Legislative Updates 2024: April 29 - May 3

May 6th, 2024
By Megan Chase-Muller


  • Last week of the Legislative Session
  • C-PACE bill (S.542) and others caught in SC Energy Security Act deadlock
  • A primer on Sine Die

Happy Monday!

We’ve made it to the last week of the 2024 legislative session! The South Carolina General Assembly will adjourn for the year on May 9th — Sine Die — but can reconvene for special business over the summer and fall (more on that below).

Before then, I want to thank you for keeping up with the news, reaching out to your lawmakers, standing up for conservation issues, and sharing your thoughts on how we can do better. Without your engagement, support, and collaboration with our partners, this work simply would not be possible. So, here’s to you, the unsung heroes of the legislative session!

Missed last week’s update where we discussed the Senate budget debate and new EPA rules that complicate the SC Energy Security Act (H.5118)? You can find that update here.

News from the Statehouse

Bills caught in a deadlock

The C-PACE bill (S.542), introduced by Senator Tom Davis (Beaufort), is legislation we’ve supported as a means to expand access to financing for measures that improve energy and water efficiency as well as the installation of solar, battery storage, and EV charging infrastructure. While so close to making it to the House floor for a vote, it ultimately was withdrawn in the House LCI Committee.

Does this have anything to do with the House’s SC Energy Security Act (H.5118), and the apparent impasse over the bill in the Senate? While we may never know, what’s clear is that tensions are rising between the two bodies, and several bills have already become mired in the breakdown of negotiations. The House, for example, voted to amend several Senate bills last week — including a Suicide Prevention bill (S.408) — with the language of H.5118 (as passed by the House), invoking the obscure House Rule 4.7b as a means to get the Senate’s attention. With just three days left in the legislative session, all we can hope for is that cooler heads will prevail.

What is Sine Die anyway?

Under the SC Code of Laws, the second Thursday in May at 5:00 pm marks the end of the regular legislative session, when the SC General Assembly adjourns Sine Die (from Latin — "without a day"). Midway through the legislative session, the House and Senate usually pass a resolution that marks the last day of the regular session and outlines work that may continue past that date.

This year’s Sine Die resolution (S.1192) has been agreed to by both chambers and specifies that lawmakers may come back at the call of the Senate President and Speaker of the House to take up:

  • the state budget, capital reserve fund, and other appropriations matters
  • ratifying acts
  • conference committee reports
  • gubernatorial vetoes
  • appointments and elections for offices filled by the General Assembly
  • local bills (legislation that only affects a discrete community or area rather than the entire state, like local taxes)
  • resolutions expressing sympathy or congratulations

As we wrap things up this week, we’ll be paying attention to any attempts to amend the Sine Die resolution to include last-minute legislation that needs additional time (this can happen but is usually reserved for major legislation). Remember, this is the second year of a two-year session, so any bill that has not passed both chambers will have to be refiled next year and go through the committee process all over again.

Thank you again to everyone who engaged with your lawmakers and took action on our legislative priorities this session! It has been a whirlwind, and we’ll unpack what happened to the bills we’ve been following in the coming weeks.  

Megan Chase-Muller
State Policy Director

Odds and Ends and Actions:

Did you receive this Update as a forward and want to sign up for it yourself? You can do so right here. The Legislative Update will hit your mailbox every week 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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