Home » Legislative Hotlist: March 28, 2023

Legislative Hotlist: March 28, 2023

The House was furloughed last week, so only the Senate was in Session. As crossover day approaches, expect things to ramp up here in Columbia! Let’s dive in:

Battle of the Bills: Right now, there are two versions of a DHEC Reform bill moving in both the House and the Senate. Today, a House Ways and Means subcommittee will hear testimony on H.4124. A Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee will have its third and final hearing on S.399 this Thursday to hear from the Department of Administration. The bills are similar in that they both seek to split DHEC into a public health agency and an environmental one. The devil, as always, is in the details. The House version of this bill asks the Department of Administration to study the issue, while the Senate version offers a blueprint for the split. We have similar concerns with both bills: they both abolish the DHEC board, and they eliminate (or significantly shorten) the automatic stay of permits when there is an appeal of an agency decision.

Will either bill make it successfully through their respective chamber by crossover day? Stay tuned!

Crossover Day Approacheth: April 10th is crossover day. That means that any bill that hasn’t passed through one chamber by April 6th can’t be taken up in the opposite chamber without a two-thirds vote in favor. Aside from DHEC Reform, what are we watching for?

  • The Trails Tax Credit bill, H.3121. This bill would provide an income tax credit to a property owner who adds a voluntary, perpetual trail easement to their property and provides the qualifying criteria. This incentive will expand access to our State’s beautiful trail system so more people can enjoy the beauty of the outdoors! Ask your Representative to support H.3121!
  • The Conservation Enhancement Act, H.3786, which would restore the deed stamp funding mechanism for the Conservation Bank. This ties land conservation to development, and we couldn’t be more excited to support it! It has a hearing on Tuesday with a House Ways and Means subcommittee. Show your support for H.3786!
  • The Alternative Fuel Property Tax Credit bill, H.3824, which would help incentivize businesses and individuals to install electric vehicle charging infrastructure by extending an income tax credit for a portion of the installation cost. Encourage your legislator to cosponsor the bill now (or thank them if they’ve already signed on)!
  • Companion Bills for Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) introduced by Rep. Bart Blackwell and Senator Tom Davis (H.3937 and S.542, respectively). A C-PACE program will help commercial property owners install energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to their buildings. Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) lets these property owners finance the improvements through a voluntary tax assessment which allows for longer repayment. This makes the improvements a much more attractive option and requires no public funding. Both of these bills have a hearing this week! (see here and here)
  • H.3209, which retroactively extends permits issued by DHEC, was successfully amended by the House to limit its scope significantly to DHEC and Ocean of Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) permits already in existence in 2020. The Senate Judiciary Committee will hear the bill today. We hope the amended version survives the Senate process, so we will keep an eye out for further changes. Stay tuned!

Lobby Day: We invite you to join us for the SC Conservation Coalition’s 20th Annual Lobby Day and Oyster Roast next week on Wednesday, April 5th.

Please find more information and register here for a day of advocating for conservation in the SC legislature, networking with fellow CVSC volunteers and partners, and celebrating our work in SC. The Lobby Day and Oyster Roast are both free to attend. If participating in Lobby Day, please plan to meet us at our registration table near the Visitor’s Entrance of the State House (Gervais St side) at 9:15 am on Wednesday, April 5th. Lobbying will continue through the early afternoon. The Oyster Roast will kick off at 5:30 pm that night and run until 8:00 pm at the Market Building at 701 Whaley in Columbia. We hope to see you there!

Triple Your Impact! Right now, we’re halfway through year one of the 2023-2024 legislative session, and our work at the State House is really ramping up. In the busy months ahead, your donation will help CVSC protect more green spaces with historic and cultural significance, expand electric transportation to improve air quality and fight against environmental rollbacks.

For a limited time, every gift will be tripled to boost our efforts and make an immediate impact at the State House. A generous donor has pledged to triple every donation we receive in March, up to $5,000! This means your gift will go three times as far in the fight for South Carolina’s water, land, air, and energy! Make your donation here.

The Legislative Hotlist is a weekly update from our Government Relations Director, Meagan Diedolf. Sign up for emails to get the Hotlist delivered directly to your inbox!

Back to all News