With the House taking a furlough last week, it made for a quiet lobby, but it won’t stay that way as crossover day is fast approaching! Let’s dive into what will prove to be a busy time as both the House and Senate rush to get bills over to the other chamber to meet that crossover deadline!
Offshore Wind: Last week, the Senate LCI committee breezed through H.4831, the offshore wind industries bill. H.4831 directs the Department of Commerce to create a roadmap for attracting offshore wind energy supply chain industries to the state. CVSC supports this legislation as it facilitates the growth of South Carolina’s clean energy economy and may open the door for more wind energy opportunities beyond the supply chain. The bill now moves to the Senate floor next week – let your Senator know you support the Offshore Wind Industries Bill!
Word Salad and The Office of Regulatory Staff: The Joint State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee met last week to screen the Office of Regulatory Staff’s director, Nanette Edwards, for a new term. The ORS is an important agency as it represents the public interest in utility regulation and other matters. Director Edwards was found qualified and nominated for another term, but she highlighted a concern that utility rates for South Carolinians have the potential to rise substantially in the near term. CVSC supports Nanette Edwards and ORS’s mission, and we hope to see clean, affordable energy as a crucial part of their strategy to stabilize rates for consumers.
Crossover Shenanigans: On April 10th every year, the crossover deadline looms. If a bill is not passed from one body to another by this date, it is effectively dead – especially at the end of a two year session. Thus, in the weeks leading up to crossover day, committees that have been busy devote more time to getting through important bills they need to get across the line. Here is what we have to look forward to:
- Waste: on Tuesday, an Agriculture and Natural Resources subcommittee will hear testimony on two bills, H.4775 (Electronic Waste Recycling) and H.4999 (Hazardous Waste). Both of these bills were introduced by Chairman Hiott and deal with how potentially dangerous materials can be disposed of.
- The debate over how electronic waste (think old TVs and printers) are disposed of has raged off and on for years. The internal components of these goods can leak heavy metals into the environment. Roughly a decade ago, we helped pass electronic waste recycling legislation to keep these items out of the landfills. Now, it’s time to reauthorize that legislation (H.4775), and many stakeholders have identified ways to improve the process. Due to these environmental risks, CVSC has been heavily involved in the stakeholder process of developing this legislation to ensure that a landfill ban remains in place. We support the bill and appreciate the industry being willing to maintain that ban.
- The Hazardous Waste bill (H.4999) amends our state’s Hazardous Waste Management Act to define new terms and clarify site-specific remediation standards for instances where there has been a hazardous waste spill. Though CVSC has not taken a position on this bill, we are watching to ensure that spills are taken seriously and treated consistently with federal standards.
- Land: On Tuesday, A Ways and Means subcommittee will hold a hearing on the Conservation Enhancement Act. The Conservation Enhancement Act (H.4956) re-establishes the Deed Stamp funding mechanism for the South Carolina Conservation Bank that was removed several years ago. This critical funding would generate an estimated ~$22 million in FY 2022, vastly increasing the Bank’s capacity to conserve lands in our state. The support and passage of this legislation is vital to achieving a robust and sustainable future for South Carolina. Contact your Representative today and urge them to support the South Carolina Conservation Enhancement Act (H.4956). This legislation is too important to ignore!
Conservation Coalition Lobby Day & Oyster Roast: Join Conservation Voters and the SC Conservation Coalition for a fun day of advocating and celebrating conservation on April 26th (Please note the date change because of changes in the legislative schedule!). Be a part of making an impact at the State House with fellow volunteers, staff, and elected officials. Click here to learn more and sign up!
Thank you for all you do!