January 21st, 2018
By Shelley Robbins
It was a quieter than normal week at the Statehouse thanks to the snow in the Upstate and the specter of snow in Columbia. The Legislature only met on Tuesday, so most of our pending bills, both good and bad, saw no action on the floor. The House version of the Nuisance Bill (H. 3653) will be on the Senate floor this week for possible debate and one of the Auto-Stay bills (S. 105) made it out of the House Judiciary Committee last week and will be on the House floor. The Plastic Bag “Ban Ban” bill that assaults home rule (H. 3529) is also on the House floor awaiting debate. You can take action on the Nuisance Bill here and on the Plastics/Home Rule bill here through the South Carolina Conservation Coalition’s user-friendly action center.
We are very pleased to see H 4458, filed by Rep. Chandra Dillard, gain traction. This bill should improve law enforcement’s willingness and ability to write tickets for littering. It will lower the fine and therefore increase ticketing. We agree that’s a good thing. We are hopeful the bill will have broad support.
In addition, reauthorization of the Conservation Bank is near and dear to our hearts and we remain hopeful that there will be positive movement on this issue in the coming weeks. We congratulate Greenville’s Doug Harper on being named Chair of the Conservation Bank Board and we also congratulate Spartanburg’s Norman Pulliam on being named Chair of the DNR Board (and a de facto member of the Conservation Bank Board). Go Upstate! We are so grateful for your leadership and service.
Energy issues - specifically Dominion’s proposal to purchase SCANA - was where things were hot this week. Executives from Dominion, a Virginia company that already owns South Carolina’s natural gas transmission system, presented their proposal to special committees in both the House and the Senate this week. In each case, legislators seemed skeptical that Dominion’s offer was the best option for ratepayers. Dominion’s proposal would leave part of the controversial Base Load Review Act intact and would also keep SCE&G customers on the hook for most of the capital costs of the abandoned V.C. Summer nuclear plants. We will keep you updated on this and other energy issues as they develop.