On March 10, a subcommittee of the South Carolina House Judiciary Committee passed HB 4732, which says that state government will pay for the presidential primaries of any party that polled at least 5% for president in the last election. Currently South Carolina is the only state in which the parties pay for administration of the presidential primary (although in 2012, the state shared the expenses with the parties).
Oddly enough, the bill still gives the parties the authority to set the amount of the filing fee, even though the filing fee would be paid to the government, not the parties. In 2012, the Republican Party charged a filing fee of $25,000 for presidential candidates who filed early and $35,000 to those who filed later. The bill also retains the freedom of political parties to set the date of their presidential primaries. Thanks to Rick Hasen for this news.