Minding our P's and Q's: HLAD combines politics and BBQ

​A panel of House and Senate members will discuss pending and proposed legislation that will impact economic development in cities and towns during the 2016 Hometown Legislative Action Day opening session on February 3 at the Columbia Marriott. Topics will include roads, transportation, education and the sharing economy.

HLAD attendees will also receive a legislative briefing from the Association’s advocacy staff and Walterboro Mayor Bill Young, the Association’s first vice president and Legislative Committee chair. They will review the Association’s 2016 advocacy initiatives and give an update on key bills of municipal interest. Also, during the morning session, a panel of statewide association executives will discuss legislative partnerships and the importance of organizations working together through common legislative goals.

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman will provide the luncheon address. Spearman will share her perspective on the state of education in South Carolina, her vision of what changes need to happen and her thoughts on how municipal leaders can participate in making that vision a reality.

Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education
Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education

Immediately following lunch, attendees can visit with legislators at the State House.

Following the visits, the Association will offer afternoon sessions on crisis communication and the growing economic impact of craft breweries and food trucks.

Alternatively, attendees can participate in a mobile workshop focusing on recent developments along Columbia’s Main Street, in the Vista and the exponential growth of off-campus student housing.

It will be the Battle of the Barbecue during the Legislative Reception which will feature a Taste of South Carolina. Attendees can sample and vote on their favorite type of barbecue sauce. Which will be chosen as the "real" barbecue? Mustard, ketchup or vinegar based?

The reception will also show off the state’s craft brewing industry with several local varieties available to sample.

"Municipal officials should go ahead and contact their legislative delegation, inviting them to the reception then perhaps dinner afterwards," encouraged Miriam Hair, Association executive director. "The reception promises to be a fun event to cap off a full day devoted to advocating for cities and towns."

On December 10, the Association will mail registration information about the meeting and the Municipal Elected Officials Institute as well as post the information online at (keyword: HLAD). The preregistration deadline is January 18.

January 10 is the deadline for making hotel reservations at the Columbia Marriott. Call 1.800.593.6465 or 1.803.771.7000, and ask for the Municipal Association of SC HLAD rate of $149 plus taxes.