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April 11th, 2022
By Megan Chase
We have covered many different milestones over the past thirteen weeks of the Legislative Session that have signaled positive steps for Upstate communities. The latest “Crossover” deadline last Thursday followed suit with a full lineup of bills and resolutions that made it out of at least one chamber and are therefore still “alive” as we head into the final stretch of the session.
Remember that you can find recaps from the first thirteen weeks of the session here.
The Trails Tax Credit Bill (H.3120) moved out of the House last week and is headed to the Senate. If passed, this bill would be a critical tool in the toolbox for expanding public access to outdoor recreation and boosting economic development. Learn more about this bill here.
The ‘Eminent Domain’ Joint Resolution (H.3524), having passed both the House and Senate, has been sent back to the House for a concurrence vote on a Senate amendment to ensure the moratorium does not apply to already-regulated pipeline companies. This resolution seeks to extend a moratorium on unregulated, private petroleum pipeline companies until we can develop regulations to protect property rights and local waterways from pipeline spills.
The Storm Damage Securitization Bill (S.1077) passed out of the Senate and is headed to the House to determine whether electric utilities can use storm bonds to cover the cost of damages from the many major storms that have hit our state over the past few years. What is the benefit of this bill? Issuing storm recovery bonds could result in lower monthly bills for customers.
The two waste bills we discussed last week — the Hazardous Waste Clean-Up Bill (H.4999) and the E-Waste bill (H. 4775), both filed by Upstate Representative Hiott — quickly moved through the committee process and floor votes and are now headed to the Senate.
The County Green Space Sales Tax Bill (S.152) authorizes counties statewide to establish a 1% sales tax by referendum to purchase and enhance county green spaces. We mentioned this bill early in the session as one of several land protection bills to follow this year.
The Plastic Pellet “Nurdles” pollution bill (S.596) passed the Senate last year and now needs to move out of the House Agriculture Committee. No one wants these pesky plastic pellets in SC waters or harming wildlife, and they’re not just found on the coast.
The Solar on Superfund Bill (S.901), which passed out of the Senate in March, would extend the 2021 sunset for tax credits granted to large solar projects located on brownfield sites and makes a few clarifications to the bill that was passed in 2019.
The Offshore Wind Industry Bill (H.4831) — introduced by Greenville Rep. Jason Elliot — directs the Department of Commerce to conduct a study on the potential growth of the offshore wind industry, including supply chain manufacturing. Click here to learn more about this bill and other wind energy-related resources.
Despite all of the positive advancements we’ve seen this session, several priority bills did not make the Crossover deadline, including the PFAS bill, the Conservation Enhancement Act, and the Mining Bill.
Of course, there are several other bills we’re following and will take action on when the time is right, so stay tuned for news on these and other legislative happenings.
With the House on furlough again this week, we’ll watch the Senate Finance Committee take up the General Appropriations Bill (H.5150) as well as the House version of the American Rescue Plan Authorizations Bill (H.4408). Click here to watch how this conversation unfolds on Tuesday — 30 minutes after Senate adjournment.
If you have registered to attend our Annual Lobby Day and Oyster Roast on April 26th, please contact me so that we may coordinate the Upstate advocates!
This is a free event hosted by the SC Conservation Coalition that provides the opportunity to meet fellow advocates, legislators, and staff who value conservation. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions.
Until next week...
State Policy Director
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