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​From the Dome to Your Home

The Senate and House of Representatives met in regular session this week working on bills on the calendar. The budget conference committee met to debate the differences in the House and Senate versions of the budget. The General Assembly elected judges on Wednesday and unveiled the portrait of the late Senator Clementa Pinckney in the Senate chamber.

House and Senate members also passed the adjournment resolution which allows the General Assembly to return to Columbia on June 15 to handle vetoes and conference committee reports. There are three legislative days left in the 2016 session with adjournment on June 2.

House amends Senate FOIA bill
The full House of Representatives gave S913 second reading as amended by the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 93 to 1. S913, as originally introduced in the Senate, allows the public to access video footage and audio from cameras in law enforcement vehicles. The House amendment strikes all of the language in S913 and replaces it with the language from H3191, the House bill that creates the Office of FOIA Review within the Administrative Law Court.

H3191 had already passed the House and the Senate Judiciary Committee, but it remains on the Senate contested calendar because of an objection. For more information on the FIOA bills, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.

State budget conference committee working out differences
The budget conference committee members met this week to iron out differences between the House and Senate versions of the budget and were continuing to meet today. Conferees include Senators Leatherman (R - Florence), Sheheen (D - Kershaw) and Davis (R - Beaufort) and Representatives White (R - Anderson), Hosey (D - Barnwell) and Herbkersman (R - Beaufort).

The House version of the budget included $212.6 million in recurring dollars for the Local Government Fund. This is the same amount as the current year's budget. The budget also included $72 million in flood relief and $40 million in beach renourishment funds.

The Senate version of the budget included an additional $28 million in nonrecurring funds for the Local Government Fund. That brings the LGF total in the Senate version of the budget to $240.6 million. The Senate version of the budget also included $72 million in flood relief and $20 million in beach renourishment funds.

The indigent defense proviso that requires cities and towns to pay for public defenders to represent indigents in municipal court remains in both versions of the budget. Get background on the indigent defense proviso in this Uptown article. 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.    

Passed Bills
Bills passed in the 2015-2016 legislative session that have an effect on cities and towns are available on the Association's legislative tracking system.

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Weekly legislative action