​From the Dome to Your Home

The SC General Assembly convenes on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, for the first half of a new two-year legislative session. House members met this week to elect officers, pick seats in the chamber and assign committees. The Senate plans to organize the first day of session in January.

The House of Representatives re-elected Rep. Jay Lucas (R – Chesterfield, Darlington, Kershaw, Lancaster) as speaker of the House and Rep. Tommy Pope (R – York) as speaker pro tempore of the House.

There were several changes to committee membership. Rep. Murrell Smith (R – Sumter) was elected the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Former Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Brian White (R – Anderson) was moved to the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee as a member. Rep. Bill Sandifer (R – Oconee, Pickens) was re-elected chairman of the House LCI Committee. Rep. Peter McCoy (R – Charleston) was elected the new chairman of the House Judiciary Committee after the retirement of former chairman Rep. Greg Delleney.

2019 Advocacy Initiatives
The Association's board of directors approved the 2019 Advocacy Initiatives in September. Local officials identified challenges facing cities and towns during the Regional Advocacy Meetings in the fall of 2018. The Advocacy Initiatives represent solutions to those challenges that can be addressed through changes to state law.

  • Update the Local Government Fund formula to guarantee a reliable funding level that is fair to cities and towns of all sizes.
  • Expand flexibility for using accommodations and hospitality taxes to allow expenditures for infrastructure and law enforcement in tourist-related areas.
  • Reduce the wait time for local law enforcement hires to be admitted to the SC Criminal Justice Academy.

The Association's advocacy staff has been working on strategy for the action items that make up the advocacy initiatives since the Regional Advocacy Meetings in August and September.

Check out the December Uptown story on the initiatives and check the Uptown Update on Monday for a new audio version of the legislative report.

Hometown Legislative Action Day 2019
Hometown Legislative Action Day is scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, 2019, at the Marriott in Columbia. Registration and hotel information are available now. The preregistration deadline is January 22, and the deadline to reserve a hotel room is January 10.

Prefiled bills in the House and Senate
The House of Representatives will prefile bills for the 2019 session on December 18, and the Senate will prefile bills on December 12. Check the legislative tracking system for summaries on prefiled bills that affect cities and towns. For more information on these bills, contact Casey Fields ( at 803.933.1256.

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


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