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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.
May 4th, 2020
By Shelley Robbins
After what must have been significant negotiation between House and Senate leadership, both bodies have announced they will return to Columbia on May 12 to finish state business as best they can. At this time, only the House has posted a link to the livestream, but the Senate will do so shortly. The livestream links can be found here.
The House and the Senate will once again try to pass both a Continuing Resolution (carrying the budget forward) and a Sine Die Resolution (establishing what additional issues they can work on between now and the beginning of the normal 2021 session in January). If you are new to the Legislative Update, you can catch up on this unusual year and the issues at stake by perusing the previous 15 weekly updates here.
The House and Senate have both indicated they are planning to meet for three days, May 12 through 14. It is possible that the Senate will continue to meet after those dates. As the smaller of the two bodies, it is easier for them to maintain physical distancing. They could take up bills that had crossed over from the House before everything shut down (including some bills we support such as the Wildlife Trading Bill and the RTO Study Committee Bill). The SC Board of Economic Advisors will also meet on May 14 to discuss the condition of the state's economy. Stay tuned.
The Upstate grew 5.1%, or by more than 71,000 people between 2014 and 2018. That's a lot of people and a lot of trash. How can we accommodate this growth without building more landfills or bringing incinerators to South Carolina? We have a webinar for that.
Given that the largest component of landfill waste is food, expanding commercial composting is the obvious answer. And the Upstate is home to South Carolina's commercial composting pioneer company Atlas Organics. Join Upstate Forever, Atlas Organics, and the Coastal Conservation League to learn more about our current landfill situation, importation of waste from other states, how Atlas Organics operates and is expanding nationally, and other large-scale composting in the state on Thursday, May 7 at 12:30 pm.
Read some recent press about Atlas here. And did you know Atlas is headquartered in downtown Spartanburg and was founded by a Wofford grad (Joseph McMillin) and a Clemson grad (Gary Nihart)? Given Upstate Forever's long history fighting unwarranted landfill expansion, we love that Atlas has its roots here.
Thursday, May 14 at 2:30 pm: Shoreline Issues with the SC Environmental Law Project - register here.
Tuesday, May 19 at 12:30 pm: Will We Have Enough Water in 20 Years? with Upstate Forever's Megan Chase, Congaree Riverkeeper Bill Stangler, and DNR Hydrologist Scott Harder - register here.
The handy landing page for all of the past webinars can be found here.
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.
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 16 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!
Energy and State Policy Director