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‚ÄčFrom the Dome to Your Home

The Senate and House of Representatives met in regular session this week. The crossover deadline for bills to pass the originating chamber was Wednesday, and the House of Representatives is on furlough until Tuesday, April 23. The Senate will begin debating the state budget Wednesday, April 17, at 10 a.m.

The tobacco preemption bill remains on the Senate contested calendar, and the bill that prohibits the Municipal Association from collecting business licenses on behalf of cities remains in a House committee. Also, the Senate version of the budget contains a proviso that would bar private third parties from collecting or administering the collection of business license taxes on behalf of local governments. The amended small cell wireless bill is scheduled for a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing Wednesday, and the amended Tort Claims Act bill was passed by the Senate and sent to the House for debate.

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. The Senate Finance Committee amended and approved H3137 and sent it to the full Senate for debate. 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 of Representatives allocated more than $3 million in funding to the Criminal Justice Academy to increase training for officers in its version of the state budget. With this additional funding, the academy can increase capacity and decrease wait times for admitting new officers. The Senate Finance Committee allocated $2 million in recurring funding to the Criminal Justice Academy. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.

Plastic bag ban passed by full committee
The Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee gave S394, the plastic bag ban bill, a favorable report sending the bill to the full Senate for debate. This bill would prevent local governments from adopting ordinances that ban the use of plastic bags. Please thank Sens. Sandy Senn (R-Charleston), Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) and Sean Bennett (R-Dorchester) for voting against this bill. For information on this bill, 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

You can also listen to podcast versions of the legislative reports from the Association's City Quick Connect podcast.