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From the Dome to Your Home

The S.C. General Assembly convened on Tuesday, January 10, for the start of a new two-year legislative session. The Senate is not meeting again in statewide session until January 24 to let subcommittees and committees work on bills. The House of Representatives plans to meet as normal and will reconvene on Tuesday at noon.

Local Government Fund update
The House Ways and Means Legislative, Executive and Local Government subcommittee met on Wednesday and heard testimony from both the Municipal Association and the S.C. Association of Counties on the Local Government Fund. The subcommittee members are Bill Herbkersman (chairman, R – Beaufort, Jasper), Joe Neal (D - Richland, Sumter), Alan Clemmons (R - Horry) and Derham Cole (R - Spartanburg).

Melissa Carter testified on behalf of cities and towns about the funding levels of the LGF. The House Ways and Means subcommittees will continue to meet and make recommendations to the full committee. For information on the Local Government Fund, contact Melissa (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.

Pension Update
On Tuesday morning, the Joint Committee on Pension Systems Review met to discuss ideas and options for funding the state retirement system. The joint committee continues to meet and make recommendations to the General Assembly on funding that include capping the employee contribution rate at nine percent, increasing the employer contribution to a possible 15 percent and lowering the assumed rate of return from 7.5 percent to seven percent. A representative of the retirement system will speak at Hometown Legislative Action Day to update officials on these challenges.

For information on the Pension Review Committee, contact Melissa Carter (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.

Hometown Legislative Action Day 2017
Hometown Legislative Action Day is scheduled for Wednesday, February 1, 2017, at the Marriott in Columbia. Registration and hotel information are available now. The preregistration deadline is January 18. Read this week's City Connect blog post and listen to the City Quick Connect podcast to get details on sessions and speakers.

2017 Advocacy Initiatives
The Association's board of directors approved the 2017 Advocacy Initiatives in October. This year's initiatives include encouraging business growth and development; providing quality services; increasing law enforcement training; repairing roads and reducing blight. Check out the December Uptown story on the initiatives and read the City Connect blog for more details on each advocacy initiative.

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