Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 Hometown Legislative Action Day a Success!

The 2014 Hometown Legislative Action Day yesterday was a great success with more than 500 local officials in Columbia to learn about legislative issues and meet with their delegations. Thanks to Representative Gilda Cobb-Hunter and Senators Nikki Setzler, Shane Massey, Ray Cleary and Joel Lourie for joining us for two morning sessions.

These legislators took time from their busy schedules to give meeting attendees honest assessments on important issues such as the Local Government Fund, texting while driving and transportation funding. Bottom line was there’s more money in the budget this year, but there are so many competing priorities, it’s unlikely we’ll see any base increase in LGF dollars.

The senators all agreed that any discussion of turning over state roads to local governments must include a stable and sustainable funding source for long-term maintenance. They also agreed that a statewide texting ban makes sense. Senator Massey holds a judiciary subcommittee meeting today on two texting bills, S416 and S459.

Read more about the senate panel in an article from today’s Florence Morning News.

During the afternoon State House visit, a half dozen senators took to the floor to welcome municipal officials to Columbia with a resolution recognizing Feb. 5 as Cities Mean Business Day. Nice to hear so many positive comments from senators on both sides of the aisle about their support for the cities and towns in their districts.

NLC’s Carolyn Coleman gave meeting attendees an update on federal issues thanking Senator Graham for his support of the Marketplace Fairness Act, S743, which has passed the Senate but is hung up in the House. She encouraged anyone who has a relationship with Rep. Gowdy to let him know about the importance of this bill. He is on the House Judiciary committee that will hear the bill.

If you attended HLAD, please take a minute to let us know how the day went by clicking on this quick survey.

If you missed the meeting, handouts will be available on the Association's website next week. Also, you can see photos and follow some of the presentations from the HLAD Twitter feed.

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