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Major Issues 2021

  • Santee Cooper

  • Fetal Heartbeat

  • Redistricting (Will Begin in March)

  • Budget (Already occurring)

  • Hate Crimes

  • Education Reform


New Members


· Sen. Brian Adams, R Berkeley

· Sen. Billy Garrett, R McCormick

· Sen. Penry Gustafson, R Kershaw

· Sen. Josh Kimbrell, R Spartanburg

· Sen. Michael Johnson, R York

· Sen. Vernon Stephens, D Orangeburg

· Rep. Case Brittain, R Horry

· Rep. Joe Bustos, R Charleston

· Rep. Jerry Carter, R Pickens

· Rep. Vic Dabney, R Kershaw

· Rep. Gil Gatch, R Dorchester

· Rep. Jermaine Johnson, D Richland

· Rep. Kimberly Johnson, D Clarendon

· Rep. RJ May, R Lexington

· Rep. Ryan McCabe, R Lexington

· Rep. Sandy McGarry, R Lancaster

· Rep. Travis Moore, R Spartanburg

· Rep. Chardale Murray, D Charleston

· Rep. Roger Nutt, R Spartanburg

· Rep. Mark Smith, R Berkeley

· Rep. Deon Tedder, D Charleston


Six of the new members will go the Senate Judiciary Committee and six members from Judiciary will switch over to the Senate Finance Committee. 

Senate Leadership of note:

Judiciary Chairman Luke Rankin - 

Finance Chairman Hugh Leatherman

Transportation Chairman Larry Grooms

Labor Commerce and Industry Chairman Thomas Alexander

Education Chairman Greg Hembree

Majority Leader Shane Massey, Minority Leader Brad Hutto

President Harvey Peeler




In the House of Representatives, Republicans held a 79-45 advantage, but made several gains in 2020.

In House District 44 Republican Sandy McGarry upended 2018 Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee and State Representative Mandy Powers Norrell and in House District 52Republican Vic Dabney defeated State Representative Laurie Slade Funderburk. In House District 80, Republican Vincent Wilson narrowly defeated Democrat Jermaine Johnson. (Johnson defeated Democrat twenty-year incumbent Rep. Jimmy Bales in a primary earlier this year.)  

By protecting their incumbents, the Republican margin in the House is looking like a +3, now at 81-43.

House leadership of note:

Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith

Judiciary Chairman Chris Murphy

Labor Commerce and Industry Chairman Bill Sandifer

Education and Transportation Chairman Rita Allison

Speaker Jay Lucas

Majority Leader Gary Simrill Minority Leader Todd Rutherford


Important Dates:

  • House Pre-file dates Dec. 9 and Dec. 16.  

  • Senate Pre-file date Dec. 9

  • Session Start Date Jan. 12, 2021


Economic Outlook

The Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) recently met to update the state’s General Fund forecast for this fiscal year and release the preliminary estimate for the 2021-2022 fiscal year. Based on sales, tax, and employment data, forecasters outlined the following assumptions:  

South Carolina has recovered 70 percent of job losses since the beginning of Covid-19 but expects the remaining jobs to return slowly

Anticipate returning to pre-pandemic employment levels in February 2022

Expect wage growth and proprietor's income to grow but at slower than historical rates

2020-21 Forecast: Gross General Fund revenue is now forecast at $9.45 billion. This estimate was reduced by another $50 million from the August estimate of $9.50 billion (the August estimate reduced the forecast $52.1 million from the May estimate of $9.55 billion). For reference, in February of this year, the BEA predicted General Fund revenue of $10.25 billion for FY 2020-21. Although the new adjustments downgrade the forecast, the new forecast would remain $36.3 million above the FY 2020-21 budget. The state also still has an $811 million one-time surplus. The legislature will have the option to approve an FY 2020-21 spending plan when they return in January or can choose to continue to operate under the current Continuing Resolution and pass a new budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Preliminary 2021-22 Forecast:Gross General Fund revenue is expected to grow slightly to $9.61 billion (a 1.7% percent increase from FY 20-21). This growth is predicted to equate to approximately $182.2 million in additional recurring funds. There is still expected to be nearly $1 billion in one-time funds that should be available ($987.4 million).This forecast will be updated in February.

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