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From the Dome to Your Home

The House of Representatives and the Senate returned to Columbia on May 12 for one day to take up several items, including a bill to continue funding the state government and an adjournment resolution. Both chambers adjourned at the call of their chairs, allowing the respective leaders to call legislators back into session at any time.

Along with the budget and adjournment legislation, legislators also passed a bill that allows anyone to vote absentee in the June 9 primary elections because of COVID-19.

Continuing Budget Bill
The House and Senate adopted a continuing budget bill, which keeps funding state government and the Local Government Fund at current levels. H3411 includes language that appropriates recurring funding for FY 2020-2021. This bill does not include nonrecurring funding from the current fiscal year. It allows the governor to accept federal funding for COVID-19 response through a special Coronavirus Relief Fund account in the Executive Budget Office. The bill allows the governor to directly disperse the funds, with the approval of the Joint Bond Review Committee, before the General Assembly reconvenes later this year. The bill also outlines limitations on operational management of Santee Cooper, the state-owned utility. The continuing budget bill includes an additional $15 million to ensure safety of voters and poll workers during the June 9 primary. For questions about the continuing budget bill, contact Melissa Harrill (mharrill@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.

Sine Die Resolution
The House and Senate adopted S1194, the resolution that governs when the General Assembly can return to session in Columbia and what bills can be debated. The resolution allows the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House to call their respective chambers back into session at any time. The resolution allows legislators to debate and take action on any bill that has passed one chamber prior to May 14, budget-related legislation, legislation related to COVID-19 and consideration of conference reports and appointments.

The resolution also sets September 15, 16 and 17 as well as September 22, 23 and 24 as dates when the General Assembly will be back in session to consider the same items as outlined in the resolution for session prior to May 14. After the General Assembly adjourns on September 24, the resolution narrows to allow consideration of only specific items before November 8. If you have any questions about the sine die resolution, contact Casey Fields (cfields@masc.sc) at 803.933.1256.

accelerateSC Task Force
Gov. Henry McMaster's COVID-19 task force, accelerateSC and its subcommittees, continue to meet to discuss safely reopening the state. Municipal Association of SC Executive Director Todd Glover has been advising members of accelerateSC's Governance and Resources subcommittees as they work to provide recommendations to the governor on moving the state forward during and after the COVID-19 emergency. Distribution of federal CARES Act funding and flexibility for cities and towns have been at the forefront of the discussion. If you have any questions about accelerateSC, contact Todd Glover (tglover@masc.sc) at 803.354.4788.

COVID-19 Resources
The Municipal Association has a webpage dedicated to resources and information about the coronavirus, including videocasts on local government operations and guidance on the governor's executive orders. This webpage is continuously updated. If you have any questions about governing during a state of emergency or the governor's executive orders, please contact your field services managers Charlie Barrineau (cbarrineau@masc.sc) at 803.479.9105 or Jeff Shacker (jshacker@masc.sc) at 803.479.9103.

 

Business License Bill Update
In the sine die resolution passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, H4431, the business license bill, would be able to be debated by the Senate since it was passed by the House in February. This bill is currently in the Senate Finance Committee. For questions on the amended version of H4431, contact Scott Slatton (sslatton@masc.sc) at 803.933.1203.

Amended H4431 Details

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 Harrill (@MelissaMuniSC) and Scott Slatton (@ScottMuniSC) on Twitter for updates. Also follow the Association at @MuniAssnSC.