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​From the Dome to Your Home

The Senate and House of Representatives met in regular session this week. The House Ways and Means Committee adopted its version of the budget, while the Senate worked through bills on its calendar.

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. The House of Representatives plans to debate the budget beginning March 22.

House Ways and Means Committee adopts budget
On Thursday, the House Ways and Means Committee gave final approval to its version of the state budget. Included in the budget are the following items:

  • The budget adds $17.6 million to the Local Government Fund base amount. Committee members fully funded the LGF at 2.54% for FY 2021-2022 according to the new Local Government Fund formula, which passed into law in 2019. Included in the total amount is an additional 5% to make up for last year’s allocation, since there was not a budget adopted for FY 2020-2021. 
  • The 1% credit for employers’ retirement system contributions, which was included the FY-2019-2020 budget, is again funded in the FY 2021-2022 budget.
  • Nonrecurring funding for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment for first responders is not included in the Ways and Means Committee’s version of the budget. 
The committee took the following actions on provisos that affect cities and towns:

  • Proviso 113.cps authorizes a county to use excess unexpired capital project sales tax collections to fund road improvement, intersection improvements and pedestrian transportation.  Before the tax expires the county must adopt an ordinance that specifies how the funds will be used.  
  • Proviso 118.rrf uses $50 million in nonrecurring funds for a Disaster Relief and Resilience Reserve Fund. The fund would help state and local governments with non-federally-funded disaster expenses.
For questions on the budget, contact Joannie Nickel (jnickel@masc.sc) at 803.354.4794.

Senate Judiciary subcommittee amends and adopts workers’ compensation bill
A Senate Judiciary subcommittee amended and approved S94, a bill that excludes certain limitations on workers’ compensation for a first responder diagnosed with PTSD. After several days of deliberation and testimony, the subcommittee members adopted an amendment to the bill on Thursday. The amendment defines PTSD diagnosis standards and the specific circumstances that constitute a “significate traumatic experience or situation.” 

Next, the bill will go to the full Senate Judiciary Committee for deliberation. For questions on 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, this week 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