Crossover Looms, Update on Roads, & EMTs
If you’ve been able to follow the status of the legislation to reform DOT and fix our roads and bridges, your head is likely close to spinning at this point. To recap: In 2014 a House committee was formed to study how to best go about reforming the DOT and fixing our roads and bridges. The House acted on that committee’s recommendations passing a bill the first part of 2015, sending the “roads bill” to the Senate where it sat for one year. As election season rolled around in 2016 the Senate sent the bill back to us. We acted swiftly adding in strong DOT reform components and sent it right back to them for their approval which had they given would have placed a bill on Governor Haley’s desk for her signature this week.
However, as expected, the Senate voted this week to “non-concur” with our conservative roads bill and the legislation now heads to a conference committee. A conference committee is comprised of three members of the Senate and three members of the House. The six conferees will now meet regularly to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill eventually (and I hope swiftly) producing a conference report which is a final piece of legislation that, should it pass both the House and Senate, will head to Governor Haley for her signature or veto.
Thank you to those of you who have reached out to express your concerns about legislation you would like to see advanced prior to the crossover deadline May 1st. Committees worked overtime to move bills to the House floor where my colleagues and I will vote on each matter.
Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) are a valued part of our family of first responders that serve our state each and every day. This week the House unanimously passed legislation exempting permanently and totally disabled former EMTs from paying homeowner property taxes. The measure adds permanently and totally disabled EMTs to the existing homeowner property tax exemption that is currently extended to permanently and totally disabled military veterans, former law enforcement officers, and former firefighters.
As always, it is a privilege to serve you in the South Carolina House. If you ever need help with state government, or have any thoughts or concerns about what we are doing, please to not hesitate to contact me.