HOTLIST – I hope you enjoyed the break last week from Statehouse news. After session ended May 9th, there were a few things left undone – namely, Governor McMaster’s signatures or vetoes on bills and a number of conference committee negotiations.
One of the vetoes was critical for coastal protections and we need you to take ACTION to help sustain it. It’s our Hot Button Action of the Week! Keep reading below for details on this crucial veto, and don’t miss out on other important things going on:
With the ink dry from the Governor’s pen and conference committee reports completed, your legislators return to the Statehouse TODAY to finalize the budget and address vetoes.
Here are key updates on where things stand:
- Clean Energy: On Thursday, May 16, Governor McMaster signed the Energy Freedom Act into law! This monumental accomplishment would not have been possible without your calls, emails, and conversations with lawmakers. Thank you!
- Special Interest Seawall Exemption: In the final days of the legislative session, a broadly supported bill was ambushed by a handful of lawmakers. These lawmakers amended the bill to provide a special interest exemption for 17 homes in an exclusive, gated community to build a new seawall without state permits. This seawall provision also cedes the State’s jurisdiction and permitting authority to the federal government and undermines the protections for our shared coastline in the Beachfront Management Act. We opposed this rollback of our beachfront management laws and worked with Governor McMaster and his staff as they vetoed this dangerous legislation. We couldn’t agree more with the Governor in his veto message when he said: “…the State has worked for several years to…protect our shared coastal resources, I believe it would be unwise to hastily enact a special exception to the Beachfront Management Act.”Now that Governor McMaster has stood up to protect our coastline, we need your help. With lawmakers returning to Columbia today to address vetoes, this issue could come up at any moment. Please, contact your legislators today and ask them to Sustain the Veto on H.3700 because of this dangerous seawall exemption provision
- Offshore Drilling: As you may recall, the Senate version of the state budget included a provision to block any permits for infrastructure that would allow offshore drilling for one year. Last week, the budget conference committee agreed to keep this anti-drilling provision. With the likely approval of the state budget this week by the House and Senate, South Carolina will have a one-year ban on drilling off our coast.W hile this is great news, we need to keep building momentum to pass a permanent ban when that one year is up. We’ll share more about that effort later this week but, for now, celebrate this amazing victory over offshore drilling that you made possible.
Thank you for taking action this year with your legislators. Your voice makes all the difference and has gotten us this far. Let’s finish strong.