The House of Representatives and Senate met in extended session this week adjourning at 5 p.m. on Thursday. The budget conference committee plans to meet today at 11:30 a.m. to continue work on the budget. The adjournment resolution that was adopted by the House and Senate allows the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate to call the House and Senate back into session anytime over the summer. Both chambers plan to reconvene next week. The resolution also limits the business of each chamber.
Local Government Fund Update
The budget conference committee members Representatives White, Murrell Smith and Ott and Senators Leatherman, Land and Verdin continue to work on the state budget bill. The House version of the budget contains $10 million additional dollars for the Local Government Fund and the Senate version of the budget contains an additional $40 million.
Lobbyist Proviso Amended
The Senate and House versions of the budget include Representative Jim Merrill’s proviso regarding lobbying activities. The House version of the proviso prevents local governments from using any taxpayer dollars for lobbying, while the Senate version prevents counties, municipalities and associations from using Local Government Fund dollars to compensate employees for lobbying activities. The conference committee adopted the Senate version of this proviso. Both the full House and Senate must approve the committee’s decision. The original proviso is 89.129.
Retirement Reform Bill Adopted
Both the House of Representatives and the Senate adopted the retirement reform conference report on Thursday. Visit this link for a summary of the changes to the retirement system. Additional information will be posted on the Association’s website as soon as it is available. For more information on the bill, contact Melissa Carter (firstname.lastname@example.org) at 803.933.1251.
Bills passed from both the 2011 and 2012 legislative sessions are available on the Association’s legislative tracking system.
Weekly Bill Introductions
There were no standing committee meetings this week. All of the action took place on the floor of the House and Senate and in conference committees for specific bills.