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​From the Dome to Your Home

The House of Representatives and the Senate met in regular session this week. Both of the bills related to the SC Tort Claims Act remain on the Senate contested calendar, and both pre-emption bills are still in Senate subcommittees. The Municipal Tax Relief Act also remains in a Senate subcommittee. The House of Representatives will start its budget debate on Monday afternoon.

Advocacy Initiatives update

  • Flexibility with hospitality and accommodations tax revenue
    H3132 and S217 were introduced in the House and Senate to give cities the ability to use state and local accommodations and hospitality tax revenue to control and repair flooding and drainage in tourist-related areas. The Senate passed S217 and sent it to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. Please encourage your House members to support S217. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Melissa Carter (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.
  • Local Government Fund predictability
    H3137, sponsored by a bipartisan group of House members, was introduced to change the LGF formula to a more predictable funding level from year to year. The House of Representatives passed H3137 and sent it to the Senate, where it was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Contact your senators and encourage them to support H3137. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Melissa Carter (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.
  • Reducing wait times for new hires at the Criminal Justice Academy
    The House Ways and Means Committee allocated over $3 million in funding to the Criminal Justice Academy to increase training for officers. With this additional funding, the Academy can increase capacity and decrease wait times for admitting new officers. The full House of Representatives will debate the proposed Academy funding in the budget beginning Monday. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.

Tobacco pre-emption bill in subcommittee again next week
S492, a bill that prohibits municipalities from enacting laws related to the ingredients, flavors or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products or nicotine products, will be before a Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee again on Thursday, March 14, at 10 a.m. in Room 207 of the Gressette Building. Please thank Sens. John Scott (D-Richland), Katrina Shealy (R-Lexington) and Mike Gambrell (R-Anderson) for removing their names as sponsors of that bill. Please contact Sens. Shane Martin (R-Spartanburg), Kevin Johnson (D-Clarendon), Tom Corbin (R-Greenville), Marlon Kimpson (D-Charleston), Margie Bright Matthews (D-Colleton), Mike Gambrell (R-Anderson) and Richard Cash (R-Anderson) and ask them to vote no on S492 and no on pre-emption. For questions on the bill or the subcommittee hearing, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.

 Weekly bill introductions
Access bills that were introduced this week and bills that received action from a subcommittee or committee through our legislative tracking system complete with short summaries. Visit the legislative tracking system to see and comment on all bills pending in the House and Senate.

Stay in touch
The Municipal Association legislative team is on Twitter bringing you updates from the State House when legislators are in Columbia for session. Follow Melissa Carter (@MelissaMuniSC), Scott Slatton (@ScottMuniSC) and Tiger Wells (@TigerMuniSC) on Twitter for updates. Also follow the Association at @MuniAssnSC