Thursday, June 11, 2020

Virtual Annual Meeting to Explore COVID-19, Law Enforcement, Legislation

An in-person Annual Meeting for the Municipal Association of SC is not happening for 2020, but preparations are well underway for its online equivalent. 

Individual conference sessions, available through streaming video, will go online on the Municipal Association’s website on Friday, July 17. The Association’s annual business meeting, unlike the other sessions, will take place live at 9 a.m. on July 17. Municipal Association President Cornelius Huff, mayor of Inman, will lead that session. No registration will be needed for city and town officials to participate or to stream the video sessions. 

Here’s a look at the currently planned session topics. 

Several videos will address the impacts of the ongoing pandemic on South Carolina municipalities. These include: 

  • The state’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts, with a perspective from the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control; 
  • The existing economic impacts of the public health emergency as explained by the SC Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, and what cities and towns can expect for their finances across the next year; and 
  • Information from the SC State Election Commission about the methods used to keep the voting process safe, both in the June primaries and the November general election. 

Law enforcement 
Jack Ryan of the Legal and Liability Risk Management Institute will lead several law enforcement video sessions. One of these will connect law enforcement practices to COVID-19, addressing how officers should use personal protective equipment and clean equipment. In another session, Ryan will discuss public safety exceptions for information disclosure under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Another session will dig into the other major topic in the news — the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the international protests of police procedures that have followed. This session will cover the appropriate care and restraint of prisoners in police custody. 

Legislation and business licensing 
Kathy Maness, Lexington town councilmember, is now serving as first vice president of the National League of Cities. She and other NLC officials will discuss the ongoing need that local governments have for federal assistance. Another session will explain what cities and towns can expect from the existing Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. 

Also, business licensing served as a significant issue for the General Assembly before the pandemic disruptions, and a business license standardization bill is still pending. Municipal Association staff will emphasize the importance of standardization and the steps cities and towns can take to make the process easier for local businesses. 

Find full information on the Virtual 2020 Annual Meeting webpage. All videos will be available on this page on July 17.