Watchdog Report – April 1, 2024


2024 continues to be a busy year for government affairs.  It’s an election year, including for President and Congress.  The SC General Assembly is nearing the end of a two-year term, and several Realtor issues are under consideration.  And your board of directors recently approved a position statement on annexation.  But first, flood insurance.

Flood Insurance

The Federal Flood Insurance program was again at risk of being suspended, but it was finally reauthorized.  It’s not the long-term extension Realtors have been calling for, but a few months is better than a few days or weeks.

On March 23, Congress adopted, and the President signed, the remaining budget bills that fund the Federal government through September 30, 2024.  This is the first time Congress has adopted a complete budget in many years.  Flood insurance was a part of those budget bills. 

SC Legislative Session

The SC legislative session ends on May 9, but an important date is coming up: the deadline for a bill to “crossover” from the chamber where it was introduced to the other chamber.  In other words, a House bill needs to crossover to the Senate by that deadline—this year it is April 10.  Most of the Realtor priorities have crossed over:

  • License law modernization: a House bill to the Senate.  The bill includes provisions to ban wholesaling and unfair service agreements, both Realtor priorities.
  • Prohibit the use of eminent domain for private pipelines: a Senate bill to the House.  The bill extends a moratorium on the use of eminent domain for private pipelines until 2026.

Short-term rentals, a Senate bill, is still in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Elections Filing Closes

As I write this report, filing for elections just closed.  It may be another day before all the filings are posted to the SC Elections Commission website.  But there are some highlights:

  • 11 candidates filed for District 3 in Congress, 8 Republicans, 2 Democrats, and one Alliance Party.  Congressman Jeff Duncan did not seek reelection.
  • Neither US Senator is on the ballot this year (that happens every 6 years).
  • All SC House and Senate seats are on the ballot.  Of the 9 House seats in the Western Upstate, 7 are contested in the primary.  Of the 3 Senate seats, none are contested in the primary.
  • All 7 members of Anderson County Council are on the ballot, but only 2 are contested in the primary.
  • 3 of the 5 members of Oconee County Council are on the ballot, and all 3 have primary opposition.
  • 4 of the 6 members of Pickens County Council are on the ballot, and all 4 have primary opposition.
  • The Sheriff of Pickens County is retiring.  5 filed to replace him, all Republicans.
  • The Treasurer in Oconee County is retiring.  2 have filed to replace him, both Republicans.
  • As is typical in the Upstate, most candidates are Republican.  There will be 1 Democratic primary in June—for Congress.

The primary is June 11, with early voting two weeks before.  Primaries decide most races in the Upstate.  I will provide a complete report on the candidates next week.  Your association will screen the races and provide Realtors with a Voter Guide in late May.


Annexation has become a hot issue, especially among people and groups opposing new residential development.  They have opposed voluntary annexations in a bid to block potential development.  Your board of directors adopted a position statement on annexation, which you can read here.  The short version is this: annexation should not occur unless the property owner agrees to be annexed.  However, if the property owner wants to be annexed, and the city agrees, third parties should not be able to block the annexation.

Support RPAC

RPAC is an important element of your Realtors Association’s advocacy program.  I encourage you to support RPAC, and we make it easy to do so—we include a voluntary RPAC contribution on your annual dues renewal.  Simply pay it and you have support RPAC.  If you want to do more that modest amount, that’s easy too

Michael Dey, Director of Government Affairs