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​From the Dome to Your Home

The House of Representatives and the Senate met in regular session this week. The crossover deadline for bills to pass the originating chamber was Thursday. The Senate Finance Committee plans to begin debating its version of the state budget next week.

Both the Senate and the House of Representatives will reconvene next week for regular session.

Vaping bill passes the House 
The House of Representatives gave third reading to H3681 on Thursday. The bill, as introduced, prohibits political subdivisions from enacting ordinances that pertain to the ingredients, flavors or licensing of cigarettes, e-cigarettes, e-liquid, vapor, tobacco products or alternative nicotine products. The bill also seeks to preempt local governments from regulating tobacco-related businesses through zoning or business licensing.

An amendment was adopted in the House Judiciary General Laws subcommittee that preserves ordinances regulating tobacco-related businesses passed prior to December 31, 2020. Another amendment was adopted in the full House Judiciary Committee that affirms that cities and towns may continue to apply zoning and business license requirements on tobacco and vaping businesses. Next, the bill goes to the Senate for consideration. 

For questions on this bill, contact Scott Slatton (sslatton@masc.sc) at 803.933.1203

Audit provisos adopted in Senate budget subcommittee
As a result of discussions between the Municipal Association, the SC State Treasurer’s office and the SC State Auditor, the Senate Finance Constitutional subcommittee added several provisos addressing municipal audits. During FY 2021-2022, the provisos:

  • compel the SC State Treasurer to release to cities and towns the Local Government Funds being withheld from them as a result of having not completed annual audits;
  • direct the SC State Auditor to issue a statewide contract for auditing services for cities and towns to use to conduct annual audits;
  • direct the State Auditor to convene a working group of stakeholders to develop appropriate audit requirements for cities and towns.

These recommendations will be presented to the full Senate Finance Committee next week. For questions on the budget, contact Joannie Nickel (jnickel@masc.sc) at 803.354.4794.

House adjourns debate on tax credit extension
The House adjourned debate on S271, the bill that extends the benefits of the Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act until December 2025, until next week. The current act sunsets this December unless the General Assembly passes legislation to extend it. Senators adopted an amendment to the bill that adds “roads and railroad rights of way” as intervening connectors in the Textiles Communities Revitalization Act.

Because this bill has already passed the Senate, it was not under the crossover deadline. House members plan to debate the bill next week. For questions on this bill, contact Joannie Nickel (jnickel@masc.sc) at 803.354.4794.

Stay in Touch
The Municipal Association legislative team is on Twitter. Follow Scott Slatton (@ScottMuniSC), Joannie Nickel (@JoannieMuniSC) and Erica Wright (@EricaMuniSC) for updates from the State House. Also follow the Association at @MuniAssnSC.