Senate Marlon Kimpson unveils economic plan for SC families

James Cowen says goodbye to his daughter Samantha Cowen, 2, after dropping her off to daycare. (AP File)

(WCBD) —  Leveling the playing field for working families and the middle class in South Carolina. That’s the goal of legislation filed at the statehouse by Charleston Senator Marlon Kimpson.

On Tuesday, February 7, Kimpson filed legislation designed to help those two groups. “I’m a supporter of incentives to lure new companies and keep businesses in South Carolina, but it’s also about time we level the playing field for working families and the middle class so South Carolinians can earn enough to care for and support their families, afford a home, have access to quality, affordable health care, and be able to retire securely,” said Kimpson.

According to the 2014 Census Bureau:

South Carolina had the 11th highest percentage of people living in poverty at 18 percent in 2014. That figure was above the national average of 15.5 percent.

For 2014, the poverty situation was worse for the state’s children. That year, South Carolina ranked fifth in the nation for the percentage of children under 18 living in poverty.

On average, over the five-year period from 2010 to 2014, the percentage of working-age people – those 18 to 64 – living in poverty was 17.1 percent.

On average, over the five-year period from 2010 to 2014, fewer than 16 percent of South Carolina households had a household income of less than $15,000. That number included any government benefits received.

“These statistics are alarming. We need to focus on providing South Carolina’s working families with economic security to grow our economy and create good jobs,” added Kimpson. Kimpson’s legislative items include the following:


BILLS

TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 11 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 12-6-3632 SO AS TO ALLOW AN 12 INCOME TAX CREDIT EQUAL TO TWENTY PERCENT OF 13 THE FEDERAL EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT.

TO AMEND CHAPTER 1, TITLE 4 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO COUNTIES, BY ADDING SECTION 4‑1‑160, TO ALLOW COUNTY GOVERNMENTS TO INCREASE BUILDING FEES UP TO TEN PERCENT AND REQUIRE COUNTY GOVERNMENTS TO USE THE MONEY FROM THE INCREASE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAMS; AND TO AMEND SECTION 5‑25‑310, TO ALLOW MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENTS TO INCREASE BUILDING PERMIT FEES UP TO TEN PERCENT AND TO REQUIRE THE MUNICIPALITY TO USE THE MONEY COLLECTED FROM THE INCREASE TOWARD AFFORDABLE HOUSING PROGRAMS.

TO AMEND SECTION 12-24-10(A) OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO DEED RECORDING FEES, TO ALLOW AN INCREASE IN THE DEED RECORDING FEE BY TWENTY CENTS AND TO REQUIRE TEN CENTS OF THE INCREASE TO GO TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE HOUSING FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY AND TEN CENTS TO LOCAL AND REGIONAL HOUSING TRUST FUNDS FOR USE TOWARD AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

TO AMEND ARTICLE 25, CHAPTER 6, TITLE 12 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO TAX CREDITS, BY ADDING SECTION 12‑6‑3800, TO ALLOW A TAXPAYER WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A FEDERAL LOW‑INCOME HOUSING TAX CREDIT TO CLAIM A LOW‑INCOME STATE TAX CREDIT IN AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE FEDERAL TAX CREDIT.

TO AMEND CHAPTER 7, TITLE 6 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO PLANNING BY LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, TO ENACT THE “SOUTH CAROLINA INCLUSIONARY ZONING ACT,” BY ADDING ARTICLE 5, TO PROVIDE THAT COUNTIES AND MUNICIPALITIES MAY UTILIZE INCLUSIONARY ZONING STRATEGIES TO INCREASE THE AVAILABILITY OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

TO AMEND ARTICLE 25, CHAPTER 6, TITLE 12 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE SOUTH CAROLINA INCOME TAX ACT, BY ADDING SECTION 12‑6‑3710, TO ALLOW A TAX CREDIT FOR ANY TAXPAYER WHO EMPLOYS A FORMERLY INCARCERATED INDIVIDUAL AS A FULL‑TIME EMPLOYEE; TO SPECIFY THE TAXES FOR WHICH THE CREDIT MAY BE APPLIED; TO ALLOW THE CREDIT FOR TWENTY‑FOUR CONSECUTIVE MONTHS FOR EACH FORMERLY INCARCERATED INDIVIDUAL; TO SPECIFY ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS; AND TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS.

TO AMEND TITLE 41 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT, TO ENACT THE EARNED PAID SICK LEAVE ACT, TO PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYEES SHALL ACCRUE EARNED PAID AND EARNED UNPAID SICK LEAVE; TO PROVIDE FOR THE METHOD OF AND LIMITS OF ACCRUAL; TO PROVIDE FOR THE CIRCUMSTANCES UNDER WHICH AN EMPLOYEE MAY USE EARNED PAID OR EARNED UNPAID SICK LEAVE; TO PROVIDE FOR CERTIFICATION OF THE REASONS FOR WHICH EARNED PAID OR EARNED UNPAID SICK LEAVE IS USED; TO PROVIDE THAT AN EMPLOYER CANNOT HINDER AN EMPLOYEE’S USE OF EARNED PAID OR EARNED UNPAID SICK LEAVE; TO PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYERS MAY NOT PENALIZE A PERSON FOR PROPERLY USING EARNED PAID OR EARNED UNPAID SICK LEAVE; TO PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYERS WHO ALREADY HAVE POLICIES THAT EXCEED THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER DO NOT HAVE TO CHANGE THOSE POLICIES; TO PROVIDE THAT EMPLOYEES MUST PROVIDE REASONABLE NOTICE TO EMPLOYERS BEFORE USING EARNED PAID OR EARNED UNPAID SICK LEAVE IF POSSIBLE; TO PROVIDE FOR NOTICE OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS CHAPTER TO EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES; AND TO DEFINE NECESSARY TERMS.

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