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​From the Dome to Your Home

The Senate and House of Representatives met in regular session this week. Senators passed a bond bill that would provide additional funding for the state port, while House members worked through bills on the calendar. 

Legislators continued to hold subcommittee and committee meetings both in-person and virtually. The House and Senate will be in session next week as normal. 

Senate approves bond bill for ports
On Wednesday, senators gave third reading to a resolution that approves a $550 million general obligation state economic development bond for infrastructure improvements and projects at the State Ports Authority in Charleston. As part of the debate of this resolution, Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) negotiated an agreement with the State Ports Authority to transfer its half ownership of the planned Jasper Ocean Terminal to Jasper County. This paves the way for the possibility of the Jasper port’s development in partnership with the Georgia Ports Authority. The Municipal Association of SC legislative team is not tracking the resolution in the legislative tracking system, but is watching this resolution on behalf of the cities and towns in counties directly affected by the ports.  

The bill will now go to the House for debate. For questions about this resolution, contact Scott Slatton (sslatton@masc.sc) at 803.933.1203. 

COVID-19 liability bill passes Senate
S147, the South Carolina COVID-19 Liability Safe Harbor Act, provides liability protection for a limited time period for health care providers and businesses that follow public health guidance in response to the coronavirus public health emergency. Senators debated this bill for a second week, ultimately passing it on Thursday. Next, the House of Representatives will debate the bill. For questions about S147, contact Scott Slatton (sslatton@masc.sc) at 803.933.1203.

Municipal parking bill remains on the Senate calendar
S40, sponsored by Sen. Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley), prohibits a municipality from altering or establishing parking facilities on any state highway without the SC Department of Transportation's prior approval. Sens. Sean Bennett (R-Dorchester) and Brad Hutto (D-Orangeburg) are opposing the bill, keeping it on the Senate contested calendar for now.

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

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