Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Check out the mobile app for HLAD meeting

The Association has updated its meeting app for the Hometown Legislative Action Day on February 5. In addition to the schedule, speaker information, map of nearby restaurants and list of attendees, the app has become more “social.” Similar to Facebook, the app features a timeline on which users can post comments and pictures from their meetings with legislators while attending HLAD. To use the social functions, you must create a profile using either your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account.

The app is free and can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play by searching for “MuniAssnSC.” For the web version of the app, visit mobileapp.masc.sc. Those who have downloaded the app previously do not have to do so again. When accessed again, the app will prompt you to allow an update.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Healthcare coverage for volunteer firefighters

The concern that local governments will be required to provide health-care coverage to their volunteer firefighters after passage of the the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was allayed by a recent U.S. Treasury Department ruling. In a January 10 blog post, the Treasury Department said that governmental organizations would not be required to provide health insurance for volunteer firefighters and other emergency responders because these individuals will not be considered full-time employees under the Treasury's soon-to-be issued final regulations on the employer shared responsibility provisions and the definition of full-time employee.

Legislative update

The 2014 legislative session began last Tuesday with the House concentrating on the budget and the Senate debating a bill that would allow guns in bars. House Ways and Means subcommittees met last week discuss the budget, including the Local Government Fund. Those subcommittee meetings continue this week. Visit this link to the Municipal Association website for a web version of From the Dome to your Home.

Reporter workshop on local government scheduled

The Municipal Association is joining with the SC Press Association and the SC Broadcasters Association to host a workshop for reporters and editors who cover local governments. The topics will include forms of government, budgets, the Local Government Finance Report and “undercovered” story ideas. Pass on the information about this workshop to any reporters who cover your city hall. It will be held on February 13 at the Municipal Association in Columbia. More information.