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​From the Dome to Your Home

Senate and House members were in Columbia this week in regular session. The House of Representatives debated the budget this week adopting its version of the bill on Tuesday evening. The Senate continued to debate the refugee bill. The Senate adjourned on Wednesday and will reconvene at noon on Tuesday, April 5. The House adjourned on Wednesday and will reconvene at noon on Tuesday, April 12.

State budget update
The House of Representatives adopted its version of the budget late Tuesday evening. The budget includes $212.6 million in recurring dollars for the Local Government Fund. This amount is the same as last year. The budget also includes $72 million in flood relief and $40 million in beach renourishment funds. The House version of the budget allocates $415 million to the SC DOT for road repair.

The indigent defense proviso that requires cities and towns to pay for public defenders to represent indigents in municipal court remains in the House version of the budget. Association staff is working with senators to remove the proviso in the Senate version of the budget. 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
Rep. Kenny Bingham (R – Lexington) introduced H5109, the South Carolina Business License Tax Standardization Act, and it was referred to 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 week's 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.

Dilapidated Buildings Act amended and carried over in committee
S194, the Dilapidated Buildings Act, was amended by the Senate Judiciary Committee and carried over until the next meeting. The first amendment ensures property subject to the bill meets the requirements for public condemnation in the state Constitution. The second amendment exempts agricultural property from being subject to the bill. Senators Gerald Malloy (D – Darlington) and Margie Bright Matthews (D – Colleton) both had concerns about the bill and asked for specific examples of how this legislation could help cities and towns with dilapidated buildings.

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 or to share examples of properties where DBA could be helpful to your city or town, contact Scott Slatton (sslatton@masc.sc) at 803.933.1203.

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Weekly legislative action