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​From the Dome to Your Home

The House of Representatives and the Senate met in regular session this week. Gov. Henry McMaster delivered his State of the State Address on Wednesday evening.

Advocacy Initiatives Update

  • Flexibility with hospitality and accommodations tax revenue
    H3132 and S217 were introduced in the House and Senate to give cities more flexibility with state and local accommodations and hospitality tax revenue to control and repair flooding and drainage in tourist-related areas. S217 was given third reading on Wednesday in the Senate by a vote of 34 to 2. Next, the bill goes to the House of Representatives for debate. 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 Ways and Means General Government Legislative subcommittee amended the bill and gave it a favorable report. The amendment strikes language in the bill to change the name of the LGF and restores the city distribution to 16.7222 percent. The full House Ways and Means Committee plans to debate the bill on Tuesday, January 29. Melissa Carter testified in favor of this bill during the subcommittee hearing. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Melissa (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.
  • Reduce wait times for new hires at the Criminal Justice Academy
    The Senate Finance Criminal Justice subcommittee and the House Ways and Means Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice subcommittee continue to hear from law enforcement agencies on budget requests. The subcommittees will present funding recommendations to the full committee over the next several weeks. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.

Senate passes zero millage bill
The Senate gave third reading on Thursday to S227, a bill that allows cities without an operating millage to impose a millage. The bill includes a restriction on the initial amount that a city could impose. Next, the bill goes to the House of Representatives for debate. For more information on this bill, contact Scott Slatton (sslatton@masc.sc) at 803.933.1203.

Increase in tort claims cap passes out of full committee
The Senate Judiciary Committee amended and passed out favorably S7, a bill that increases the $300,000 limit on what a single person may recover from the state or a local government to $1 million. The bill also increases the $600,000 limit for recoveries from a single occurrence of negligence to $2 million. The full committee approved the subcommittee amendment requiring the SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office to be the agency that publishes notice of the cap adjustment. The subcommittee further amended the bill to change the effective date to one year after publication of the notice of cap adjustment. Tiger Wells testified against this increase in subcommittee because it is expected to result in immediate insurance premium increases and increased litigation. The bill is now on the Senate contested calendar. For more information on the tort claims cap increase, contact Tiger (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