How Upstate Forever is responding to COVID-19

Our Greenville and Spartanburg offices have closed while Upstate Forever staff work from home to help protect the health of each other, our families, and our communities. But while we are not together in the office, we remain together in our continued efforts to protect our region's critical lands, waters, and unique character.

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Legislative Updates 2020: April 20-24

April 26th, 2020
By Shelley Robbins

Crickets in the Statehouse

The highlights:

  • Still no resolutions
  • Value of Water Survey and Swag
  • New! Podcasts!
  • Upcoming and past webinars

the details:

This screenshot from the Statehouse website says it all. Crickets. We are entering Week 16 of the 18 week normal legislative session, and if you recall last year, there would have been a mad dash for final committee meetings and floor votes before sine die on May 18. Instead, we are still waiting to hear whether either chamber will return to take up a Sine Die Resolution and a Continuing Resolution or whether they will adjourn without those resolutions. If they adjourn without them, the Governor will call them back in June, but at that point, the Legislature will have abdicated their authority to control the agenda. There is understandable tension, and we must continue to wait to learn the outcome.

While the Legislature must meet in person to vote, they do not have to meet in the Statehouse chambers. They could reconvene in a larger space, allowing for physical distancing, but the challenge with this is providing complete public transparency via livestream. If this happens, we will let you know.

Read more about these two resolutions and what is at stake here and here.

Value of Water Survey and Prizes

While we dream of a return to normal days, Upstate Forever's Clean Water Advocate Megan Chase recently sent out her Water Log e-mail and reminded us how fortunate we are to currently have clean, abundant water during the COVID-19 crisis. But how much do we actually know about the value of our water? You can take our survey here to test yourself and also register to win prizes, including our gorgeous swag (see below).

If you would like to sign up for the Water Log, you can do so here.

NEW! Podcasts from the Conservation Coalition

As a supplement to the webinar series Conversations with Conservationists, the Conservation Coalition has launched a new podcast series called Public Concern. They come out every Friday afternoon and have some of the best titles to go with the excellent content. Learn more here

Advocacy 101 Webinar Registration Is Open

April 29 at 12pm: Advocacy 101 Register here

“Advocacy 101" is designed to give you the foundational skills needed to stand up for the conservation issues you care about — both in our local communities and with our elected leaders — and make sure that your voice is heard, even from home.

More Upcoming Webinars

A tentative schedule of upcoming webinars follows. The dates may be tweaked slightly and we may add some based on your input, but for now, here's the plan:

  • May 7 at 12:30 pm: Talking Trash: Commercial Composting and Solid Waste Policy in SC with Upstate Forever, Atlas Organics, and the Coastal Conservation League
  • May 14 at 2:30 pm: Shoreline Issues with the SC Environmental Law Project
  • May 19 (Time TBD): Will We Have Enough Water in 20 Years? with Upstate Forever and Congaree Riverkeeper

You can find links for recordings of the previous webinars here.

ODDS AND ENDS AND ACTIONS:

Would you rather receive these weekly Legislative Updates in your inbox? You can sign up to do so right here. The Legislative Update will hit your mailbox every Sunday evening during session (usually January through May).

This would have been Week 15 out of 18, but that is all out the window. I will continue to send out weekly updates about Statehouse and Conservation Coalition activity. Until next week!

Shelley Robbins
Energy and State Policy Director

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