The Senate met in regular session this week and worked through bills on the calendar. The House was on furlough and did not meet in session or in committee. The Senate begins budget debate on Tuesday, April 18, at noon.
The last day of the regular session is Thursday, May 11, 2023.
Bond reform passed by the Senate
Senators debated and passed H3532, the bill that creates sentencing enhancements for persons who commit certain additional crimes while on pretrial release on bond. Several amendments were adopted related to electronic monitoring, online reporting, notification to victims, and the right to a speedy trial. The amendments also establish a Pretrial Reform Commission. Next, the bill goes back to the House of Representatives for further amendments or concurrence.
For questions about the bond reform bill, contact Erica Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.354.4793.
American Rescue Plan Act amended by the Senate
The Senate amended and sent back to the House S604, the bill that allocates the state ARPA funding. The House amendments to the bill were amended on the Senate floor to clarify that the SC Office of Resilience and ARPA money and rules do not change in this bill and specifically directs the Office of Resilience to fund the contamination cleanup on the USS Yorktown. The bill was amended further on the floor of the Senate to delete the House amendment that instructs the SC Rural Infrastructure Authority to withhold ARPA funding disbursement to any area whose General Assembly member opposes the federal funding.
Next, the bill goes back to the House of Representatives for concurrence or nonconcurrence. If the House concurs, the bill goes to the governor for signature or veto. If the House nonconcurs with the Senate amendments, the bill goes to a conference committee to work out the differences.
For questions about the American Rescue Plan Act allocation, contact Erica Wright (email@example.com) at 803.354.4793.
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.
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Senate Judiciary subcommittee
S368 – Changes the procedure for issuing bond for subsequent violent offenses – carried over
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires the court to consider whether a person is currently out on bond for a prior offense when setting bond.
Senate Judiciary subcommittee
S87 – Increases the caps under the Tort Claim Act – carried over
Summary of the bill as introduced: Increases the caps under the Tort Claims Act from $300,000 to $500,000 per person and from $600,000 to $1 million per occurrence.
Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources subcommittee
H3951 – Enacts the Working Agricultural Lands Preservation Act – favorable report. The next day, the Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee gave this bill a favorable report as amended. The amendment changes the funding mechanism and board composition of the SC Conservation Bank.
Summary of the bill as introduced: Creates a committee that will identify and provide permanent protection to strategically located working farmland properties.
Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee
S542 – Enacts the SC Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resilience Act – favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Establishes the C-PACE program that local governments can voluntarily implement to offer low-cost, long-term financing for qualifying improvements to increase sustainability and decrease energy and water costs.