2023 South Carolina Agenda

  • Implement teacher pay bands to allow districts to better attract high preforming teachers.
  • Make it easier for mid-career professionals to switch to teaching, specifically in STEM fields.
  • Support continued investment in state colleges and universities, including critical infrastructure needs, to mitigate the tuition burden for South Carolina Students.
  • Expand funding the free tuition programs for technical college students.
  • Support policies that will increase educational attainment of our students and workforce.
  • Seek solutions to expand the accessibility and the affordability of childcare to ensure working parents may fully participate in the workforce.

  • Reform our recruiting incentives to make it easier to attract significant investments in knowledge-based and corporate headquarters jobs.
  • Ensure the remaining ARPA funds are used on transformative infrastructure projects.
  • As we advertise and promote our state’s natural areas, we must increase state investment in our parks and recreation areas to ensure they can meet visitor demands and remain preserved for future generations.
  • Increase state funding for transit operations to enhance mobility for education, healthcare, and jobs.
  • Remove barriers and provide new incentives in partnership with local governments to develop workforce and affordable housing projects.
  • Improve access to capital for small businesses and entrepreneurs in our state.

  • Re-institute joint and several protections for businesses to reasonably reflect fault in tort actions.
  • Continue work on tax reform to ensure our income tax rates are in-line with our neighbors in the Southeast and ensure it is more fair, equitable, and competitive for the business community.
  • Support policies to make our state a more welcoming state for business growth and talent attraction and retention.
  • The General Assembly must close the South Carolina Retirement System to new employees and move to a defined contribution plan to better serve new employees, preserve the system for current retirees, and protect taxpayers from the deepening fiscal hole.
  • Continue to review state laws to expand the expungement opportunities for non-violent offenses, prepare returning citizens for high-demand job opportunities, and reform occupational licensing for citizens with non-violent criminal records.

2023 Federal Agenda

Legal immigration is directly tied to economic growth. Immigration brings a disproportionate number of entrepreneurs into our economy and brings in young workers to offset the retiring population of Baby Boomers. We urge Congress to work on common sense immigration reform that addresses the long-term needs of the American economy.

  • Congress should make permanent the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program so thousands of South Carolinians may have confidence in their immigration status.
  • Congress needs to expand legal immigration avenues to help companies meet their workforce needs.
  • Our Coalition supports reforms on visas for skilled workers – including expanding visa caps and reforming the system to make these visas more accessible for smaller businesses.

International trade powers the Upstate’s economy. The Upstate Chamber Coalition supports trade deals that will expand our access to international trade and open markets for Upstate goods.

  • The Coalition will continue to fight for international trade policies that will benefit the Upstate economy – including lowering tariffs on allied countries and promoting trade deals that will benefit Upstate exporters.
  • The United States needs a comprehensive energy policy that incorporates an “all-of-the-above” approach, including renewables and other non-carbon emitting sources such as nuclear energy.