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​From the Dome to Your Home

The Senate and House of Representatives met in regular session this week debating bills on the calendar. There are two weeks left in the 2018 legislative session. Since this is the second year of a two-year session, all bills that haven't passed will die and have to be reintroduced at the beginning of the 2019 session.

The plastic bag ban bill remains on the Senate contested calendar with three senators objecting to the bill.

Abandoned buildings tax credit bill passed by the Senate
The Senate gave S1043 second reading on Thursday and automatic third reading on Friday. This bill extends the abandoned buildings tax credit until 2021. Passed in 2013, the Act created an incentive for the rehabilitation, renovation and redevelopment of abandoned buildings in South Carolina. S1043 and H4816, the House version of the bill, will ensure the incentive remains in place to give developers certainty for future projects planned after the incentive's current sunset in 2019. Next, S1043 goes to the House for debate. Because this bill was passed by the Senate after the crossover deadline, it will take a 2/3 vote of the House to debate the bill. 

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

House discusses additional budget amendments
The House of Representatives began its discussion of the Senate version of the budget on Thursday, with plans to continue the debate on Tuesday when members return to Columbia.

Included in the House version of the budget:

  • Beach renourishment funded at $11 million.
  • The 1 percent pension employer contribution credit funded in the FY 2018 budget is again funded in the FY 2019 budget.

Included in the Senate version of the budget:

  • No additional money in the Local Government Fund leaving the fund at $222.6 million.
  • Beach renourishment funded at $11 million.
  • The 1 percent pension employer contribution credit in the FY 2018 budget is funded at the same level in the FY 2019 budget.
  • $500,000 in nonrecurring post-traumatic stress disorder funding for first responders. This money was in the FY2018 budget, but it was not included in the House version of the budget passed in March.
  • Proviso (48A) requires political subdivisions using Rural Infrastructure Authority funds for water infrastructure projects to follow the state procurement code's definition of "specifications" for products and services when bidding those projects.  
  • Proviso (70) requires the SC State Law Enforcement Division to determine if municipalities are inhibiting their employees' attempts to comply with state or federal laws requiring that they check the immigration status of people applying for various public services. It also requires SLED to determine if municipal law enforcement officials are checking the immigration status of suspected illegal aliens. Municipalities that SLED does not certify as "compliant" will lose undisbursed portions of their Local Government Fund allocation.
  • Proviso (58) requires cities and towns to perform national background checks and fingerprint employees with access to federal tax information.  

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

Stay in touch
The Municipal Association legislative team is on Twitter this session bringing you updates from the State House lobby and committee and subcommittee meetings. Follow Melissa Carter (@MelissaMuniSC), Scott Slatton (@ScottMuniSC) and Tiger Wells (@TigerMuniSC) on Twitter for updates. Also follow the Association at @MuniAssnSC. Read the week's featured tweet from the State House.

Weekly bill introductions
Use the Association's legislative tracking system to access bills that were introduced this week and bills that received action from a subcommittee or committee. The system also allows readers to comment on all bills related to local government pending in the House and Senate.

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Weekly legislative action