From the Dome to Your Home
The SC General Assembly convened on Tuesday, January 12, for the first half of a new two-year legislative session. House members convened in December to organize and elect officers and receive committee assignments. The Senate organized on Tuesday to elect officers and choose committees.
Both the House and Senate will not be in session in Columbia next week. The House plans to reconvene on Tuesday, January 26 and the Senate plans to reconvene on Thursday, January 21. Both chambers plan to hold virtual subcommittee and committee meetings.
Gov. Henry McMaster delivered his State of the State Address on Wednesday evening to a smaller audience because of COVID-19 precautions.
House Ways and Means Constitutional subcommittee
The House Ways and Means Constitutional subcommittee met through Microsoft Teams last week to hear budget requests and testimony from several agencies, including cities and towns. Joannie Nickel, legislative and public policy advocate for the Municipal Association, testified on behalf of cities and towns. Nickel asked that lawmakers follow the current law, Act 84, which requires the Local Government Fund to follow the increase and decrease of the state budget. Funding the Local Government Fund in accordance with the current law is one of the Advocacy Initiatives for cities and towns in 2021.
For questions about the Local Government Fund, contact Joannie Nickel (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.354.4794.
House Ways and Means Healthcare subcommittee
The House Ways and Means Healthcare subcommittee met on Wednesday to hear budget requests from state agencies. Erica Wright, legislative and public policy advocate for the Municipal Association, submitted a letter to this subcommittee in support of the SC Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services’ request for additional funding for the opioid antidote naloxone for first responders. One of the Advocacy Initiatives for cities and towns for 2021 is expanding the availability of naloxone.
For questions about naloxone for first responders, contact Erica Wright (email@example.com) at 803.354.4793.
Hometown Legislative Action Week 2021
To continue to stay safe and help stop the spread of coronavirus, the 2021 Hometown Legislative Action Week will be an ongoing virtual event, with content being released beginning February 1. City and town officials can watch the videos from a laptop, smartphone or tablet, all through the Municipal Association’s website. Register for the daily advocacy content online. For more information, contact Scott Slatton (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.