resources, $540,125 in recurring funds for the
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Program, $842,192 in recurring funds for obesity
prevention, and $100,000 in recurring funds for childhood lead screening.
The Department of Health and Human Services receives $117 million in recurring funds for
annualizations for Federal Medical Assistance Percentages state increase and Medicare rate
increases, $42 million in recurring funds for Medicaid program maintenance of effort, $36.8
million in recurring funds for Medicaid provider rate adjustments and access to services, $10
million in recurring funds for the BabyNet Program, $2.4 million in recurring funds for
pregnancy crisis centers, and $10 million in nonrecurring funds for the Rural Brain Health
The Department of Mental Health is afforded $2.9 million in recurring funds for its suicide
prevention hotline, $8.8 million in recurring funds for veterans nursing homes and long-term
care facilities, $1.5 million in recurring funds for the sexually violent predator treatment
program, and $4 million in nonrecurring funds to expand its alternative transportation program.
The budget emphasizes funding for salary increases and retention programs for nurses and
mental health professionals across various agencies.
The Department of Disabilities and Special Needs is allocated $3.7 million in recurring funds for
regional center direct support professional career path, $1.4 million in recurring funds for
maintenance of effort in quality assurance of waiver services, $4 million in nonrecurring funds
for annualizations for Federal Medical Assistance Percentages state increase, $2 million in
nonrecurring funds for the Greenwood Genetic Center along with $2 million in nonrecurring
funds for its Carroll Campbell Project for conducting genetic research for the treatment of
The Department of Social Services is afforded $13 million in recurring funds for support for
South Carolina’s children and adults, $9.5 million for infrastructure integrity and information
security, and $3 million in nonrecurring funds for Healthy Bucks to encourage recipients of the
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to purchase additional fresh fruits and vegetables
with their SNAP EBT cards.
The Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services receives $2 million in nonrecurring
funds for the SC Center for Excellence in Addiction to counter the opioid crisis and other
substance abuse issues.
The budget emphasizes funding for salary increases and retention programs for law
enforcement and correctional officers.
Provisions are included that allow retirees in the Police Officers Retirement System to be
exempt from earnings limitations if they return to work in a critical needs law enforcement
Department of Corrections and the Department of Juvenile Justice – $50 million in nonrecurring
funds is provided for safety upgrades and other critical capital needs.
$3.9 million in recurring funds is provided for the additional Circuit and Family Court Judges
approved in Act 233 of 2022 along with their staff. $1.5 million is appropriated for court
The Prosecution Coordination Commission receives $14.5 million in recurring funds and the
Commission on Indigent Defense receives $11.2 million in recurring funds for personnel and
retention programs to reduce the growing court case backlog which has become particularly
severe following the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding is paired with
reporting requirements for demonstrating whether progress is being made in reducing court
The Adjutant General receives $3.3 million in nonrecurring funds for armory revitalization.
The Department of Veterans’ Affairs is afforded $255,000 in recurring funds for the Burial
Honor Guard Support Fund and $5 million in nonrecurring funds for the Military Enhancement
Plan Fund that is used for awarding grants to communities surrounding military installations.
Volunteer Strategic Assistance and Fire Equipment (V-SAFE) Program: $3 million in recurring
funds is provided for the grants to volunteer fire departments and combination departments
for purchasing protective gear, vehicles, and other firefighting equipment and for funding such
initiatives as firefighter training and upgrades to fire stations.
The Forestry Commission receives $2.3 million in nonrecurring funds for emergency operations
Disaster Relief and Resilience Reserve Fund: $20 million in nonrecurring funds.
Local Government Fund: $13.2 million in recurring funds is included for full funding of the Local
Government Fund that is consistent with the revised approach for sending revenue to political
subdivisions established in Act 84 of 2019.
A provision is included that prohibits a political subdivision that receives money in the budget
from expending any funds, regardless of their source, to enact or enforce an ordinance that
prohibits short-term rentals unless the political subdivision also provides financial incentives for
the purchase and rental of affordable housing and zoning allowances in exchange for an
affordable covenant of at least twenty years. The State Treasurer is directed to withhold the
political subdivision’s portion of the Local Government Fund if a political subdivision violates
this provision or enacts any such ordinance.
The budget reduces the Comptroller General’s salary to one dollar.
Department of Motor Vehicles: $35 million in nonrecurring funds is provided for information
technology system modernization.
$8 million is provided to the Department of Transportation for litter removal initiatives.
The House gave reading to H. 3433, legislation that requires the Department of Natural
Resources to provide notice (by mail) of the suspension of saltwater privileges or hunting and
fishing privileges. The giving of notice by mail is complete ten days after the deposit of the
notice and ends the same day the following year. The bill removes the mail return receipt
request requirement. As a result, the Department must certify that the notice has been sent as
required and is presumptive proof that the requirements as to notice of suspension have been
met even if the notice has not been received by the addressee. A person may, within thirty
days after notice of suspension, request in writing a review. A person whose privileges have
been suspended may appeal the decision of the Department under the Administrative