• New Speaker Elected? Read more about it here!

    • Senate Advances Budget – Last Thursday, after two days of debate, the Senate advanced its $12.6 billion version of the FY2022-23 appropriations bill (H.5150) by a vote of 42-4. Included in the Senate’s version of the budget is over $2 billion to implement the Senate-passed tax relief legislation (S.1087). The spending package now heads back to the House, where they will have the opportunity to amend the proposal before likely sending it to a conference committee that will attempt to iron out the many differences that still exist between the two versions before the July 1st deadline.
    • DHEC Restructuring (S.2) – A House Ways and Means subcommittee advanced legislation that would divide the Department of Health and Environmental Control into two separate cabinet-level agencies: the Department of Behavioral and Public Health and the Department of Environmental Services. The heavily amended subcommittee proposal would delay implementation of the restructuring until July 1, 2024, and instructs the Department of Administration to formulate an implementation plan to submit to the General Assembly that allows for the efficient transferring of programs, services, duties, and authority to the newly established agencies. The bill is now in the full House Ways and Means Committee.
    • New Speaker Elected – On Thursday, current Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith (R-Sumter) was unanimously selected by his colleagues to serve as the next Speaker of the House of Representatives upon the impending May 12th resignation of current Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) who will not be seeking re-election. Majority Leader Gary Simrill (R-Rock Hill), who is also not seeking re-election, will assume the chairmanship of Ways and Means following Smith’s elevation to the speakership and will help guide the House through the likely budget conference negotiations.

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