The Senate and House of Representatives met in extended session Monday and Tuesday to take up a limited number of bills and conference reports.
The utility relocation bill, S401, and S440, the bill that made changes to the Textile Revitalization Act, were both signed by the governor and enacted into law.
Details of all bills passed during the session will be available in the year-end report at the Municipal Association's Annual Meeting in July. The year-end report will also include bills that are still active for the 2020 session.
Advocacy Initiatives update
- Flexibility with hospitality and accommodations tax revenue
H3132 and S217 were introduced in the House and Senate to give cities the ability to use state and local accommodations and hospitality tax revenue to control and repair flooding and drainage in tourist-related areas. The Senate passed S217 and sent it to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. This bill will remain in committee for the 2020 legislative session. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Melissa Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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. This bill passed the House and Senate, was ratified and sent to the governor for his signature or veto. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Melissa Carter (email@example.com) at 803.933.1251.
- Reducing wait times for new hires at the Criminal Justice Academy
The final budget includes $3.2 million allocated in recurring funding to the Criminal Justice Academy to decrease the academy's dependence on fines and fees and to develop mobile training opportunities. With this additional funding, the academy can increase capacity and decrease wait times for admitting new officers. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Tiger Wells (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.933.1270.
Action this week
Local Government Fund bill adopted
The House and Senate adopted the conference report on H3137, the bill that changes the Local Government Fund formula to a more predictable funding level. The bill was ratified and sent to the governor for his signature or veto. For more information on this bill, contact Melissa Carter (email@example.com) at 803.933.1251.
State budget conference report adopted and sent to the governor
House and Senate members adopted the budget conference report from the conference committee and sent the bill to the governor for his signature or line-item veto.
The final version of the budget as adopted by the House and Senate includes:
- $11.1 million in additional Local Government Fund revenue, bringing the base up from $222.6 million to a new base amount of $233.7 million.
- 1% credit for employer's retirement system contributions.
- $22 million in nonrecurring funds are provided as a match for FEMA funds for Hurricane Florence.
- $3.2 million in recurring funding to the Criminal Justice Academy to reduce its funding dependence on fees and fines, develop mobile training opportunities and reduce wait times for new law enforcement hires.
- $500,000 in nonrecurring PTSD funding.
- Proviso 109.14, which protects existing collections programs, removes the restriction on processing, and specifically permits counties and municipalities to contract with private third parties to assist in the collection of business license taxes so long as business data is submitted to the municipality rather than the private third party. The proviso also limits contact between private, third-party collection entities and businesses to one instance, and creates a study committee to develop reforms related to third-party collection entities.
- Proviso 117.21 was amended by the conference committee to require organizations that receive contributions from state agencies funded through the state budget to submit certain reports to the state about their organizations and how they use the contributions.
Weekly bill introductions
There were no bills introduced during the extended session that affect cities and towns.
Stay in touch
The Municipal Association legislative team is on Twitter. Follow Melissa Carter (@MelissaMuniSC), Scott Slatton (@ScottMuniSC) and Tiger Wells (@TigerMuniSC) on Twitter for updates. Also follow the Association at @MuniAssnSC.
You can also listen to podcast versions of the legislative reports from the Association's City Quick Connect podcast.