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​From the Dome to Your Home

Senate and House members were in Columbia this week in regular session working on the calendar and in subcommittee and committee meetings. The Senate Finance Committee finished its version of the budget on Thursday.

Dilapidated Buildings Act update
H3039 is still on the House calendar. It was moved this week to the contested calendar because several House members had concerns about the bill. This makes it more difficult for the House to debate and pass the bill before next week's crossover date. The Senate Judiciary Committee recommitted S194, its version of the bill, back to the subcommittee. This means the Senate bill is dead for the year.

This bill gives cities and towns another tool to deal with dilapidated buildings through the appointment of a receiver to either repair or demolish the property. For more information on DBA, contact Scott Slatton (sslatton@masc.sc) at 803.933.1203.

Annexation bill in full committee
The full House Judiciary Committee voted to adjourn debate on H4834, the Local Government Efficiency Act. This means the bill remains on the agenda for the next meeting. This enclave annexation bill is sponsored by 12 Republican and Democrat House members. The bill allows cities, by ordinance, to annex property that is 25 acres or less that has been completely surrounded by the municipality for at least five years. Read this blog post for background on H4834. For more information on this bill, contact Scott Slatton (sslatton@masc.sc) at 803.933.1203.

State budget update
The Senate Finance Committee adopted its version of the budget on Thursday. The committee version of the bill includes an additional $28 million in nonrecurring funds for the Local Government Fund. That brings the LGF total in the Senate Finance Committee version of the budget to $240.6 million. This version of the budget also includes $72 million in flood relief and $20 million in beach renourishment funds.

The House version of the budget includes $212.6 million in recurring dollars for the Local Government Fund. This is the same amount as last year. The budget also includes $72 million in flood relief and $40 million in beach renourishment funds.

The indigent defense proviso that requires cities and towns to pay for public defenders to represent indigents in municipal court remains in the budget. The Senate Finance Criminal Justice subcommittee did not recommend the proviso be removed from the budget, and attempts to remove the proviso at full Senate Finance committee were unsuccessful. Get background on the indigent defense proviso in this Uptown article. For more information on the indigent defense proviso, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.

For more information on the budget, contact Melissa Carter (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.    

Business license bill update
H5109, the South Carolina Business License Tax Standardization Act, is currently awaiting subcommittee action in the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee. This is the bill that the Municipal Association and members of the business community have been working on for many months to standardize business licensing practices across the state.

It is important that the bill has multiple sponsors to show support. Please contact your city's House members and ask them to sponsor H5109. Link to the full explanation of the bill here, get a summary of the bill here or read this blog post and listen to the podcast for a Q & A with details of the bill.

For information on business licensing, contact Melissa Carter (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.

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Weekly legislative action