The House of Representatives and Senate met in regular session this week. The Senate Finance committee adopted its changes to the House version of the retirement reform bill.
Local Government Fund Update
The Senate Finance committee kept working on the budget bill this week and plans to finish its work by next Wednesday. There has been no discussion of funding levels of the Local Government Fund. It is critical that all local officials contact all senators this weekend about increasing the Local Government Fund from the House version of the budget. The Senate Finance committee has not taken any action on H4710, the bill that allows the General Assembly to cut the Local Government Fund.
House Budget Overview
The budget as passed by the House includes funding the Local Government Fund at 71 percent of the full funding level. This is a cut from FY 12 budget which funds the Local Government Fund at 76 percent of the full funding level. The House also approved H4710, the bill that allows the General Assembly to cut the Local Government Fund.
Lobbyist Proviso Amended
Representative Jim Merrill’s proviso regarding lobbying activities was amended and passed by the Senate Finance committee. The amendment prevents counties, municipalities and associations from using Local Government Fund dollars to compensate employees for lobbying activities. This version of the proviso could create accounting issues for cities and towns to track specifics of how LGF dollars are spent. The proviso is 89.129.
For talking points and background on the Local Government Fund, the House version of the budget and H4710, contact Melissa Carter (email@example.com) at 803.933.1251 or visit the Association’s website for more information.
Senate Amends House Retirement Reform Bill
The Special Senate Finance Retirement subcommittee passed H4967, the House version of the retirement reform bill, with several amendments. The full Senate Finance committee approved the subcommittee’s changes in its meeting later in the day. H4967 now heads to the full Senate for debate. Visit this link for a summary of proposed changes included in the House and Senate versions of the bill. For more information on the bill, contact Melissa Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.933.1251.
Brokers Tax Bill
S1419 makes changes in the state’s surplus lines brokers’ law to bring municipal and state brokers’ premium tax collections into compliance with the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The bill passed the Senate on April 19. The House Labor, Commerce and Industry Insurance subcommittee gave this bill a favorable report with an amendment this week. The amendment changes the language in the bill about the ability to join a multi-state compact. For more information on the bill, contact Melissa Carter (email@example.com) at 803.933.1251.
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.
Committee Action This Week
The Association’s legislative team covered these bills in committee or subcommittee and provided testimony where needed. Click on the bill's link for a full chronology of amendments and committee progress.
Senate Judiciary committee
H3676 – Community Land Trust Act of 2011 – favorable reportSummary of the bill as introduced: Outlines the purpose of a community land trust is to hold legal and equitable title to land to then lease the land to promote affordability.S934 – Annexation and utility services outside of the annexed area – carried over
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires a municipality utilizing the definition of contiguous to annex property that is adjacent to a special purpose district but not the special purpose district itself to provide municipal services to the special purpose district at the same rate that entities within the municipality are charged.
House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Environmental Affairs I subcommittee
S1220 – Fees collected for the surface water withdrawal program – favorable reportSummary of the bill as introduced: Enumerates the fees for surface water withdrawal applications and permits that would otherwise have been repealed January 1, 2013
S461 – Funding for the administration of a model recycling program – adjourned debateSummary of the bill as introduced: Requires holder of on-premises consumption alcohol permits to recycle each beverage container in accordance with the model recycling program through SC DHEC. This program is to use state accommodations taxes to provide funding for administration and implementation of the program.
Senate Labor, Commerce and Industry subcommittee
H4652 – Restricts labor unions in the state – favorable report as amended. The amendment only makes technical changes.
Summary of the bill as introduced: Requires employers to conspicuously post certain notice concerning the rights of an employee concerning joining a union and provides certain restrictions on government contracts.
Senate Judiciary subcommittee
H3665 – Penalties for carrying a firearm into a business that sells alcohol - favorable report with an amendment. The amendment strikes all of the language in the bill and replaces it with language from S1436.Summary of the bill as introduced: Establishes a penalty for anyone that carries a firearm into a business that sells alcoholic beer, liquor or wine for consumption
S1436 – Adds the definition of taverns and bars – no action although the bill was on the subcommittee agendaSummary of the bill as introduced: Requires food service establishments and taverns or bars to submit to the SC Department of Revenue a statement of the percentage of income from food service and from alcohol sales.
Senate Judiciary subcommittee
H3130 – Creates the offense of sexting – carried overSummary of the bill as introduced: Creates the offense of sexting and provides for the use of the uniform traffic ticket for the offense and for jurisdiction over the offense in the municipal or magistrates court
S390 – Criminal record check fees reduced for municipalities - favorable report as amended. The amendment would not allow resale of a background check if received at the $8 discounted rate.Summary of the bill as introduced: Clarifies the definition of charitable organizations which pay a reduced fee for criminal record searches to include local park and recreation volunteers through a commission, municipality or county
House Labor, Commerce and Industry Business and Commerce subcommittee
S1125 – Ineligibility of people discharged from employment for cause to receive benefits – favorable report as amended. The amendment added language that clarifies the ability of the Department of Employment and Workforce to disqualify workers under certain defined circumstances.
Summary of the bill as introduced: Prevents a person discharged from employment for fraudulent activity from collecting unemployment benefits for 20 weeks beginning with the date the person filed the benefits request.