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February 16, 2024

House and Senate members met in regular session this week. The House Ways and Means Committee begins debate on Tuesday on its version of the budget, while the Senate plans to consider a bill that creates a new state agency. The House is taking a planned furlough next week, while senators will meet as usual. 

The House of Representatives and the Senate could not agree on amendments to H3594, the permitless firearm carry bill, sending the bill to a conference committee. Conferees include Reps. Micah Caskey (R-Lexington), Bobby Cox (R-Greenville) and Justin Bamberg (D-Bamberg) from the House. The Senate has not yet appointed conferees. 

The House gave final approval to H4231, the bill that would allow retail liquor sales on Sunday after a successful local referendum vote. Next, the bill goes to the Senate for debate.  

The Senate debated and passed S423, the SC Compassionate Care Act, the bill that would legalize use of medical cannabis. Next, the bill goes to the House for debate. 

S915, the bill that would create the Executive Office of Health and Policy after the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control was split last year, is set for special order on the Senate calendar, which priorites that debate next week. 

Military TIF bill approved by subcommittee 
H4552, a bill that amends current law to include affordable housing developments as allowable projects in a military tax increment financing district, was given a favorable report by the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Municipal and Public Affairs subcommittee. The subcommittee adopted an amendment that expands where TIF dollars can be spent and extends the bonding period from 15 years to 30 years. Subcommittee members heard testimony from North Charleston Mayor Reggie Burgess, North Charleston Administration Director Ryan Johnson and others in support of the bill. Erica Wright, legislative and public policy advocate for the Municipal Association, also testified in support of the bill. Next, the bill goes to the full committee for consideration.  

For information on this bill, contact Erica Wright ( at 803.354.4793. 

House, Senate hear further testimony on liquor liability  
Members of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee met again to hear testimony on S533, a bill that would change joint and several liability in the SC Contribution Among Tortfeasors Act and S844, a bill to create a study committee to look at the liquor liability insurance issue. Senators did not take action on either bill, but heard testimony and adjourned to meet again at the call of the chair. 

The House Judiciary Liquor Liability Ad Hoc committee met and heard testimony on H5066, a bill that would provide an affordable option for liquor liability insurance. Committee members heard testimony from restaurant owners on the bill, but did not take action. 

For information on this bill, contact Scott Slatton ( at 803.933.1203. 

Stay in Touch 
The Municipal Association legislative team is on Twitter. Follow Scott Slatton (@ScottMuniSC), Joannie Nickel (@JoannieMuniSC) and Erica Wright (@EricaMuniSC) for updates from the State House. Also follow the Association at @MuniAssnSC.  

Don’t forget to listen to the From the Dome to Your Home podcast every Friday for a recap of the week’s legislative issues and a look to the week ahead at the State House. 

From the Dome to Your Home Podcast

Committee Report

House Judiciary Committee 
H4927Creates the Executive Office of Health and Policy – favorable report 
Summary of the bill as introduced: Creates the Executive Office of Health and Policy as a cabinet-level agency with the director appointed by the governor with advice and consent of the Senate.