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Legislative Updates 2022: March 21 - 25

March 28th, 2022
By Megan Chase

WEEK 11 IN THE STATEHOUSE

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Offshore Wind Energy Bill advances
  • PFAS news from an Upstate business leader
  • What to look out for this week

The House is gearing up for a busy couple of days after last week’s furlough and it seems as though both chambers have quickened pace to get bills past the April 10 crossover deadline. Read below for a preview of what to look out for at the Statehouse this week.

Missed last week’s update? Click here for a breakdown of what happened with the DHEC Breakup bill (S.2) and House budget week.


NEWS FROM THE STATEHOUSE

House Offshore Wind Bill gains support in Senate

The Offshore Wind Industry Bill (H.4831) is headed to the Senate floor after passing both subcommittee and the full Senate Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee last week. As a reminder, this bill was shepherded by Greenville Representative Jason Elliot and would direct the Department of Commerce to conduct an economic development study on the potential growth of the offshore wind industry, including supply chain manufacturing, in South Carolina. Interested in learning more about the current offshore wind industry in our state? You can find a map of supply chain facilities in our state here, a resource provided by the Southeastern Wind Coalition.

Support for this bill comes at a critical point in our transition to clean energy and complements plans by the Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to open up the rights to produce power from offshore wind energy 50 miles east of Myrtle Beach.

Learn about SC’s electric power systems

If you have a spare hour and want to learn about how South Carolina produces and distributes power throughout the state, I encourage you to watch the footage from the Electricity Market Reform Study Committee hearing. You can watch that hearing hereand scroll down to Wednesday, March 23rd at 9 am. 

Protection from PFAS through corporate leadership

While progress halted on the PFAS bill (S.219) in favor of a budget solution, a leader in the Upstate’s business community, Milliken & Corecently announced that it would phase out all PFAS chemicals from their global textiles portfolio. While our state stalls on efforts to protect drinking water from hazardous levels of these chemicals, this is a great example of how the business community can step up to reduce the harmful health risks these chemicals pose to South Carolina residents.


WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK

Critical funding for land conservation - The Conservation Enhancement Act (H.4956) will get a hearing in a House Ways and Means subcommittee Tuesday afternoon - 1.5 hours after the House adjourns. You can learn more about this transformational legislation here and watch the hearing here.

Paying for storm damage - A Senate Judiciary Subcommittee will meet on Tuesday at 10:30 am to discuss a Storm Securitization Bill (S.1077) that would allow electric utilities like Duke Energy to structure and price storm bonds, with approval by the South Carolina Public Service Commission, for damage costs incurred from the many major storms our state has experienced the past few years.

Extending the eminent domain moratorium (again) - Immediately following that subcommittee meeting, the full Senate Judiciary Committee will meet to discuss the bill (H.3524) that would extend the moratorium on private, unregulated petroleum pipeline companies from the use of eminent domain until June 30, 2024, giving us time to work on the much-needed regulatory infrastructure to protect property rights and local waterways from pipeline spills. You can watch that hearing here Tuesday at noon. 

Budgets move forward - On Wednesday at 8:30 am the Senate Finance Criminal Justice subcommittee (where we usually hear from SC DNR) will discuss provisos in the Senate’s version of the budget. You can watch that hearing here.


Conservation Lobby Day

Please join us on April 26th 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.

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.

Click here to register and learn more about this event

Until next week...

Megan Chase
State Policy Director


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 (January through May).

Did your senator or representative do something awesome this week? Tell them! Use this link to find out who represents you, and if you love a bill they are supporting, please let them know. You can also just use the link to tell them what is important to you.

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