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Voices. Knowledge. Solutions.

April 12, 2024

The House met in session on Tuesday and Wednesday and took action on all of the bills on its calendar. The Senate met in committee and subcommittee but not in statewide session. Both the House and Senate will meet in regular session next week beginning on Tuesday at noon.  

The deadline for bills to pass out of the originating body, also called the crossover deadline, was Wednesday.  

The property tax exemption bill, S1017, remains in the House Ways and Means Committee along with S1021, the abandoned buildings revitalization tax credit bill. H4552, the military TIF bill, is on the House calendar for consideration next week. 

The last day of the regular session is Thursday, May 9. This is the second year of a two-year session, so any bills that do not pass into law will be dead and must be reintroduced for the 2025 – 2026 session. 

Both chambers passed S1192, the sine die, or adjournment, resolution. This resolution outlines the legislation that the General Assembly can consider when the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House bring members back to Columbia after the May 9 adjournment to finish the budget.  

Senate Finance Committee adopts its version of the budget 
The Senate Finance Committee met this week and adopted its version of the state budget on Wednesday. Several of the line items from the House version of the budget were not funded in the Senate Finance version. The Senate Finance Committee version of the budget includes these items:  

  • $13.8 million added to the Local Government Fund base amount. Committee members fully funded the LGF at 5% for FY 2023-2024 in accordance with Act 84, which passed into law in 2019.   
  • $1 million in one-time funds to the state’s 10 councils of governments.  
  • $750,000 for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment services for first responders and law enforcement.   
  • $3 million in recurring dollars to fund the Volunteer Strategic Assistance and Fire Equipment, or V-SAFE, program.    
  • $3.78 million in recurring dollars for the Firefighter Cancer Fund.  
  • $5 million in one-time and $4 million in recurring dollars for destination-specific tourism grants.  
  • $2.5 million in one-time dollars to the SC Department of Mental Health for alternative transportation programs. 
  • $100 million to the SC Department of Transportation for bridge modification on interstate and primary highways.   
  • $11.5 million in one-time funds to the SC Election Commission for elections operations.  
  • $12.5 million in one-time funds to the SC Election Commission for a voting system upgrade.  
  • $1 million to the SC Department of Administration for first responder 800 MHz communication modernization.   
  • $200 million in one-time funds to the County Transportation Committee Acceleration fund. 
  • $9 million in additional money to the South Carolina Conservation Bank for grant funding. 

New provisos added by the Senate Finance Committee 
The Senate Finance Committee added several new provisos to the budget that are of interest to cities and towns. 

  • 117.CU – credit unions – This proviso allows a federal or state credit union headquartered in South Carolina to act as a qualified public depository for deposits held by a municipality. 
  • 118.ARP – American Rescue Plan Act Reauthorization – This proviso reallocates unused funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.  
  • 108.16 – PORS/SCRS return to work – The original language in the House budget that included an exception to the 12-month break in service for critical need areas was amended in the Senate Finance Committee to remove the critical-need language. 
  • – WCC: Tax on Self Insurers – This new proviso requested by the SC Workers Compensation Commission suspends a provision requiring the Commission to remit the balance of maintenance tax revenues back to the state General Fund for the current fiscal year.  
  • 99.uls – RSIC: Unfunded Liability Study – This new proviso directs the Retirement System Investment Commission (RSIC) to undergo a study to look at alternative methods to reduce the state’s unfunded liability in the pension system and to report any findings to the General Assembly. 

For questions about the state budget, contact Joannie Nickel ( at 803.354.4794. 

New Bill Introductions 
Each week, House and Senate members introduce new bills that are referred to a committee to begin the legislative process.  Bills that have an effect on municipal government are tracked by the Municipal Association legislative team in the legislative tracking system. 

For questions about the new bill introductions, contact Casey Fields ( at 803.933.1203. 

Stay in Touch 
The Municipal Association legislative team is on X. Follow Joannie Nickel (@JoannieMuniSC) and Erica Wright (@EricaMuniSC) for updates from the State House. Also follow the Association at @MuniAssnSC.  

Don’t forget to listen to the From the Dome to Your Home podcast every Friday for a recap of the week’s legislative issues and a look to the week ahead at the State House. 

Committee Report

Senate Judiciary Committee 
H5118Enacts the South Carolina Ten-Year Energy Transformation Actfavorable report as amended. Among several changes, the amendment allows utilities to appeal permit denials first to the Administrative Law Court and ultimately to the state Supreme Court; allows multiple electric customers to partner on bulk power contracts; reduces electric rates for data centers and; creates an Energy Policy Institute at the University of South Carolina and Clemson University. 
Summary of the bill as introduced: Makes changes to current energy policy to promote the development of new and reliable energy infrastructure resources, fostering resilient and reliable energy infrastructure.