The Senate and House of Representatives met in regular session this week and worked through bills on the calendar. The Senate adopted its version of the budget on Wednesday.
The last day of the regular session is Thursday, May 11, 2023.
Short-term rental bill in subcommittee
H3253, the bill that prohibits a municipality from enacting an ordinance that stops the rental of a residential dwelling to a short-term guest, is scheduled to be heard by the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Municipal and Public Affairs subcommittee on Wednesday, April 26, at 9 a.m.
Rep. Joe Bustos is the chairman of the subcommittee. Subcommittee members are Reps. Rob Harris, Wendell Jones, Jordan Pace, Marvin Pendarvis, Sylleste Davis and Joe White.
The language in this bill would prohibit cities and towns from enacting ordinances that ban short-term rentals and prohibit cities from regulating short-term rentals. Please call your House member, especially if they are on the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs committee. House members need to know that cities and towns should maintain the ability to regulate short-term rentals.
If the bill passes out of the subcommittee, the full House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee will debate the bill next.
For questions about the short-term rental bill, contact Scott Slatton (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.933.1203.
Senate version of the budget
The Senate finalized and adopted its version of the state’s $37.3 billion budget on Wednesday afternoon. Included in the budget are the following items:
$13.2 million added to the Local Government Fund base amount. The Senate Finance Committee fully funded the LGF at 5% for FY 2023-2024 according to Act 84, which passed into law in 2019.
$1 was added to the budget for county transportation committees, also known as CTCs, for secondary and low-volume primary roads.
$40.1 million to cover 1% of the increase in public employers’ retirement system contributions.
$750,000 for post-traumatic stress disorder treatment services for first responders, which includes the additional $250,000 from FY 2022-2023.
$121.5 million for the state’s share of the state health plan, including expanded well visits, prescribed contraceptives for dependents and annual gynecological visits for women.
$3 million in recurring dollars to fund the Volunteer Strategic Assistance and Fire Equipment program, or V-SAFE program.
$95,000 in new nonrecurring dollars towards the SC Fire Chiefs Association.
$2.5 million additional money in one-time dollars for tourism promotions, including $500,000 in recurring dollars and $2 million in nonrecurring dollars.
$12 million in one-time dollars for destination-specific tourism grants.
$1 to the Office of Resilience for disaster relief.
$1.5 million in recurring funds to supplement the state’s 10 Councils of Governments.
$1.5 million in recurring funds to fund the Aid to Counties-Magistrates line item.
$3.894 million in recurring funds for Aid to Fire Districts- Statutory Funding Requirement for Insurance Premiums under Section 23-9-410.
$3.784 million in recurring dollars for the Firefighter Cancer Fund.
$12 million to the Rural County Stabilization Fund.
$25 million in one-time dollars to the SC Conservation Bank for grant funding.
$5 million to the SC Department of Mental Health for an alternative transportation program.
$2 million in recurring dollars to fund additional 988 call centers.
$1 to the SC Department of Public Safety for a mental health for incarcerated individuals pilot program.
The Senate kept the following provisos in the budget from the House version:
SC State Treasurer: This proviso requiring the state treasurer to withhold all or a portion of state payments from municipalities not meeting the auditing and reporting requirements has been suspended for the last two years. The House asked that the original language be restored and the state treasurer to resume withholding state payments.
SC Public Employee Benefit Authority: State Health Plan: This proviso provides for an employer health insurance premium increase of 3.7% and a subscriber premium increase of 0% for the standard State Health Plan for Plan Year 2024.
PEBA: Police Officers Retirement System and South Carolina Retirement System Return to Work: For compensation earnings during the current fiscal year, the earnings limitation does not apply if a member of PORS or SCRS has not been engaged to perform services for a participating employer in the these systems for compensation in any capacity, whether as an employee, independent contractor, leased employee, joint employee or other classification of worker, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months subsequent to retirement.
The budget now goes back to the House for additional amendments or concurrence. For information on the budget, contact Joannie Nickel (email@example.com) at 803.354.4794.
The House Education and Public Works Motor Vehicle subcommittee amended and passed S363, the Senate version of the squat truck bill. The bill prohibits motor vehicle modifications that result in a motor vehicle's front fender being raised 4 or more inches above the height of the rear fender. The subcommittee amended the bill to define fender and add an additional warning period of 180 days. Next, the bill will go to the full House Education and Public Works Committee for debate.
For questions about the squat truck bill, contact Erica Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.354.479.
Municipal election bill
The House Judiciary Committee amended and gave a favorable report to H3734, the municipal election bill that requires all municipal elections to be held on specific dates. The committee amended the bill to set the time of commencement of terms and adjust terms of office to comply with odd-year elections. The bill is now on the House uncontested calendar for debate next week.
For questions about the election bill, contact Scott Slatton (email@example.com) at 803.933.1203.
House concurs with American Rescue Plan Act
The House of Representatives concurred on the Senate amendments to S604, the bill that allocates the state ARPA funding. The Senate amendments to the bill authorizes the SC Office of Resilience to use their ARPA allocation to mitigate the potential release of contamination associated with the USS Yorktown. The House amendment that instructed the SC Rural Infrastructure Authority to withhold ARPA funding from any area whose General Assembly member opposes the federal funding was deleted by the Senate.
Next, the bill goes to the governor for approval or veto.
For questions about the American Rescue Plan Act allocation, contact Erica Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.354.4793.
Bond reform on the House calendar
H3532, the bill that creates sentencing enhancements for persons who commit certain additional crimes while on pretrial release on bond, was amended by the Senate and returned to the House. House members adjourned debate twice on the bill this week. The bill remains on the House calendar.
For questions about the bond reform bill, 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.
From the Dome to Your Home podcast
The Municipal Association has launched another podcast, dedicated only to legislative information. The From the Dome to Your Home podcast offers more guests, more insight and more legislative information all year round. Enjoy both City Quick Connect for municipal information and project highlights and From the Dome to Your Home for everything legislative.
House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Agriculture subcommittee
H3438 – Prohibits local governments from restricting the use of private property to grow plants for human consumption – adjourned debate
Summary of the bill as introduced: Prohibits local governments from restricting the use of private property to grow plants for human consumption.
House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Environmental Affairs subcommittee
H3434 – Prohibits a person from administering barrier mosquitocide treatment within 1,000 feet of a reservoir – adjourned debate
Summary of the bill as introduced: Prohibits a person from administering barrier mosquitocide treatment within 1,000 feet of a reservoir or body of water used for drinking water.
House Judiciary Committee
H4042 – Provides a framework in which antisemitism is to be considered with regard to all laws that prohibit discriminatory acts – favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Provides a framework in which antisemitism is to be considered with regard to all laws that prohibit discriminatory acts.
House Judiciary Constitutional Laws subcommittee
S252 – Enacts the Law Enforcement Personal Information Privacy Protection Act – favorable report as amended. The amendment alters the definition of personal contact information and extends the effective date to July 1, 2024.
Summary of the bill as introduced: Allows a law enforcement officers to formally request that his personal identifying information held by the state or a local government be held confidential.
House Labor, Commerce and Industry Real Estate subcommittee
H3493 – Creates the Coastal Structural Stability Study Committee – adjourned debate
Summary of the bill as introduced: Examines current measures for inspecting commercial buildings that are six floors or more in height constructed along the SC coast.