Friday Reports

The Friday Report, is prepared and distributed every Friday of the legislative session. The most recent Friday Report will always appear on the home page. 

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Friday, September 25, 2020 - 10:11am

This week’s Friday Report is being distributed by email only. If you have council or staff members who receive a mailed version of the Friday Report, please share this information with them.

The Senate and House met on Tuesday and Wednesday pursuant to the Sine Die Resolution. The Senate held a perfunctory session on Thursday, while the House met in-person to address some bills passed by the Senate. As this was the last scheduled week for the General Assembly to meet this year, there was a flurry of activity on several bills. The items of interest to county governments are discussed below.

The Budget Bill and Local Government Fund

The Senate amended and passed H. 5201, the Appropriations Bill, that continues to fund the majority of state government at the level provided for in the earlier Continuing Resolution (Act 135 of 2020, H. 3411). In addition, H. 5201 as passed by the Senate appropriated $11,687,035 to the Local Government Fund. This amount would have fully funded the Local Government Fund under the newly adopted formula. However, the House has decided not take up the bill until January due to the uncertainty of the economic forecast for the state due to COVID-19, and the state will continue to operate under the Continuing Resolution. This means that the Local Government Fund will continue to be funded under the appropriation of $233.7 million.

Phase II CARES Act Authorizations – H. 3210Read Full Report

Friday, September 18, 2020 - 11:59am

This week's Friday Report is being distributed by email only. If you have council or staff members who receive a mailed version of the Friday Report, please share this information with them.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

The Senate and House met on Tuesday and Wednesday pursuant to the Sine Die Resolution. They both held perfunctory sessions on Thursday, but will return next Tuesday. The items of interest to county governments are discussed below.

1. The Budget Bill and Local Government Fund

The Senate adopted the Finance Committee’s amendment to H. 5201, the Appropriations Bill. 

H. 5201 authorizes an additional $100 million to state and local governments in Phase II of the CARES Act authorizations. It also continues funding state government at the level provided for in the earlier Continuing Resolution (Act 135 of 2020, H. 3411) until June 30, 2021. While the majority of the state will continue to operate at the levels of funding from the previous fiscal year, the Senate plan would appropriate $11,687,035 to the Local Government Fund. This is full funding of the Local Government Fund per the new statutory formula. Please thank your Senators for supporting this budget plan for the remainder of FY 2020-21.

 The Senate budget plan would also make the following relevant one-time appropriations:

$70,000,000 - Department of Administration: COVID-19 Response Reserve Account

$4,159,050Read Full Report

Monday, September 14, 2020 - 10:19am

This week's Friday Report is being distributed by email and online only. If you have council or staff members who receive a mailed version of the Friday Report, please share this information with them.

Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

The Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees met this week to position funding proposals and legislation to be debated by the full Senate and House when they return next week for Sine Die session. The items of interest to county governments are discussed below.

 

1. Senate Finance Committee Action

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee met virtually to discuss Phase II CARES Act authorizations, the state’s budget, and to take up legislation regarding business licenses. 

The Finance Committee voted to authorize an additional $100 million to state and local governments in Phase II of the CARES Act authorizations. They then passed an amendment to H. 5201, the Appropriations Bill. As amended, H. 5201 continues funding state government at the level of amounts provided for in the earlier Continuing Resolution (Read Full Report

Thursday, May 14, 2020 - 1:56pm

 Members of the General Assembly returned to Columbia on Tuesday for an emergency session to fund the ordinary expenses of state government at current levels in the event the 2020-2021 fiscal year begins without the passage of the annual general appropriations act. While they were scheduled to meet through Thursday if necessary, they were able to wrap up most of their work on Tuesday. The Senate will meet in perfunctory session for the rest of the week. Legislation that passed or moved will be outlined in this Legislative Alert.

The General Assembly passed H. 3411, a continuing resolution (CR), to keep state government operational in the case that a budget is not passed by July 1, 2020. The CR calls for funding at the same level as fiscal year 2019-2020. The resolution allows for the Department of Administration to procure professional grant management services for oversight and compliance of funds received from the federal government in response to COVID-19 and establishes the Coronavirus Relief Fund to receive all federal appropriations. The CR also prohibits Santee Cooper from entering into contracts with a duration longer than one year and creates a Santee Cooper Oversight Committee to approve contractual decisions undertaken by Santee Cooper.

The CR appropriates $175 million from the State’s FY 2018-2019 Contingency Reserve Fund to a newly created COVID-19 Response Reserve account under which the Governor may direct funds to be used for reimbursements to local government entities and hospitals for expenses related to COVID-19 response. Expenses include, but are not limited to, emergency needs for hospitals to prevent closure or violationRead Full Report

Friday, March 20, 2020 - 9:10am

This week's Friday Report is being distributed by email only. If you have council or staff members who receive a mailed version of the Friday Report, please share this information with them.

Please check updates regarding COVID-19 response on our website and/or follow social media: @SCCounties on Twitter and Facebook, and South Carolina Association of Counties on LinkedIn.

The General Assembly convened this week for the very limited purpose of sending increased funding to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to combat the COVID-19 outbreak as well as to position a Continuing Resolution for future passage.

On Tuesday, the Senate Finance Committee took up H. 4014, stripped it of its original provisions which dealt with geothermal resources, and adopted an amendment to provide $45 million to the Executive Budget Office to be sent to DHEC to aid in the response to COVID-19. H. 4014 was approved as amended by the committee and the full Senate on Tuesday.

The Senate Finance Committee also amended H. 3411 to adopt a Continuing Resolution to provide for continued operation of state government should the General Assembly notRead Full Report

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 9:38am

The House passed the budget on Wednesday and did not meet on Thursday. They will be on furlough until the week of March 23rd. The Senate spent the week working through the calendar while on the floor and debating Santee Cooper in the Senate Finance Committee before reporting their findings to the Senate floor. The Finance Committee voted unanimously to reject the three options (sale, management, or restructuring). The Finance subcommittee tasked with renegotiating the three options met this week but has not made a recommendation. Meanwhile, the House bill (H. 5335) that appoints a special committee to further negotiate the three options and make a recommendation to the House and Senate, was amended in the House Ways and Committee and is back on the House calendar pending second reading.


Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

State Budget and Capital Reserve Fund — H. 5201 and H. 5202. The House passed the budget bill (H. 5201) and Capital Reserve Fund bill (H. 5202) this week, a total budget of $10.2 billion. Both bills are now in the Senate Finance Committee. The Senate Finance budget subcommittees will begin meeting next week. The full Senate Finance Committee plans to debate the budget during the week of March 31st, and the budget should be debated on the Senate floor beginning on Monday, April 20th.

Under the budget passed by the House, the Local Government Fund isRead Full Report

Thursday, March 5, 2020 - 3:54pm

Things finally began to move in the General Assembly this week as the Senate ended debate on the education reform bill (S. 419) and sent it to the House. In the ongoing debate in both the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Ad Hoc Committee regarding Santee Cooper, the House Ways and Means Ad Hoc Committee voted unanimously to reject the three options presented (sale, management, or restructuring). The House then introduced a bill (H. 5335) that would appoint a special committee that would further negotiate the three options and make a recommendation to the House and Senate. The Senate Finance Committee followed suit by appointing a subcommittee to look at further negotiating the options and making a recommendation to the full committee.


Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

State Budget and Capital Reserve Fund — H. 5201 and H. 5202. The House will begin debating the budget bill (H. 5201) and Capital Reserve Fund bill (H. 5202) on Monday at 1:00 p.m. Under the proposed budget, the Local Government Fund is funded with an additional $11,687,035 over last year’s amount. The budget bill also earmarks an additional $250,000 for County Veterans’ Affairs Offices, an SCAC policy position, and provides for a 2 percent raise for state employees. Finally, the budget bill includes anRead Full Report

Friday, February 28, 2020 - 11:20am

There was not a lot of legislative activity as the General Assembly continues to be bogged down with the education reform bill (S. 419) and Santee Cooper. One hundred of the more than 200 amendments to S. 419 were withdrawn. Hopefully since cloture has been invoked on the bill and no more amendments can be added, this will allow the Senate to finish up the bill soon. The House Ways and Means Ad Hoc Committee and the Senate Finance Committee both heard testimony on Santee Cooper. The House Ways and Means Ad Hoc Committee will be taking public testimony on Santee Cooper on Monday and the Senate Finance Committee will be taking testimony from Santee Cooper on Tuesday.


Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

Business License Tax – H. 4431The House took up H. 4431 and passed it. Class schedules would now be “recommended” by the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) and then “adopted” by the Director of the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office in the new language. The bill also allows the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office to contract with software providers and payment processors to implement a payment portal. Overall, the bill provides for standardization, including license forms, renewal dates, and the appeals procedure. The bill also bases a business license tax on a business’s gross income and further defines “gross income.” The original bill language would have based a business license tax on a business’s net income. This change should ensure that the bill will be revenue neutral. H. 4431 isRead Full Report

Thursday, February 20, 2020 - 10:01am
Sens. Thomas Alexander and Mia McLeod and Reps. Bruce Bannister and Marvin Pendarvis discuss legislation at the SCAC Mid-year Conference.
SCAC President and Clarendon County Council Chairman Dwight Stewart and Clarendon County Administrator David Epperson meet with Representative Robert Ridgeway to discuss legislation.
Oconee councilmen Paul Cain and Julian Davis III meet with Representative William “Bill” Sandifer to discuss legislation.
Judge Amy McCullough and SCAC staff member Daina Riley made presentations at the 2020 Association of Probate Judges Legislative Conference.

SCAC held its Mid-year Conference this week. In addition to attending Institute of Government classes and presentations to include a legislative panel, many county officials were able to have productive meetings with members of the General Assembly. The majority of the discussion in the General Assembly centered around a few issues - education reform, Santee Cooper, and the budget. The House Ways and Means committee finished up its work on the budget and will take up the report from theRead Full Report

Friday, February 14, 2020 - 10:14am

SCAC Executive Director Tim Winslow meets with
House Speaker Jay Lucas.

The Senate continued to debate the comprehensive education reform bill this week. The Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways & Means Committee received the findings from the Department of Administration pursuant to a 2017 joint resolution on whether or not to sell Santee Cooper. In a joint meeting, the committees heard testimony from the Department of Administration regarding its findings and recommendations. Testimony from Santee Cooper as well as the recommended preferred bidders is expected to be taken well into next week. The House announced that it will take a furlough on March 17th through the 19th and April 14th through the 16th. The Senate has not announced any plans for a furlough. SCAC’s Mid-Year Conference will be held next week on Wednesday, Feb. 19. See the detailed information regarding the conference and the Institute classes below.


Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development

Business License Tax – H. 4431. The House Labor, Commerce and Industry ad hoc subcommittee on business license tax reform met again this week and adopted a comprehensive amendment to H. 4431. The new bill language still provides for standardization, including license forms, renewal dates, and the appeals procedure. The new language now bases a business license tax on a business’s gross income and further defines “gross income.” The original bill language would haveRead Full Report

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