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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Monday, May 13, 2019 - 11:17am

The General Assembly adjourned Sine Die on Thursday pursuant to the Sine Die resolution (S. 785). The resolution states that they will return on May 20th through May 22nd to deal with specific items such as vetoes, the budget and capital reserve fund bills (H. 4000 and H. 4001), any bills that are in conference committees, and legislation related to Santee Cooper. SCAC had a very successful year with several legislative priorities passed or positioned for early passage next year, this being the first year of a two-year session. No bills that SCAC opposed passed this year.

Local Government Fund — H. 3137

H. 3137, which encompasses SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF, was sent to conference committee. The main difference between the House and Senate versions is the revenue forecast on which the funding amount is based. The Senate version bases the funding amount on the February 15 forecast while the House version bases it on the April 10 forecast. There is also a provision unrelated to the LGF dealing with gubernatorial appointments that will have to be addressed by the conference committee. The conference committee members are Reps. Bannister, Cobb-Hunter, and Finlay and Senators Cromer, Corbin, and Scott.

Please contact your Senate and House members and thank them forRead Full Report

Friday, May 3, 2019 - 9:47am

With only one week left in this legislative session, the House spent most of its time in committees this week trying to advance legislation to the floor. The Senate spent most of the week on the floor debating the potential sale of Santee Cooper. Per the Sine Die resolution (S. 785) passed by the Senate, the General Assembly will return on May 20th through May 22nd to deal with specific items such as vetoes, the budget and capital reserve fund bills (H. 4000 and H. 4001), any bills that are in conference committees, and legislation related to Santee Cooper.

Local Government Fund — H. 3137

H. 3137 encompasses SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF. The bill was amended by the Senate Finance Committee to provide that if the State General Fund increases or decreases, then the LGF will increase or decrease by the same percentage up to 5 percent. The amendment also changed which revenue forecast the increase will be based on, changed the effective date, and made technical changes. H. 3137 has been pending second reading on the Senate calendar for a couple of weeks. If this bill is to pass, it is imperative that it be taken up by next Wednesday.

Please contact your Senator and ask that they support passing H. 3137 as amended by the Senate Finance Committee as soon as possible.

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Thursday, April 25, 2019 - 4:37pm

There are only two weeks left in this legislative session. The Senate introduced a Sine Die resolution (S. 785) this week. If adopted, the General Assembly will return on May 20th through May 22nd to deal with specific items such as vetoes, the budget and capital reserve fund bills (H. 4000 and H. 4001), any bills that are in conference committees, and legislation related to Santee Cooper.

Local Government Fund — H. 3137

H. 3137 encompasses SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF. The bill was amended by the Senate Finance Committee to provide that if the State General Fund increases or decreases, then the LGF will increase or decrease by the same percentage up to 5 percent. The amendment also changed which revenue forecast the increase will be based on, changed the effective date, and made technical changes. H. 3137 has been pending second reading on the Senate calendar for a couple of weeks. If this bill is to pass, it is imperative that it be taken up soon.

Please contact your Senator and ask that they support passing H. 3137 as amended by the Senate Finance Committee and to do so as soon as possible.

SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF is as follows:

“Support amending the Local Government Fund Formula to set the base funding level at $223.2 million with a yearly increase in the fund that corresponds with the growth in the State General Fund up to 5Read Full Report

Monday, April 22, 2019 - 1:26pm

The House of Representatives was on furlough last week and did not meet in regular session. The Senate met Wednesday and Thursday to debate the budget so this update will focus solely on that. SCAC will resume issuing the Friday Report this week.

State Budget and Capital Reserve Fund — H. 4000 & H. 4001

The full Senate debated the budget and approved $9,511,285 in additional funding to the LGF. The House-passed version of the budget included $11.1 million in additional funding to the LGF over last year’s funding amount. The $1.6 million difference between the two was allocated by the Senate to fund a coroner’s mandate to establish county-level child fatality review committees. Attached is a chart showing the county-by-county breakdown of what counties would receive under each proposal. They also discussed several provisos of interest, which are discussed below.

Proviso 50.21 – CMRC: Development – Funding for Rural Infrastructure. This proviso authorizes the Department of Commerce (DOC) to use the Rural School District and Economic Development Closing Fund for economic development, water and sewer infrastructure, and school building infrastructure. The economic development projects must be in counties that contain a school district with a poverty rate greater than 86 percent as determined by the Department of Education. The DOC must develop a plan to deploy these funds in Tier IV counties first. FundsRead Full Report

Friday, April 12, 2019 - 10:58am

The Senate and House worked furiously this week to pass bills before the crossover date of Wednesday, April 10th. Bills that do not make the crossover date will probably not be taken up until next year. The House is on furlough next week. The Senate will meet in perfunctory session on Tuesday and begin debate on the budget on Wednesday.

State Budget

The full Senate will begin debating the budget on the floor on Wednesday. The Senate Finance Committee allocated $9,511,285 in additional funding to the LGF. The House-passed version of the budget included $11.1 million in additional funding to the LGF over last year's funding amount. The $1.6 million difference between the two was allocated by the Senate Finance Committee to fund a corone's mandate to establish county-level child fatality review committees. Attached is a chart showing the county-by-county breakdown of what counties would receive under each proposal.

Local Government Fund — H. 3137

H. 3137 encompasses SCAC's policy position regarding the LGF. A Senate Finance subcommittee met on H. 3137, amended it, and gave it a favorable report as amended. The amendment added a provision that if the State General Fund decreases, then the LGF will decrease by the same percentage up to 5 percent. The amendment also changed which revenue forecast the increase will be based on, changed the effective date, and made technical changes. Immediately following the subcommittee hearing, the full Finance Committee met and passed the bill as amended. H.

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Friday, April 5, 2019 - 10:00am

The Senate Finance Committee completed their work on the budget this week. It will be placed on the calendar for a week, and the Senate will debate the budget beginning the week of April 15th. The crossover date for bills to move from one side of the chamber to the other is April 10th. Bills that don’t make the crossover date will probably not be taken up until the next year.

State Budget and Local Government Fund (LGF)

The Senate Finance Committee adopted its version of the budget on Thursday. The committee allocated $9,511,285 in additional funding to the LGF. The House-passed version of the budget included $11.1 million in additional funding to the LGF over last year’s funding amount. The $1.6 million difference between the two was allocated to fund a coroner’s mandate to establish county-level child fatality review committees. Although the committee’s LGF amount meets SCAC’s policy position, it is unfortunate that they reduced the House’s LGF allocation to fund a state mandate in a year in which they have close to $500 million in additional recurring revenue to allocate.

Provisos of Interest:

Proviso 62.23 — SLED PTSD Funding. This proviso directs SLED to distribute funds to the SC Law Enforcement Assistance Program and the SC State Firefighters Association to reimburse law enforcement officers, firefighters, and EMTs for out-of-pocket expenses associated with mental injury not covered through workers’ compensation claims or insurance.

Proviso 67.ra — Raising the Age of a Juvenile. Act No. 268 of 2016 raised the age of a juvenile from 17 to 18 for purposes of incarceration. The Act takes effect on July 1, 2019, if funding is provided to DJJ to implement the Act. This proviso provides that

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Friday, March 29, 2019 - 9:18am

Once again, it was a very busy week at the statehouse. There are several important bills that will be debated in full committees or on the House and Senate floors next week.

Local Government Fund (LGF)

The House-passed version of the budget includes $11 million in additional funding to the LGF over last year’s funding amount. This amount exceeds SCAC’s policy position by more than $2 million.

SCAC’s policy position regarding the LGF is as follows:

“Support amending the Local Government Fund Formula to set the base funding level at $223.2 million with a yearly increase in the fund that corresponds with the growth in the State General Fund up to 5 percent. Also, standardize a list of state mandates that all counties are responsible for in order to quantify the need for the LGF.”

The Senate Finance Committee will begin debating the budget on Tuesday. Please ask your senator to support increasing the LGF by at least the same amount as the House did. Please also ask your senator to support the passage of H. 3137, which encompasses SCAC’s policy position regarding the formula.

Tort Claims Act Changes — S. 7 and S. 386

S. 7, as passed by committee, raised the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act (TCA) from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexed both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The Senate adopted a

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Friday, March 22, 2019 - 12:50pm

It was a very busy week at the statehouse. The House and Senate moved several bills through committees and on the floor.

Tobacco Preemption — H. 3274 & S. 492. These bills prohibit political subdivisions from enacting any laws, ordinances, or rules pertaining to the ingredients, flavors, or licensing of cigarettes, electronic cigarettes, tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products after January 1, 2019. Any ordinances adopted prior to January 1, 2019, are exempt from the preemption. SCAC has a policy position opposing this type of preemption. A Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee amended S. 492 to make it clear that political subdivisions can adopt smoking or vaping bans. The subcommittee also amended H. 3274 to mirror S. 492. The full committee gave a favorable report to H. 3274 as amended and carried over S. 492. Please contact your Senate members and ask that they oppose H. 3274 and S. 492.

Rollback Taxes — H. 3596. H. 3596 reduces the amount of rollback taxes due when agricultural property is changed to another use from five years to one year. SCAC staff testified that this bill would have a negative fiscal impact across the state and especially in fast growing areas. A House Ways and Means subcommittee gave the bill a favorable report.  

Municipal Millage —

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Friday, March 15, 2019 - 11:55am

After more than 12 hours of debate, the House passed the Budget bill (H. 4000) and the Capital Reserve Fund bill (H. 4001). H. 4000 funds the Local Government Fund at a base level of $222,619,411 with an additional $11,121,285, for a total of $233,740,696. This represents an increase of more than $2 million above what SCAC's policy position would require. Here are some other provisions or provisos of note in the budget that were either adopted or did not pass:

  • Proviso 108.16 removes the $10,000 earnings limitation for retired employees who return to work if they have been retired for 12 consecutive months.
  • Proviso 117.157 decouples magistrates' salary from a circuit court judge's salary and requires magistrates to be paid the same amount as they are being paid in the current fiscal year. This proviso does not decouple masters-in-equity from a circuit judge's salary.
  • A proviso was proposed by Rep. Bamberg to redefine small and medium employers for purposes of the state insurance benefits program so that small employers are those employers that have less than 150 covered lives. Medium employers are those employers that have between 150 and 500 covered lives. This proviso was discussed but not adopted.
  • An allotment of $2 million was provided to the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office to do a statewide aerial imagery project.

Please thank your House members for passing the Local Government Fund as proposed in H. 4000. Now it is time to ask the members of the Senate Finance Committee to support the Local

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Friday, March 8, 2019 - 11:58am

The House spent most of the week clearing the calendar and debating a comprehensive education bill. They will take up the budget starting on Monday. The budget bill (H. 4000) funds the Local Government Fund at a base level of $222,619,411 with an additional $11,121,285, for a total of $233,740,696. This represents an increase of more than $2 million above what SCAC’s policy position would require. Please ask your House members to support the Local Government Fund as proposed in H. 4000.

Tort Claims Act Damages Increase — S. 7

S. 7 raises the existing caps on damages found in the Tort Claims Act from $300,000 to $1 million per individual, from $600,000 to $2 million per occurrence, and indexes both increases to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). If this bill were to pass, it would codify a 333 percent increase in the existing caps. County budgets that are already pushed to the limits will be further strained by such a change. Based on information received from the Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, it appears that the Senate will begin debating this bill next week. There have been several different proposals mentioned as to what amount to increase the caps. Of all the proposals mentioned, SCAC would have to oppose each of them as they would represent a minimum insurance premium increase of between 30-50 percent for county governments. Depending on what is finally adopted, the impact could be even more severe.

Please contact your senator and convey to them the impact such an increase in liability would have on the

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