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‚ÄčFrom the Dome to Your Home

The House of Representatives and the Senate met in regular session this week. Hometown Legislative Action Day was a success, with hundreds of municipal officials in Columbia talking to legislators about the 2019 Advocacy Initiatives.

Advocacy Initiatives update

  • Flexibility with hospitality and accommodations tax revenue
    H3132 and S217 were introduced in the House and Senate to give cities the ability to use state and local accommodations and hospitality tax revenue to control and repair flooding and drainage in tourist-related areas. The Senate passed S217 and sent it to the House of Representatives, where it was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee. Please encourage your House members to support S217. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Melissa Carter (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251.

    Local Government Fund predictability
    H3137, sponsored by a bipartisan group of House members, was introduced to change the LGF formula to a more predictable funding level from year to year. The House of Representatives passed H3137 and sent it to the Senate, where it was referred to the Senate Finance Committee. Contact your senators and encourage them to support H3137. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Melissa Carter (mcarter@masc.sc) at 803.933.1251. 
  • Reducing wait times for new hires at the Criminal Justice Academy
    The Senate Finance Criminal Justice subcommittee and the House Ways and Means Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice subcommittee continue to hear from law enforcement agencies on budget requests. The House Ways and Means Committee plans to debate the budget the week of February 18. Please continue to encourage members of your legislative delegation to support recurring funding in the state budget for the Criminal Justice Academy. With this change, the Academy can increase capacity and decrease wait times for admitting new officers. For more information on this advocacy initiative, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.

 Preemption bill remains on the House calendar
H3274, a bill that prohibits municipalities from enacting laws related to the ingredients, flavors or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products or nicotine products, remains on the House calendar. Tiger Wells testified against this bill in the subcommittee meeting because it takes away the authority of cities and towns to protect local youth from harmful products. In the House on Wednesday, 33 House members requested debate on this bill and moved it to the contested calendar, slowing the progress considerably. Thanks to all local elected officials who talked to their House members about the bill during the State House visit at Hometown Legislative Action Day.

On Thursday, a companion bill to H3274 was introduced in the Senate, S492, and referred to the Senate Medical Affairs Committee. Please call your senator and urge them to vote no on preemption and no on S492. For more information on this bill, contact Tiger Wells (twells@masc.sc) at 803.933.1270.


Weekly bill introductions
Access bills that were introduced this week and bills that received action from a subcommittee or committee through our legislative tracking system complete with short summaries. Visit the legislative tracking system to see and comment on all bills pending in the House and Senate.

Stay in touch
The Municipal Association legislative team is on Twitter bringing you updates from the State House when legislators are in Columbia for session. Follow Melissa Carter (@MelissaMuniSC), Scott Slatton (@ScottMuniSC) and Tiger Wells (@TigerMuniSC) on Twitter for updates. Also follow the Association at @MuniAssnSC