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Regional Advocacy Meetings Draw Crowds, Great Conversation

After seven in-person Regional Advocacy Meetings and one virtual meeting, a common theme emerged for what municipal leaders want out of legislative action at the State House — protect the ability of cities and towns to make decisions at the local level that work best for residents. 

Since 2006, Municipal Association of SC staff have hosted local legislative meetings to provide a convenient and quick way to communicate with municipal officials about legislative action without a trip to Columbia. These meetings have also proven helpful in gathering information about proactive legislative that can benefit cities and towns.  

The Association’s advocacy staff crisscrossed the state in September and October, meeting with local officials from the Upstate to the Lowcountry to discussed legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2023, as well as bills that remain active for the legislative session beginning in January. 

The legislative team outlined recently passed bills that had an effect on local government. From the state budget to squat trucks, financial audits, fentanyl and everything in between, municipal officials discussed these topics and asked questions about how to apply these new laws to their hometowns. 

hartsville rams
Municipal Association legislative staff, including, from left, Erica Wright, Joannie Nickel and Scott Slatton, speak during the Regional Advocacy Meeting at the Hartsville Museum. 

The agenda also included bills that are still active for the 2024 session. Attendees discussed the possibility of the hate crimes bill passing, as well as a municipal elections law bill that’s in the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Support for a zero-millage bill, a bill that would allow cities and towns with no operating millage to impose a millage, was also discussed, along with the effort to change the current language found in state law about liquor liability, and the attempt to extend the Abandoned Buildings Tax Credit. 

Participants talked about the political possibilities of the upcoming SC House and Senate elections. The biggest topic of the sessions was the effort in the General Assembly to take away the ability of cities and towns to regulate short-term rentals. Officials discussed the differences in communities across the state and the needs of the resident to be met by local officials. 

There was never a lack of discussion topics, fellowship among the elected officials, staff and Municipal Association staff and great food from local restaurants.  

Keep up with legislative action during the session by subscribing to From the Dome to Your Home weekly email reports at. Also, listeners to the From the Dome to Your Home podcast can get legislative insight each week from the Association’s Director of Advocacy and Communications Scott Slatton and Manager for Municipal Advocacy Casey Fields.