Friday Report - January 20, 2023
This is the second week of the 2023 Legislative Session of the General Assembly. The Senate spent the week debating an education scholarship bill that would allow public funds to be used for students to attend private and religious schools. The House debated a bill allocating funds distributed to South Carolina in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and continued to work in subcommittees taking budget requests. Bills of interest will be discussed below in this week’s Friday Report.
The South Carolina Association of Counties (SCAC) will host Counties Connect: A Legislative Action Day on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at the USC Alumni Center in downtown Columbia. Formerly known as the Association’s Mid-Year Conference, this is an excellent opportunity to meet with your legislators and discuss issues important to your county. See the detailed information regarding Counties Connect as well as Institute classes that follow the legislative items in this week’s Friday Report.
Revenue, Finance, and Economic Development
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) – H. 3604. This legislation would provide for the expenditure of funds from the Contingency Reserve Fund for economic development projects and for the expenditure of federal ARPA funds that were disbursed to the state under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. H. 3604 also clarifies that funds previously distributed to the ARPA Resilience Account under Act 244 of 2022 may be used for the acquisition of property throughout the state in an effort to increase resilience.
County Government and Intergovernmental Relations
Permit Extensions – H. 3209. This joint resolution would provide for the extension of certain permits, certificates and other governmental approvals affecting economic development within the state. For development approvals that are current and valid at any point between January 1, 2018, and ending on December 31, 2023, the running of the clock regarding the period of validity and any associated vested rights are suspended. The House Judiciary Constitutional Laws Subcommittee adopted an amendment to the bill this week that deletes references to several state and federal permits that cannot be extended beyond a period of five years. Examples of permits that were removed from the bill include approvals of stormwater management plans that are granted by a local government or the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and 401 Water Quality Certification Permits that are issued by DHEC. H. 3209 received a favorable report as amended and will move on to the full House Judiciary Committee.
SCAC’s Counties Connect: A Legislative Action Day
Make plans to join your colleagues from across the state for SCAC’s Counties Connect: A Legislative Action Day on Wednesday, February 22, 2023, at the USC Alumni Center in downtown Columbia. Formerly known as the association’s Mid-Year Conference, this event provides an excellent opportunity for county leaders to connect with their local delegation members to advocate for issues important to their counties. All county officials are encouraged to participate. The program will kick off at 10:00 a.m. with a legislative briefing followed by a group visit to the State House while the House and Senate are in session. County leaders will have opportunities to speak with delegation members while at the State House. Lunch will be provided at the USC Alumni Center, and the conference program will continue in the afternoon with timely topics. County officials will have additional opportunities to engage with their legislators during the legislative reception that evening at The Palmetto Club from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
The following Institute of Government classes will be offered on Thursday, February 23:
Level I Electives: Employment Law: What Counties Need to Know and Building an Effective County Team
Level II: The Policy Role of Council and Effective Communications
The Council Chairperson’s Workshop will also be offered on February 23. This session is open to county council chairs and vice chairs and is free of charge.
Note: If you would like to offer comments to the SCAC staff, please call us toll-free at 1-800-922-6081, fax to (803) 252-0379, or send an email. You can also go to www.scstatehouse.gov and click on "Legislation," then "Introduced Legislation."