2019 Senate Conservation Leadership Award
-Sen. John Matthews
Senator John Matthews was born and raised in Bowman, South Carolina. A graduate of South Carolina State College, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, and Lincoln Electrical Institute; he has served in the SC Senate since 1985. Before that, the Senator served 10 years as a member of the House of Representatives from 1975-1984. He serves as Assistant Minority Leader in the Senate.
Senator Matthews frequently cites the three most important issues for South Carolina as “the 3 E’s – Education, Employment, and Environment.” His conservation scorecard reflects his understanding of these values with a 94% lifetime score. In fact, in the 8 years that CVSC has been keeping a scorecard for the Senate, Senator Matthews has never voted against the environment.
He has a strong track record of fighting for the rights of local communities to pass ordinances to protect clean air and water and has been consistent in fighting rollbacks to core environmental protections like the Automatic Stay, Pollution Control Act, and Nuisance laws. He has supported protecting our coastline, funding and reauthorizing the Conservation Bank, and improving how we manage waste throughout South Carolina.
In looking at his service in the Senate and the environment, there’s no better description than “steadfast and consistent.” In fact, as far back as 2006, Senator Matthews’s trend of support for environmental protection earned him recognition as a CVSC “Conservation Champion” for proving inside and outside of the chamber over several sessions that he will protect the air, land, and water that we all love in South Carolina.
Matthews’s support for conservation is one that occurs primarily behind the scenes where he masterfully gathers support and whips votes in support of South Carolina’s air, land, and water – and it is in this environment that Sen. Matthews thrives.
Senator Matthews’s strong and vocal support at press conferences and in committee meetings this past session in support of the Energy Freedom Act makes his leadership on clean energy stand out even more. Recognizing that clean energy growth fulfills both the employment and environmental elements of his 3 E’s, Matthews was a consistent and active participant in efforts to advance energy competition through passage of this landmark clean energy bill. Senator Matthews and his late wife Geraldine Hillard Matthews are the parents of five children.
We thank you for your service to South Carolina!
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