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Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government Monthly Quiz

True or False? 
State law empowers city and town councils to adopt ordinances, which are local laws of a general and permanent nature, and to set fines and penalties for the enforcement of those ordinances.

Answer: True
South Carolina municipalities are subordinate units of state government, and they derive their power from the state constitution and laws adopted by the General Assembly. They can adopt municipal ordinances, resolutions or regulations, but these must be consistent with the federal and state constitutions and laws. 

SC Code Section 5-7-270 provides the process for passing ordinances. Councils must introduce every proposed ordinance in writing in the form required for final adoption. No ordinance has the force of law until it has had at least two readings on two separate days with at least six days between each reading. 

SC Code Section 5-7-290 gives the required process for codifying ordinances once they are enacted. They must be indexed, and must be either typewritten or printed. They must be maintained in a current form while reflecting all amendments or repeals passed by the council. Finally, the law requires that municipalities make all codified ordinances “available for public inspection at reasonable times.” 

State law requires that councils can take certain actions only by using an ordinance. For a complete list of these actions, refer to the Handbook for Municipal Elected Officials in SC

The Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government offers both in-person and online courses. Elected officials who complete all of the required coursework can then graduate from the institute. Register for the May 17 courses “Municipal Governance and Policy” and “Freedom of Information Act in South Carolina."