Last week, the House was on furlough and the Senate sat in perfunctory session Wednesday and Thursday – it was almost relaxing! That languor won’t last, so let’s jump in.
Where’d all that money go? The full Senate Finance committee completed its budget last week. They haven’t yet posted their final numbers, but the situation is…not great. There is a new Chairman in town (Senator Peeler) so, while the House touted a budgetary theme of transformative projects across the state, the Senate focused on larger tax relief solutions. That means that the Senate had a smaller pool of money to pull from, and I fear that means major cuts to the House’s appropriations for the things we care about like land conservation, PFAS remediation, and the Office of Resilience.
This is disappointing, but the process is far from over. The budget heads to the Senate floor next week, and it is anybody’s guess whether there will be amendments proposed. The real negotiations will happen later, possibly after session, in conference committee. Conference Committees are ad hoc committees made up of members from both the House and the Senate. Their purpose is to reconcile differences between their respective versions of legislation.
The Week Ahead: Crossover shenanigans have come to an end, and now we are racing towards the finish line of May 12th (also known as sine die, the last day of session). Each body is going to have a lot of committee hearings to get bills over the finish line because anything that doesn’t pass by the end of session is going to have to start the legislative process completely over next year. Here is what we’ve got coming up:
- The Electronic Waste bill (H.4775) is up in the Senate Agriculture committee on Wednesday. We support this bill – it reauthorizes legislation that addresses how electronic waste is recycled.
- The Offshore Wind Industries bill (H.4831), is likely to be up for second reading on the Senate floor. The bill 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. We support this bill and encourage you to reach out to your Senator to request their support!
Conservation Coalition Lobby Day & Oyster Roast: We’re a week away from our annual lobby day and oyster roast. After missing the last two years, we can’t wait to see you! Please join Conservation Voters and the SC Conservation Coalition for a fun day of advocating and celebrating conservation on April 26th. Click here to learn more and sign up!
Thank you for all you do!