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March 7th, 2022
By Megan Chase
With Covid-19 restrictions easing in some places and temperatures warming, I've been sensing gratitude (and pollen) filling the air around us as we return to in-person meetings and events. Read below for details on the upcoming Conservation Lobby Day and Oyster Roast — the first we've had in several years!
While these Legislative Updates provide opportunities to contact your legislator about key issues through email and online action centers, by far the most effective way to communicate with elected officials is in-person.
Please join us on March 22nd for our Annual Lobby Day and Oyster Roast hosted by the SC Conservation Coalition. You’ll get the chance to meet fellow advocates, legislators, and staff who value conservation and help us make a positive impact at the Statehouse. All who register for Lobby Day will also be registered for an Issues Training session held virtually at 12 pm Monday, March 21.
This event is free to participate in, but we do request that you register online. For those who cannot join us in person, the Coalition has provided a virtual Lobby Day option that will include materials and instructions on how to contact your legislator. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions.
As expected, the DHEC Restructuring Bill (or “Breakup” Bill – glass-half-full vs. half-empty), passed out of the Senate Medical Affairs committee last Thursday, with concerns about water planning and other issues outlined by several senators. You can watch a recording of that hearing here and learn more about this bill here.
The Solar on Superfund bill (S.901) unanimously passed out of the Senate and is headed to the House. This bill 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.
While we saw funding support for PFAS remediation in the House version of the state budget, the joint resolution that establishes a process for addressing PFAS in drinking water (S.219) remains stalled in Senate Medical Affairs.
The Electricity Market Reform Committee meets this Wednesday at 9 am. Created by the passage of Act 187 in 2020, the purpose of this group is to study electricity market reforms and their benefits to South Carolina ratepayers, including measures to accelerate emissions reductions and competition through the state. Click here for a deep dive on this legislation from 2020.
Watch the House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Murrell Smith give a briefing on the appropriations bills (General Appropriations and Capital Reserve Fund). You can watch that meeting here, scheduled immediately upon adjournment of the House on Wednesday, to get caught up before the House floor budget debates next week.
Later this week, the Senate Finance subcommittees will hear from DHEC, the Rural Infrastructure Authority, and Public Service Commission, but we expect the conversations to follow what we saw on the House side.
Until next week...
State Policy Director
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