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January 13, 2023

The SC General Assembly convened on Tuesday, January 9, for the first half of the new two-year session. Senators met in session on Tuesday this week, and did not meet in session on Thursday in order to give committees time to work on legislation. House members met in session on Tuesday and Thursday. The House Ways and Means Committee began work on the state budget, while senators are expected to begin debate on education and healthcare bills Tuesday.  

Both the Senate and House attended Gov. Henry McMaster's inauguration on Wednesday.  

House Ways and Means Constitutional subcommittee 
The House Ways and Means Constitutional subcommittee met to hear budget requests and testimony from several agencies, including cities and towns. Joannie Nickel, legislative and public policy advocate for the Municipal Association, testified on behalf of cities and towns. Nickel asked that lawmakers follow the current law, Act 84, which requires the Local Government Fund to follow the increase and decrease of the state budget. Reps. Chris Murphy (R-Dorchester), Micah Caskey (R-Lexington) and Brandon Newton (R-Lancaster) are the House Ways and Means Constitutional subcommittee members. 

For questions about the Local Government Fund, contact Joannie Nickel ( at 803.354.4794. 

American Rescue Plan legislation in subcommittee 
The House Ways and Means Revenue Policy subcommittee met on Thursday to discuss H3604, the bill that disburses the remaining state allocation of American Rescue Plan.  

The subcommittee amended and approved the bill to allocate the remaining state American Rescue Plan funds. The amendment includes $586.6 million to the SC Rural Infrastructure Authority to continue the SC Infrastructure Investment Program, focusing on water and sewer projects that were unfunded with the first round of grant applications. Only existing applications will be considered. Also in the amendment was $500 million from the contingency reserve fund to the SC Department of Commerce for infrastructure funding related to economic development projects that were approved by the Joint Bond Review Committee and the State Fiscal Accountability Authority.  

Later in the day, the full House Ways and Means Committee approved the bill as amended by the subcommittee. The full committee adopted an additional amendment that clarifies that ARPA funds received by the SC Office of Resilience pursuant to Act 244, continue to be used in the manner in which they were approved. Next the bill goes to the full House of Representatives for debate. 

For questions about the allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funding, contact Erica Wright ( 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 is launching another podcast, dedicated only to legislative information. The From the Dome to Your Home podcast will begin this week with 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.  

From the Dome to Your Home Podcast