Welcome to March! The legislative session is in full swing and we’ve got just 6 weeks until “crossover.” For a bill to have any chance to pass, it has to “crossover” from one chamber to the other by April 10, 2019. Thankfully, the Clean Energy Freedom Act made it from the House to the Senate, and cleared this major hurdle.
Unfortunately, that means it could fall down the priority list as they look at Senate bills that need to crossover. But we are already staring down the barrel at some other serious deadlines. So, it’s up to us to remind them just how urgently we need this legislation.
We have to remind them that South Carolina jobs could be lost if they don’t act now. We have to remind them about the large scale solar projects that could be bringing counties revenues and jobs – but are in limbo while they wait on the utilities to act.
We can fix these problems with the passage of H.3659. We just need the Senators to act, but that means we all need to take action to keep things moving. Have you taken action? Make that call today and let’s start this week off strong!
What happened last week:
- Plastic Pollution: We packed the room last week for the first subcommittee hearing on the anti-home rule, anti-plastic bag local ordinance bill. Conservationists, local businesses, Mayors, and community leaders converged at this meeting to show their opposition to S.394.If passed, this bill would take away their ability to pass local ordinances to help limit the use and impact of plastic bags and containers in our communities and waterways. Senators have promised more hearings with the next one coming up the day after Conservation Lobby Day on March 20th.Please continue to tell them that passing this bill is not only unnecessary but would strip rights from local communities to find good solutions to local problems.
The week ahead:
- Clean Energy: Senators will be discussing the companion bill to the House solar bill – S.332 in a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee again this Wednesday. Unfortunately, it’s easy to slow bills down in the Senate. We need to make sure they are prioritizing solar jobs and market competition over utility interests that want to see this bill fail. We need your help.
Contact your Senator today and urge them to pass the Solar bill that passed unanimously in the House.
- Dam Safety: Luckily, the rollback of dam safety protections for low hazard dams in S.107 hasn’t moved beyond the subcommittee stage in the Senate. We need to make sure it stays put. Contact your Senator to tell them to keep dam safety protections intact.
- Offshore Drilling: We’re continuing to watch for progress on the two anti-offshore drilling bills that would prevent state government from approving on-shore infrastructure for offshore drilling. Please ask your legislators to support S.89 andH.3087.
You’ve already emailed and called your legislators about issues you care about, but you want to do more? Well, I’ve got just the opportunity for you! On March 19, join us for a fun-filled day of learning, lobbying, and oyster-shucking with conservation experts, legislators, and lobbyists.
As always, you can continue to follow our weekly hotlist and more opportunities to take action at www.cvsc.org.