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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 17th, 2020
By Shelley Robbins
The House and Senate both met on Tuesday, May 12, and negotiations between the two bodies paid off. They both passed the same Sine Die Resolution and Continuing Resolution and now stand adjourned until September 15, when they will convene for a short 2 week session. They also waived rules and moved many non-controversial bills forward out of committee and passed them on the floor so that they are eligible to be considered by the opposite chamber in September.
For a look back at where some of the main bills we have been following stopped, click here. Of note, the RTO Study Committee Bill and the Wildlife Trading Bill both still have a chance to pass in 2020. We can add to the list a bill filed by Senator Climer, S. 922, that makes it easier for companies to install electric vehicle charging stations for public use in South Carolina. Ever wonder why SC doesn't have more EV charging stations along the road where you can pay to charge, just like you would pay to fill your tank? Currently, a company that wants to install EV charging infrastructure and charge for use is considered a PSC-regulated utility. This bill solves that problem, and we are excited to see it as part of the package of bills that could pass this year.
Finally, the language the chambers passed does allow them to return to the Statehouse sooner than September 15 if needed.
This will be the last regular weekly Legislative Update for now, but I will share updates if anything substantive happens. In the meantime, keep an eye on the Conservation Coalition webinars! The water webinar Tuesday, May 19 will be great and features our own Megan Chase!
Tuesday, May 19 at 12:30: 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 recordings of 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.
Until the next time!
Energy and State Policy Director