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​From the Dome to Your Home

The House of Representatives met in regular session this week, while the Senate met on Tuesday and Wednesday, but did not meet in session on Thursday due to the threat of severe weather. Both Senate and House members worked through bills on the calendar. The House of Representatives reconvenes at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 22 to begin debating the House Ways and Means Committee’s version of the budget. The House plans to furlough the week of March 29.

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

Abandoned Buildings bill passes out of full committee
S271, the bill that extends the benefits of the Abandoned Buildings Revitalization Act until December 2025, passed a subcommittee and the full House Ways and Means Committee this week. The current act sunsets this December unless legislation is passed 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. The bill, as amended by the Senate, was passed by the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill is now on the House calendar for consideration by the full House of Representatives.

For questions about S271, contact Joannie Nickel (jnickel@masc.sc) at 803.354.4794.

Building codes bill amended by full committee
H4060, a bill that requires the SC Building Codes Council to extend building code adoption processes for more than six years, was amended in subcommittee and then again in full committee. The House Labor, Commerce and Industry Business and Commerce subcommittee adopted an amendment that requires residential codes to be implemented no later than seven years from previously-adopted codes. For commercial codes the implementation must take place no later than four years from the previously-adopted codes.

Later in the week, a coalition including architects, engineers, contractors, the Building Officials Association of SC and the Municipal Association worked together with legislative staff to draft the final amendment. The full House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee adopted the coalition’s amendment that makes the effective date of new residential building codes no earlier than five years but no later than six years from adoption of the last updates. The amendment also makes the effective date for commercial building codes no earlier than two years but no later than three years after adoption. Next, the bill goes to the full House for debate.

For questions about this bill, 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. However, the SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office has requested information about the fiscal impact the bill would have on parking systems operated by barrier island communities.

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