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​From the Dome to Your Home

 The S.C. General Assembly met in regular session this week, continuing work in subcommittee and committee meetings. House members debated and adopted utility bills related to the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant, while senators spent time on the floor debating the nuisance suits bill.

Municipal officials will be in Columbia on Tuesday advocating for their cities and towns at Hometown Legislative Action Day.

Nuisance suits bill amended and passed by the Senate
H3653, the bill as originally written, would prohibit local governments from declaring manufacturing and industrial facilities a nuisance if those facilities comply with state and federal environmental laws. The Senate amended the bill to allow local governments to continue to enforce local zoning and nuisance ordinances. Senators gave the amended bill third reading on Thursday. Now, the bill returns to the House for concurrence. For questions on the bill, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.

Utility relocation bill passes out of subcommittee
H3739 was amended with language from S932 and passed out of the House Education and Public Works Transportation Vehicle subcommittee this week. This bill requires the owner of a road improvement project, such as the Department of Transportation, to bear the cost of relocating a public utility's water and sewer lines. The bill will now go to the full House Education and Public Works Committee for consideration. Utility relocation is one of the 2018 Municipal Association Advocacy Initiatives. Scott Slatton has been a member of a long-standing study committee on utility relocation that worked on language for S932. For questions on this bill, contact Scott (sslatton@masc.sc) at 803.933.1203.

Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act bill introduced
H4816 was introduced this week by Representatives James Smith and Beth Bernstein to extend the deadline for the South Carolina Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act until December 31, 2025. This bill creates an incentive for the rehabilitation, renovation and redevelopment of abandoned buildings in South Carolina. This bill will ensure the incentive remains in place to give developers certainty for future projects planned after its current sunset of 2019. Please contact members of your House delegation and ask them to sign on as a sponsor of the bill. For questions on the bill, contact Melissa Carter (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.

Plastic bag ban bill
The House of Representatives did not take action again on H3529, the bill that bans local governments from passing ordinances that regulate plastic bags. As written, this bill will ban municipalities from adopting ordinances regulating local use of plastic bags. Cities that adopt ordinances before the bill is passed would be allowed to continue enforcing them. Future ordinances on the subject, even those amending pre-existing ordinances, would possibly be banned. For questions on the bill, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.

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.

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