House and Senate members met in regular session this week. Senators spent time on the floor debating education savings account legislation, while House members spent time in subcommittee and committee meetings.
House and Senate debate fentanyl trafficking legislation
Subcommittees in both the House and Senate advanced legislation to increase penalties for trafficking fentanyl. The House Judiciary Criminal Laws subcommittee met and heard testimony on H3503, the bill that increases penalties for trafficking fentanyl. Erica Wright with the Municipal Association testified in favor of the bill, along with law enforcement representatives and families directly affected by fentanyl. The subcommittee did not take action on the bill, but plans to schedule another meeting to hear further testimony.
A Senate Judiciary subcommittee also met on Thursday and heard testimony on four fentanyl bills. Subcommittee members gave S1, a bill that creates a fentanyl-induced homicide offense, and S153, a bill that adds the offense of trafficking fentanyl, a favorable report. The subcommittee did not take action on the other two fentanyl bills on the agenda. Next, the Senate Judiciary Committee will debate these bills.
The Municipal Association included increased penalties for fentanyl trafficking in its 2023-2024 Advocacy Initiatives.
For questions about fentanyl legislation, contact Erica Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.354.4793.
Squat truck legislation passed by committee
S363, the bill that restricts modifications to motor vehicles known as squat trucks, was amended and given a favorable report from the full Senate Transportation Committee on Wednesday. The amendment clarifies that the bill goes into effect immediately, however allows 180 days as a warning period for law enforcement officers to issue warning tickets. Next, the bill goes to the full Senate for debate.
City of Myrtle Beach Police Chief Amy Prock and City of North Myrtle Beach Police Chief Dana Crowell were present for the committee hearing and introduced by Sen. Greg Hembree (R-Horry). The Municipal Association included a ban on squat trucks and other traffic safety measures in its 2023-2024 Advocacy Initiatives.
For questions about squat truck legislation, contact Erica Wright (email@example.com) at 803.354.4793.
American Rescue Plan resolution passed by the House
The House of Representatives approved H3604, the joint resolution that disburses the remaining state allocation of American Rescue Plan funds. The amendments that were adopted in committee were also adopted on the floor. The amendments include sending $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 among the amendments 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. Another amendment clarifies that ARP funds received by the SC Office of Resilience pursuant to Act 244 must continue to be used in the manner in which they were approved.
The bill now goes to the Senate for debate. For questions about the allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funding, contact Erica Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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 offer 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 Labor, Commerce and Industry Public Utilities subcommittee
H3614 – Enacts the Ratepayer Protection Act – favorable report
Summary of the bill as introduced: Prohibits a public utility from taking an adverse employment action against an employee who reported wrongdoing by the public utility to the SC Office of Regulatory Staff.
Senate Judiciary subcommittee
S330 – Adds tiered penalties for damage to an electric utility system – carried over
Summary of the bill as introduced: Adds tiered penalties for damage to an electric utility system.
S331 – Creates the offense of malicious injury of a gasoline, natural gas, propane or electric utility – carried over
Summary of the bill as introduced: Creates the offense of malicious injury of a gasoline, natural gas, propane or electric utility by use of a firearm or destructive device.
House Judiciary Constitutional Laws subcommittee
H3209 – Extends certain governmental approvals affecting economic development in the state – favorable report as amended. The amendment removes two sections that pertain to SC Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Summary of the bill as introduced: Extends certain governmental approvals and permits affecting economic development in the state.
Senate Judiciary subcommittee
S252 – Enacts the Law Enforcement Personal Information Privacy Protection Act – favorable report as amended. The amendment make only a technical change.
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.