CVSC works with the Conservation Coalition to make conservation issues a priority at the State House. Follow our weekly “Hot List” while we’re in legislative session to stay abreast of our legislative issues.

Clang, Clang: it’s sine die, friends! This marks the end of the second year of a two-year session. Unless a bill was included in the sine die resolution, it isn’t getting passed this year and would need to completely start over next session.   This was my first session leading CVSC’s government relations team and while it was a real rollercoaster ride, I loved every minute of it. Well, almost. I didn’t love that time our […]

May 12, 2022 | Read More >

First things first – thank you all for a wildly successful Conservation Coalition Lobby Day and Oyster Roast! I had a ton of fun and you showed the General Assembly how important conservation is to voters. I’m already looking forward to next year. It’s the Final Countdown: The clock is ticking with only six legislative days left before the end of session – and there is still a lot left to do. Let’s roll through […]

May 3, 2022 | Read More >

  Session is coming to a close and things are starting to get… interesting. Let’s jump in! The Lay of the Land: We’ve got nine legislative days left at the end of this two year session. Any bills that don’t pass both bodies by May 12th are dead unless they are included in the sine die resolution.  There are some big, controversial bills left to be finished (some conservation-related, some not): the DHEC Reform bill, […]

April 25, 2022 | Read More >


Money Woes?

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 […]

April 19, 2022 | Read More >

Y’all, last week was bananas. I’m talking about shenanigans, tornados, thousands of amendments, and just a little chaos. For CVSC purposes, it was a reasonably successful week, but it didn’t always look that way. Let’s jump in.   Crossover Shenanigans, Part 3: The second year of a two-year session is always wild. Add in that it is an election year AND crossover week and you’ve got a high-stress situation. We at CVSC had a few […]

April 11, 2022 | Read More >

Both Chambers were back in action last week and that meant a quiet sort of chaos settled over the Statehouse as the House and Senate geared up for Crossover day. This week is going to be a doozy though, so buckle up! Crossover Shenanigans, Part 2: The Crossover deadline is this week (by April 10th), friends. That looming deadline is going to cast a shadow over any and all business that gets done. Expect few committee […]

April 5, 2022 | Read More >

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 […]

March 29, 2022 | Read More >

- – ‘Twas Budget Week: A Lobbyist’s Poem ‘Twas the first day of Budget Week and all through my brain,  I was feeling nervous, excited, and slightly insane.  – The lobbyists were gathered on a Monday afternoon, all hoping that the members would show up soon.  – As House Reps all nestled snug at their desks,  billions of dollars danced through their heads. – And me in my suit, coffee in hand, Had just settled […]

March 21, 2022 | Read More >

The lobby is always an exciting place. This week I saw a man dressed in full Uncle Sam regalia perch on a golden trash can outside of the Senate Chamber for several hours. Despite the excitement, it isn’t always the most eventful place, at least for CVSC’s purposes.  Session last week occurred at an interesting time as the House was gearing up for budget week and furlough the week after. It is also nearly time […]

March 15, 2022 | Read More >

We are almost half way through this year’s legislative session and it has been a real journey. We’ve got two weeks of action to get through so let’s jump in!  Big money: The House Ways and Means Committee finished its appropriations process two weeks ago. This is only the first step in a long process, but we now have an idea of how our state’s surplus is going to be spent. Buckle up for some big […]

March 8, 2022 | Read More >

We thought we’d take a break from our regularly scheduled programming this week and give you a deep dive into S.2, the DHEC reform bill introduced last year by Senator Peeler. I don’t think it will be any surprise to hear that DHEC isn’t winning any popularity contests at the Statehouse. The agency is deeply disliked by elected officials no matter what side of the aisle they sit on. It has been criticized for things […]

March 1, 2022 | Read More >

The second year of session is always interesting, and this year is following suit. Your Government Relations team at CVSC continues to be on the ground championing pro-conservation legislation and educating legislators on the importance of preserving and protecting the South Carolina we love, and we couldn’t do it without your support! Also, if you were able to join us at the legislative reception last week, thank you! We had fun celebrating with you. So, […]

February 22, 2022 | Read More >

Your friendly Government Relations Team at CVSC hopes your favored team won the Superbowl on Sunday – and how about that halftime show, my fellow millennials? Last week, the Senate continued to debate the Compassionate Care Act on Tuesday and Wednesday and the House found itself debating some election bills. This held up our work a bit, but makes this week even busier. Here’s where we are! SC Conservation Enhancement Act: Now we have two land […]

February 15, 2022 | Read More >

Last week was jammed packed for our state leaders in Columbia. From continuing their many discussions on where to allocate funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to the usual business of our state agencies presenting their budget requests, it was a full week. Still, your government relations team was able to have several promising conversations with legislators as we continue to advocate for a cleaner and healthier environment. Offshore Wind: Exciting news! With an 85/21 […]

February 8, 2022 | Read More >

This is Meagan Diedolf, the new CVSC Government Relations Director with your weekly hotlist. This session has been fast paced and rapid fire, but I’ve been honored to represent CVSC in the lobby and I’ve learned a ton. I believe last week represented some positive steps forward for us. Here’s what we worked on last week and what we anticipate happening this week: Offshore Wind: With bipartisan support, H.4831 passed out of a full House LCI committee and now […]

February 1, 2022 | Read More >

Week two of the 2022 legislative year is in the books. And, while it was a short week because of weather conditions, we persisted in making sure every South Carolinian has clean air, clean water, and access to safe green space. Here’s what we worked on last week: Advanced Recycling (Pyrolysis): Last week, legislators came to an agreement on the final version of the Pyrolysis bill (S.525) – a bill that exempts the pyrolysis/advanced recycling industry from solid […]

January 26, 2022 | Read More >

It is safe to say that the last two years were tough for all of us. However, even as its challenges still linger, there is still the opportunity to appreciate what could be – especially with much conservation and environmental work ahead of us in 2022. And, last week proved that it is going to take all of us to ensure a clean and safe South Carolina. Here’s a recap of what happened in Columbia […]

January 18, 2022 | Read More >

Welcome back to a new legislative year! I hope you are healthy and hopeful. Let’s jump into our preview of this legislative year! While lawmakers continue to respond to the pandemic and the enduring impact it has on our state, our state leaders will also be immersed in allocating an unprecedented amount of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and a state surplus. To that end, we believe this legislative year provides us […]

January 11, 2022 | Read More >

The CVSC team has been hard at work preparing for the upcoming year. There is a lot to contend with in 2022. House members are preparing for elections, an unprecedented amount of federal dollars need allocation, and redistricting is occurring in both chambers. Nevertheless, this should be an exciting and productive year for CVSC and the South Carolina conservation community. In fact, S.219 was approved last week by a Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee and now moves to […]

December 16, 2021 | Read More >

I wanted to send you a quick update on what’s happening at the State House during the “off-season.” Legislators are holding off (for now) on returning this fall to work on items from the sine die resolution including the authorization of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, the Savannah River Site settlement funds, and redistricting. If they set a date to return before January, we’ll keep you posted. Read more here in the Post & Courier about […]

September 27, 2021 | Read More >

Whew! It’s been a busy two weeks for our state leaders who have been charged with the task of drawing redistricting maps for our state – a process that occurs every 10 years. We’re also starting to see progress on land conservation legislation before legislators return in January and action at the Public Service Commission on solar. As things like this develop this fall, our team will keep you updated. Redistricting Updates The Senate - The […]

August 18, 2021 | Read More >

While the legislature is technically not in session, they are still able to work on a number of important issues in advance of their return in January. With the release of new census data, legislators in the Senate and House are beginning to focus on the redistricting process that occurs every 10 years. Committee meetings have already begun in the Senate and will begin in early August in the House. Because how the districts are drawn affects […]

August 5, 2021 | Read More >

We made it!! Minutes ago, at around 3pm, the first year of the 2021-2022 legislative session gaveled to a close. When we started this session, we didn’t know if it would be a “virtual session” or if it would be cut short by the pandemic. Despite the uncertainty and the strange start, this year began to return to a more normal rhythm and pace. And, once again, your conservation lobby team was fighting day in and […]

May 13, 2021 | Read More >

Here’s to the last week of the 2021 legislative year! Thank you for being with us every step of the way. Before the session began, we saw great promise in ensuring that our South Carolina legislature would strengthen its efforts in making our state a cleaner and healthier place to live. And, with your help, we are able to celebrate advances in that work. Check out what happened last week and what you can expect […]

May 11, 2021 | Read More >

Six more days. That’s the common refrain in the State House lobby these days. We have six more legislative days until Sine Die — when they will officially end the legislative session at 5 pm on May 13th. Before they adjourn for the year, they will pass a sine die resolution that outlines the things they can take up between May – January. The Sine Die Resolution is usually a to-do list of just a […]

May 3, 2021 | Read More >

It feels as if this year’s legislative session has flown by. Nonetheless, with only three weeks remaining in this session, the South Carolina conservation community continues to be busy. From fighting unnecessary pyrolysis legislation to engaging in the possible split of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the next few weeks will be significant as we continue to preserve and to protect the beautiful South Carolina we love. What Happened Last Week Santee Cooper - After three, full […]

April 27, 2021 | Read More >

With only four weeks remaining in the 2021 Legislative Session, we’re beginning to see things slow down with the introduction of new legislation. However, we continue to remain vigilant in our efforts to keep South Carolina safe and healthy for all of its residents as we keep a watchful eye on the state budget and active legislation. What’s up this week Senate Budget - The Senate has a full week. This morning, the Senate Finance Committee will […]

April 20, 2021 | Read More >

With only six weeks remaining in the first year of the 2021-2022 two-year legislative session, our state leaders still have a lot of legislation to address. With the Senate beginning to take up their version of the 2021-2022 fiscal year budget, along with debating and passing legislation before crossover (April 10th), the House returns this week after a well-deserved week off to a full calendar of legislation to discuss and hopefully send over to the Senate chamber before April 10th. From tackling […]

April 5, 2021 | Read More >

We have seven more weeks until the Legislature gavels to a close on the first year of its two-year session. Last week, the House passed their version of the state budget for fiscal year 2021-2022. After three days of debate, H.4100 was sent to the Senate, where it now sits in the Senate Finance Committee. While it was a cautious and conservative budget, conservation-oriented agencies like the Conservation Bank, DHEC, and DNR were granted their requests. Next […]

March 30, 2021 | Read More >

It’s that time of year — we’re in the sprint to crossover. If legislators would like a bill to be able to pass into law this year, their legislation needs to cross from one chamber to the other by April 10th. That’s why our advocacy and your actions contacting your legislators means everything right now. With that, let’s dive in: What happened last week 1. The Senate Amended and Passed the Bill to provide special […]

March 23, 2021 | Read More >

There’s a lot going on this week. Check it out! Lobby Week 2021 We’re engaging virtually this week with legislators. If you missed our advocacy training this Monday, please shoot me an email for a link to the recording. We’ll be sharing legislative actions this week as well offering opportunities to learn more about some of the issues the Conservation Coalition is prioritizing this legislative session. TODAY at 11 am, join us for a deep-dive […]

March 16, 2021 | Read More >

We’re hitting that point in the legislative session where there’s a lot of behind the scenes work and conversations with legislators… and patience. We’re working to line things up to see action on the issues you care about (and we’re working to make sure things like the pyrolysis bill don’t go anywhere). Our team is working hard this week to make lobby day a success. There is still time to register! What’s Happening This Week: The Senate […]

March 9, 2021 | Read More >

Thank you for the leadership and support you’ve shown so far this legislative session. As Deitra and I have braved the State House during this pandemic, fighting the good fight has felt easier because we know you have our backs. We have a lot happening, so let’s dig in: What Happened Last Week Pyrolysis (Melting Plastics): While the Senate addressed issues with the Port, S.525 hit the Senate floor. Many thanks to Senators who have shown conservation leadership […]

March 2, 2021 | Read More >

Our fight against pyrolysis is well underway. Both bills (H.3753 and S.525) were taken up in their respective subcommittees last week. Thanks to you and the efforts from our conservation partners, we were able to celebrate a small win with the House bill. Unfortunately, we were not as successful in the Senate. The fight to stop the big plastic and big chemical industry continues, and we need your help. Take Action: Contact your Senator and ask them to […]

February 16, 2021 | Read More >

Do you remember when I said in last week’s update that now, more than ever, your voice is needed? Well, it’s time. Take action now to help stop two dangerous bills that seek to weaken core environmental protections in South Carolina. Even while our legislators continued to labor upon their response to the pandemic and the state’s vaccine rollout last week, two dangerous pieces of legislation started moving quickly in both chambers. Melting Plastics and […]

February 9, 2021 | Read More >

If you followed any of the press last week, you know the third week of South Carolina’s 124th legislative session was quite eventful. While our state leaders continued to debate the issue of Santee Cooper and how best to respond to the pandemic, our state unfortunately saw the nation’s first South African COVID variant and became the state with the nation’s second highest new COVID cases per capita. Our elected leaders have enormous challenges ahead of them over […]

February 8, 2021 | Read More >

If you are like me, you were happy to see the year 2020 find its place in the history books. It is safe to say that last year was tough for all of us. However, even as its challenges still linger, there is still the opportunity to appreciate what could be – especially with the encouraging and much conservation work ahead of us in 2021. In fact, the first week of the 124th South Carolina […]

January 22, 2021 | Read More >

Welcome back to a new legislative session! I hope this update discovers you healthy and hopeful. While lawmakers continue to respond to the global pandemic and the impact it has had on our beloved state, this legislative session will be full and will require each of us to remain active and engaged with conservation issues that affect the health and safety of our air, water, and land. So, what are some of our legislative priorities […]

January 12, 2021 | Read More >

Whew! What an exciting legislative session! Last week, the South Carolina General Assembly finally adjourned for the 2020 legislative year but not before we were able to celebrate some BIG WINS on wildlife protections, energy delivery, and the appointments of our new Public Service Commissioners. Legislative Update Last week, the House concurred with Senate amendments on H.4831 (the Turtle Bill) with an overwhelming bipartisan vote of 99-0. The bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk! As you may […]

September 28, 2020 | Read More >

First and foremost, thank you! The South Carolina conservation community shared a few wins last week, thanks to passionate conservation voters like you. Before the special legislative session convened last week, there were quite a few unknowns and uncertainties – some still remain. But more importantly, we see that your actions are inspiring pro-conservation actions from the legislature – and that continues to give us hope for the future. In fact, it is because of your advocacy […]

September 21, 2020 | Read More >

Welcome back! Even though I have taken a break from sending you “hotlist” updates, our state legislators have been hard at work preparing for the special legislative session that starts tomorrow, Septemeber 15th. As legislators continue to respond to the effects of COVID-19, they have also been diligent in their efforts to make sure our state agencies remain strong and reliable. From ensuring CARES Act funding is allocated quickly and responsibly to safeguarding another budget […]

September 14, 2020 | Read More >

It is our pleasure to introduce you to our 2019-2020 Conservation Scorecard. The 2019-2020 Legislative Session was dominated by ambitious conservation goals that turned into impactful policy changes, despite setbacks in 2020 with the abrupt early end to the year. Highlights from 2019 and 2020 include: Passing historic, clean energy legislation with the unanimous passage of the Energy Freedom Act. Instituting a temporary ban on offshore drilling infrastructure. Blocking attempts to attack home rule and exempt […]

August 1, 2020 | Read More >

As we all wrestle with how we are participating in the current racial justice conversation, there is one important reality that must be stated: Environmental justice is racial justice. In fact, in a 2018 Greenspace interview with Dr. Robert Bullard, Lauren Reid shares why race is always the most significant factor behind injustice of any kind. The centerpiece of the interview emphasizes the long fight for the environmental movement to embrace this well-established truth. Even more, Dr. Bullard gives a […]

July 28, 2020 | Read More >

One of my favorite African proverbs states, “A little hope each day can fill the rivers to overflowing.” As I’ve expressed in previous updates, hope, for me at least, has been an affirming pillar in my navigating through these uncertain and challenging times. While there may be days when it has been difficult to find, I do. Each day, I seek and find hope, and hope shined bright for the conservation community last week. Just […]

July 13, 2020 | Read More >

Last week, our legislators returned to Columbia to address COVID-19 spending from the federal CARES Act allocation. If you were like me, you probably expected lawmakers from both chambers to be there all week with extended, circular debates. To the contrary, the Senate met on Tuesday and passed their COVID-19 spending budget in just a few hours. House members met on Wednesday, and with a handful of amendment proposals that did not move forward, they […]

July 1, 2020 | Read More >

I hope that you are staying healthy. These days, we find ourselves not only relying on our own inner strength; but, also we find ourselves having to lean on the strength of others now more than ever. Although we may not feel it, it is times like these that give us the chance to build qualities like courage and hope. While many things remain outside of our control, how we respond to these times is […]

June 16, 2020 | Read More >

First and foremost, how are you? If you’re like me, that question may be difficult to answer. The last few weeks – or even the last few months – have unearthed many truths that are driving us to deeply consider our viewpoints and how we respond to them. Yesterday, CVSC responded to the recent events that have overwhelmed our news outlets and our hearts with a profound statement. Personally, I did not know that I needed […]

June 2, 2020 | Read More >

An unusual, truncated legislative session officially ended last week with the quick passage of a continuing resolution and sine die resolution. These resolutions provide some guidance for legislators in this time of uncertainty. Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Continuing Resolution was uniquely crafted so that legislators can return to the State House to handle tough budget decisions and finalize legislation that is close to passage this September (with the ability to meet sooner based […]

May 18, 2020 | Read More >

As mentioned in last week’s legislative update, the South Carolina legislature will return tomorrow to pass the state’s continuing resolution and the sine die resolution. These resolutions will allow them to keep the state moving forward with the adoption of last year’s budget, address COVID-19 resource needs, and identify what key issues they’ll focus on in a special session in the fall. We’re particularly interested in how the legislature will craft reforms and management needs […]

May 11, 2020 | Read More >

Last week, leadership from the House and Senate notified its members that they will return to Columbia to complete the business of the state on May 12th. They will use that week to deal with the projected drop in state revenues, address COVID-19 response needs, and address the budget and remaining active legislation through a continuing resolution and sine die resolution. With changing state revenue projections, they can also decide to extend this year’s legislative […]

May 5, 2020 | Read More >


Advocacy 101

Between the Governor’s announcement that South Carolina students will be spending the rest of the school year learning online and our state leaders still deciding how this year’s legislative session will end, I believe that it’s safe to say that life as we once knew it may not be returning anytime soon. As we get more updates, we’ll pass them along. The phrase, meet them where they are, has taken on a deeper and universally relatable […]

April 28, 2020 | Read More >

As we wait for more news on the legislative front, I’m eager to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with you this week. On April 22, 1970, our nation celebrated its first Earth Day. Inspiring millions of Americans in its very first year, the date was chosen primarily to take full advantage of student involvement on college campuses around the country. People packed public spaces all around the United States to highlight the negative […]

April 20, 2020 | Read More >

With unfinished business like the budget still on their to do list, lawmakers returned to the statehouse last week to pass a continuing resolution to adopt last year’s budget. The limited session in both chambers was supposed to be quick and would provide a clear path for any emergency legislative actions necessary to respond to COVID-19. Even more, legislators were also scheduled to pass a sine die resolution that would extend this year’s legislative session […]

April 14, 2020 | Read More >

With the South Carolina legislature on hold and as we enter week 3 of social distancing, we understand that a lot of folks have many questions: Will our state lawmakers finish this year’s legislative session? What will happen to the budget that the House passed just before the Coronavirus crisis? When will the state revisit their discussions about the future of Santee Cooper? These are all questions that so many of us share. But, the […]

March 30, 2020 | Read More >

This weekend, CVSC staff were texting back and forth about what is going on in the world. At one point, someone shared a message that said, “Hang in there. Better days are ahead of us.” That stuck with me, and I tried to capture that spirit in this week’s Hotlist – focusing on both how our conservation work and our state as a whole will move forward in the coming weeks and months. As we […]

March 23, 2020 | Read More >

There’s a famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson that says, “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” That’s exactly what these legislative times call for – patience. Although there’s so much happening at our South Carolina statehouse, much of it is forcing us to watch and wait. From both chambers deciding the impending outcome of Santee Cooper to the House beginning to debate its budget this week, we are in a period when […]

March 9, 2020 | Read More >

You’ve probably recognized that the fate of Santee Cooper has taken much of our lawmakers’ time. So, understandably, not much legislation moved through either chambers last week. And, with their obvious dedication to making the right decision for all South Carolinians, we should expect to see much of the same from our legislators over the next couple of weeks. Nevertheless, even with slow legislative movement, we can continue to use our voices to advocate for […]

March 3, 2020 | Read More >

Whew! I’ve officially been a part of the CVSC team for one month, and what a month it’s been. What’s been so exciting about my first month is having the opportunity to be a part of all of the impactful conservation legislation that’s moving at our statehouse. Even more, it’s been promising to see so many legislators from both sides of the aisle advocating and writing legislation to protect our state’s land and oceans, to […]

February 26, 2020 | Read More >

First and foremost, kudos to you! We are succeeding in building bipartisan momentum to ensure a safe and healthy environment for families in South Carolina. From the commitment to conserving 30% of South Carolina land by 2030 to their dedication to making sure that our state’s energy generation is clean and affordable, our lawmakers are eager to take action. But, we can’t afford to rest. We are inching closer and closer to the end of […]

February 18, 2020 | Read More >

What a week! It may have been another slow legislative week for conservation; but, it was definitely an exciting and full week for me. Last week, I had the opportunity to talk with many legislators who are obvious champions of a clean and safe South Carolina. Specifically, that sentiment was apparent at the Conservation Coalition breakfast last Wednesday. Several legislators mentioned that moving South Carolina towards a 100% clean energy state is a high priority. […]

February 10, 2020 | Read More >

I am Deitra Matthews, and I’m your new Legislative Communications Associate at CVSC. Although this is a new role for me at CVSC, I’m not new to using my voice to advocate to make South Carolina a better place, having advocated for education, children’s health, and military families. In this new role, I look forward to using our collective voices to protect the South Carolina we all love in this and future legislative sessions and […]

February 3, 2020 | Read More >

At CVSC, we pride ourselves on spending time with voters as well as their elected officials. I often hear complaints from voters that “our legislators don’t listen to us.” Well, guess what? After this week, I can say with conviction that they are listening. In fact, several conservation bills were introduced to specifically address concerns that constituents raised with their state legislators. This shows that your passion, your support, and your voice makes a difference. […]

January 27, 2020 | Read More >

Earlier this week, CVSC Executive Director John Tynan joined Senator Vincent Sheheen as he rolled out his 2020 conservation agenda. This bold agenda proposes or joins with his Senate colleagues on existing efforts to address the wide ranging environmental issues facing South Carolina - from loss of open spaces, to increased plastic pollution, to carbon emissions, and illegal wildlife trading. At the release of Sen. Sheheen’s conservation package, Tynan shared “Addressing the environmental challenges facing South Carolina requires […]

January 22, 2020 | Read More >

Legislators hit the ground running the first week of session and pushed forward great conservation legislation that will protect SC from offshore drilling and will secure a clean energy future for SC. To top off the good momentum, we also get to celebrate with our members and our friends at the State House at our annual Legislative Kick-off Reception tonight at the Blue Marlin Restaurant’s Visa Room from 6-8 pm. I hope to see you there! Tomorrow morning, […]

January 21, 2020 | Read More >

Happy first week of the legislative year! Tomorrow we start the second year in the two-year legislative session. Let’s dive into our first 2020 Weekly Legislative Hotlist. As a quick reminder, the Hotlist is your weekly update from CVSC on all the conservation happenings at the Statehouse in Columbia. In it, I’ll summarize what happened the week prior and what’s on tap for the week ahead. So as we all get back into the swing […]

January 13, 2020 | Read More >

Please save the date for the following legislative events this year. Please check back for registration links and additional information.  CVSC Legislative Kickoff Reception: January 21, 6-8 pm at the Blue Marlin Restaurant Vista Room at 1200 Lincoln St., Columbia. Please RSVP here. SC Conservation Coalition Senate Briefing: January 22, 10 am in Room 105 of the Gressette Building on the State House grounds hosted by Senators McElveen and Gregory. RSVP on Facebook here. SC Conservation Coalition Legislative Breakfast: February […]

January 6, 2020 | Read More >

HOTLIST – I hope you enjoyed the break last week from Statehouse news. After session ended May 9th, there were a few things left undone – namely, Governor McMaster’s signatures or vetoes on bills and a number of conference committee negotiations. One of the vetoes was critical for coastal protections and we need you to take ACTION to help sustain it. It’s our Hot Button Action of the Week! Keep reading below for details on this crucial veto, and don’t miss out […]

May 20, 2019 | Read More >

And that’s a wrap! The SC General Assembly just adjourned for the 2019 legislative year but not before we solidifed a BIG WIN on clean energy. That’s right. Yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed the Energy Freedom Act bill and today the House agreed with Senate changes. The bill is now headed to the Governor’s desk where he’s expected to sign it into law. The Energy Freedom Act is a big win for the future of solar energy in South Carolina. This is […]

May 9, 2019 | Read More >

It’s here! This week is the last week of the 2019 legislative year. Thursday at 5 pm will be “sine die” and the end of the 2019 legislative session. That means it’s do-or-die for legislation until January 2020. As we work to get the most out of the next three days, I need your help. We still have a chance to stop offshore drilling from happening in SC with a budget vote in the House. And the […]

May 6, 2019 | Read More >

Folks that work in and around the Statehouse (me included) are starting to grow weary. It’s that time of year when everyone is jostling to get their legislation finished before 5 p.m. on sine die (the last day of the legislative year) on May 9. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve got good news on offshore drilling, but our coast is still at risk. We are also hopeful that this week […]

May 1, 2019 | Read More >

Folks that work in and around the Statehouse (me included) are starting to grow weary. It’s that time of year when everyone is jostling to get their legislation finished before 5 p.m. on sine die (the last day of the legislative year) on May 9. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve got good news on offshore drilling, but our coast is still at risk. We are also hopeful that this week […]

April 29, 2019 | Read More >

As we celebrate Earth Day today, I can’t help but smile about the great week we had last week defending South Carolina’s natural resources. I fully expected the Senate’s budget debate to be fairly calm on the conservation-front, but it was a bit more exciting than I anticipated when it came time for budget provisos (these are budget amendments that are good for one year). Senators made two important stands: 1. They said NO to big oil by passing […]

April 22, 2019 | Read More >

We made it through crossover week at the Statehouse! Thankfully, the Energy Freedom Act made it to the floor of the Senate. We also stopped several bad bills from making crossover (the day a bill has to make it from one chamber to another to have a chance of becoming law this year) last week: the Plastics Ban-Ban, Dam Safety Rollbacks, and Melting Plastics. Each of these puts the health and safety of our communities at risk […]

April 15, 2019 | Read More >

Crossover day is finally upon us this week, and you’ve heard me talk about how important that day is. Things in the Statehouse get pretty busy in the days leading up to crossover as legislators work feverishly to get important legislation across that line. We see bills that have already made it out of one chamber, like the Energy Freedom Act, slow down while the General Assembly focuses on those other issues like plastics. Here’s a […]

April 9, 2019 | Read More >

What a week! Remember how I said things get busier at the Statehouse as we approach crossover (the deadline for a bill to cross from one chamber to the next to pass into law this year) on April 10? Well, this week was a testament to how quickly things can move when there’s a looming deadline. What happened last week: Clean Energy: We cleared another hurdle! Thursday, on day 85 of our 100 Day Clean Energy […]

April 3, 2019 | Read More >

Thank you for helping us host a great lobby day with the SC Conservation Coalition. Nearly 200 advocates spent last Tuesday talking to legislators about conservation issues that matter to them. Special thanks go to Rep. Micah Caskey (R – Lexington) and Sen. Tom Davis (R – Beaufort) who started the day with us, sharing advice and perspective with advocates on how to best communicate their passion to legislators. Nearly 200 advocates came out for the SC […]

March 25, 2019 | Read More >

Tomorrow’s the Big Day! It’s Conservation Lobby Day – and the timing couldn’t be better. Whether you can be at the Statehouse in person this week, or you’re taking action from the comfort of home, you have several options to make a difference. Either way – we thank you. Now, let’s dive in to what’s happening at the Statehouse. What happened last week: Dam Safety: As you may have seen in The State newspaper last week (SC senators move […]

March 18, 2019 | Read More >

It’s almost time for my favorite day of the legislative year – Conservation Lobby Day – March 19th. This is the day that the small team of conservation lobbyists at the Statehouse gets backup – in the form of hundreds of conservation voters, like you. Each of CVSC’s lobbyists and Coalition partner lobbyists has different strengths and legislative relationships that make us successful. But our common strength is the support from folks like you. When we […]

March 12, 2019 | Read More >

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 […]

March 4, 2019 | Read More >

To the Senate we go! Thank you! All of the hard work paid off in week 7 of session with H.3659 – the Clean Energy Freedom Act – passing 110-0 out of the House of Representatives. I’d like to recognize all of the work that went into the House compromise in the LCI Committee with Reps. Sandifer and Forrester. I must also give a shout out to solar champions Reps. McCoy, Ballentine, and Clary for making […]

February 25, 2019 | Read More >

This was a fantastic week at the State House. After months of negotiating, tweaking, and discussing; H.3659 – the Energy Freedom Act – passed out of the House Labor, Commerce, and Industry (LCI) Committee this week – unanimously! The bill was amended to extend the current net metering program under Act 236 through June of 2021. The two-year extension gives time to phase out the program for when the Public Service Commission finalizes the details […]

February 18, 2019 | Read More >

What a week! Sometimes the legislature is loud and boisterous and sometimes the work happens quietly and quickly. Last week had a healthy mix of the two. We had a productive subcommittee hearing on energy and worked to make sure anti-conservation bills continue to move slowly (if at all) through the General Assembly. What happened last week: Clean Energy: We had some positive developments last week with a subcommittee hearing on H.3659 in the House Labor, Commerce, and Industry […]

February 11, 2019 | Read More >

It was truly a mixed bag of news from the Statehouse last week as legislators dug into the nitty-gritty details of just how proposed legislation would affect South Carolinians. Our legislators have a lot of competing high-priority items right now, but luckily we were keeping score in session week four. What happened last week: Energy: Clean energy discussions are ongoing in the House and Senate as we make progress on the 100 Day Clean Energy Agenda. A strong […]

February 4, 2019 | Read More >

It’s hard to believe we already put three weeks of this legislative session in the history books. Last week education reform dominated conversations in the House. As legislators begin to work more on education, we’re going to need voices of committed conservation voters, like you, to continue to raise the profile of conservation policies – like clean energy and stopping offshore drilling. Last week also closed out the first 25 days of the 100 Day […]

January 28, 2019 | Read More >

This week was a mix of positive developments on priority energy issues (spoiler – both energy competition bills are now introduced) and negative developments as a Senate Subcommittee moved to roll back dam safety protections. We also officially “kicked off” the session with our annual legislative reception. If you weren’t able to make it, don’t fret. There are still more opportunities to join us in Columbia and connect with your legislator. Save the date for these […]

January 20, 2019 | Read More >

We had a great first week back at the Statehouse with positive headway on clean energy. Like other Hotlists, this week’s update includes a rundown on what all happened last week as well as what you can expect in the week ahead. You can always find past Hotlists on our website if you want more background on how session has shaped up. Here’s what happened this week: On the first day of session, Congressman Joe Cunningham […]

January 14, 2019 | Read More >

As we jump back into legislative session this January, we are working closely with our partners in the SC Conservation Coalition to prioritize our top legislative priorities for 2018. We’ll be adjusting and adding to our list as we go, so please check back here for more updates. Inject Competition into the Energy Marketplace - In the wake of the failure of V.C. Summer and considering the institutional energy reforms enacted and under review, the Conservation […]

January 7, 2019 | Read More >

2018 Legislative Wrap-up The 2018 legislative session is in the books! Here’s the rundown of how all of our conservation priorities fared this year. Conservation Bank Re-authorization - H.4727 In the 2017 session, we saw progress on bills to reauthorize the Conservation Bank with both the House and Senate holding subcommittee hearings. The Conservation Bank was created 14 years ago to safeguard our drinking water, preserve our history and culture, and protect our precious natural resources. The […]

December 30, 2018 | Read More >

Well… it happened. July 31, 2018, was the last day that folks who install solar panels in some areas of the state will have the chance to get paid a fair price for the energy they produce. Why? Because with the explosive growth of solar across South Carolina, Duke Energy has hit the arbitrary cap on solar net metering (the policy that allows fair compensation for energy that solar homeowners produce). But even if you’re not […]

August 1, 2018 | Read More >

Happy Sine Die! In legislative speak, that means the legislative session is (mostly) over until 2019. I say mostly because the House and Senate made arrangements that will allow them to return later in May and June to discuss the budget, “VC Summer-related energy issues,” and legislation that had different versions pass the House and Senate and still need to be worked out. Until they come back, Hal is working to get our 2017-2018 Conservation Scorecard […]

May 11, 2018 | Read More >

As we approach the last week of session, we’re seeing a lot of action at the State House. We have very good news on solar! I’m happy to report that the House budget has taken its final shape with several positive provisos (like amendments) for solar. Particular thanks go out to Representative Nathan Ballentine for introducing and fighting for a proviso to lift the net-metering cap from 2% to 4% and form a study committee […]

May 7, 2018 | Read More >

Are you tired of seeing your electricity rates increase over and over again? Do you want a more diverse mix of energy generation? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you can take matters into your own hands – right now! John forwarded many of you my email on Friday about another attempt to remove the cap on solar net-metering in SC before the legislature adjourns for the year. That’s great news and […]

April 30, 2018 | Read More >

The House and Senate finally kicked into high gear last week, making progress on much of the legislative work that has been pending. Debates regarding utilities and the nuclear debacle raged in both chambers. With pitched political positions on all sides, the final outcome remains to be seen. Please read on for all the action, and as always, your actions drive those outcomes toward positive results for conservation. We are now counting down the days […]

April 23, 2018 | Read More >

You may have heard by now that the residential solar bill, H.4421, met a cruel fate this past week. Here’s what happened: For most bills, the third and final “reading” is usually a quick and nearly automatic process. If a bill makes it through the gauntlet of the first two readings (when most of the amending and debating takes place), then the final reading is merely a formality. H.4421, however, found contentious constitutional debate during […]

April 16, 2018 | Read More >

With the House out on break last week, the Senate finally worked through their calendar and started discussing energy reforms on the floor, such as how much of the V.C. Summer fee levied on ratepayers they should temporarily cut while any merger is discussed. With the Senate on their Spring Break this coming week, debate won’t resurface again until April 10th. While the Senate is off, the House will be back in session this week […]

April 2, 2018 | Read More >

The buzz leading up to a solar showdown last week, aided by your efforts at Lobby Day, was deafening. Unfortunately, the House did not make it through enough of their agenda this past week to have the residential solar debate. The House is taking this week off for their Spring Break. After that, there will be one more week before Crossover Day, the date before which a bill must have passed to the other chamber […]

March 27, 2018 | Read More >

If you’ve ever tried to sit down with your entire family to create a budget for your home, you know it’s not an easy process. Now imagine what that process looks like when it’s not a few family members making a budget for a home, but 124 Representatives making a budget for an entire state. That’s what happened this past week in the South Carolina House of Representatives. It was my first time watching the […]

March 19, 2018 | Read More >

Let me set the scene for a big showdown that’s about to take place at the Statehouse… There are two bills… One bill was practically written by the utility monopolies. Not surprisingly, this bill would reward them for their role in the disastrous V.C. Summer debacle. Also, not surprisingly, this bill was introduced and rushed through subcommittee almost overnight by House members who’ve received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from utility monopolies. The other […]

March 13, 2018 | Read More >

Things are really moving in Columbia! The Statehouse was bustling last week as legislation continued to move in both chambers of the General Assembly. That’s both a good and bad thing for our conservation movement. In the House, a diluted but still dangerous bill we’ve been fighting for years finally passed. We’re not happy about that. But we are happy to see bills promoting renewables and energy efficiency move through committee. In the Senate, the Conservation Bank […]

March 5, 2018 | Read More >

I can’t believe it, but the 7th week of session is over… … And the talk of the Statehouse last week was of the looming crossover date. That’s the date by which a bill must have passed out of the chamber where it originated in order to have a chance of passing into law this year. While the crossover date is still a little over a month away, it’s closing in fast. For the good […]

February 27, 2018 | Read More >

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I can tell I made a difference. He listened to me like what I said mattered.” That’s what one of our members told me about a conversation with their State Senator after our first Conservation Coalition Lobby Day last month. They truly felt empowered. It’s a sentiment I hear frequently from folks who have had the chance to talk with their lawmakers about our issues. When constituents care […]

February 20, 2018 | Read More >

Offshore drilling is a-buzz in Columbia this week. Not only do we have the Rally Against Offshore Drilling tomorrow (see below and join us), but it looks like we have a “war of resolutions” heating up… In the last few weeks, multiple pro-drilling and anti-drilling resolutions have been introduced, so that we now have four anti-drilling resolutions and three pro-drilling resolutions. Offshore drilling is a clear example of why your voice matters and why we cannot let up. Because of […]

February 12, 2018 | Read More >

We’re now one month into session, and legislators and lobbyists are hard at work. As you probably guessed, that’s both a good thing… And a not-so-good thing. You, however, have been excellent! We’ve asked you to sign petitions, and you have. We’ve asked you to email your legislators, and you have. We’ve asked you to make phone calls and attend events and share information on social media, and you have. On behalf of the entire CVSC […]

February 6, 2018 | Read More >

Citizen advocacy, our first legislative reception, and a passionate filibuster… Those were just a few of the things that went down during a hectic third week of the legislative session. It was a week in which we slowed the progress of bad bills and pushed important reforms through the process. And it served as an important reminder of how citizens’ voices can affect change at the Statehouse. Visit our Legislative Action Center for the latest […]

January 30, 2018 | Read More >

Just two weeks into a busier-than-normal legislative session, you are making your voice heard. Since the start of session, we’ve registered more than 1,000 emails, phone calls, petition signatures, and social media messages through our legislative action center. Thank you for taking action… … but we still need your help! Visit our Legislative Action Center for the latest and most urgent actions this session. >> HIGHLIGHTS FROM LAST WEEK • Immunity for Industry (Nuisance) – The […]

January 22, 2018 | Read More >

As we reflect today on the work of Dr. King and all of those who have fought tirelessly to make this world a better place for all citizens, we’re reminded of the power of community action. True change – whether in politics, policy, or society – cannot occur unless communities come together, share their vision for a better world, and take action to call for this change. On this day of service and community action, we […]

January 15, 2018 | Read More >

As we jump back into legislative session this January, we are working closely with our partners in the SC Conservation Coalition to prioritize our top legislative priorities for 2018. We’ll be adjusting and adding to our list as we go, so please check back here for more updates. Energy Reform The abandonment of the VC Summer nuclear project begins a new era in South Carolina energy policy. We face a choice – will South Carolina […]

January 15, 2018 | Read More >

WATCH THE MOST RECENT EPISODE OF CVSC LIVE! >> CVSC HAS GONE LIVE We recently launched a brand new project. It’s called CVSC Live!, and it’s a weekly live stream that airs every Friday at 11 am on our Facebook page. It’s only about 15 minutes long, but we pack it full of content, including all the latest happening in the conservation community. Our second episode aired on Friday. Watch Episode 1 here >> Watch […]

November 7, 2017 | Read More >

Hey there! I’m posting to share the first of what hopes to be many coastal hotlist updates. I figured today would be a great day to post this, because the South Carolina coast’s got a lot going on this week, such as… Sea Change Exhibition Now Open You may have read in one of Rebecca’s past hotlists that there is currently legislation pending in the South Carolina General Assembly that would limit the ability of local communities […]

October 23, 2017 | Read More >

I’ve got a lot of news to share with you from the Statehouse… In the past few weeks, we’ve seen significant movement on key energy issues, especially on the nuclear front. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the most important updates that you need to know: Growing GOP support for clean energy I know you’re hearing a lot of bad news right now, but there are rays of hope. Most notably, we’re starting to see […]

October 4, 2017 | Read More >

The legislature may not be in session right now, but there’s been a lot of activity lately — especially on the energy front. I wanted to take a quick moment to make sure you were in the loop and up-to-date on what’s going with energy in SC. Here’s a brief rundown on what’s happened over the past few weeks: V.C. Summer Nuclear abandonment Both the State Senate and House are looking into what went wrong in […]

September 6, 2017 | Read More >

Reauthorizing the Conservation Bank: We finally made progress this year with both the Senate and the House holding subcommittee hearings on bills to reauthorize the Conservation Bank. The Conservation Bank was created 14 years ago to safeguard our drinking water, preserve our history and culture, and protect our precious natural resources. It is the only statewide source of public funding available for willing landowners and their land trust partners to conserve important SC lands, and […]

June 28, 2017 | Read More >

We did it. We made it through the first year of the legislative session. Because of your hard work this year talking to your legislators, we made progress. We were able to keep several bad bills from passing into law, and we made significant progress on good legislation that we can capitalize on next year. We’ll be back in January 2018 to pick up where we left off. For those of you tracking votes, expect […]

May 15, 2017 | Read More >

“Sine Die” (the last day of the legislative session for the year) is this Thursday! While we haven’t seen many of our issues become law this year, I’m very proud of some of the “bad bills” we’ve been able to improve, slow down, and/or stop. I’ll write up a full “post-mortem” for your review this summer. In the meantime, I hope you’ll help me make a final push to slow down some bad bills this […]

May 8, 2017 | Read More >

We have 6 legislative days left! We have some exciting news on solar and automatic stay. We also have a fight in front of us about how to encourage good neighbor relations between rural communities and the poultry industry. We need you to help us hold legislators accountable in the remaining days of session. Visit our Action Center and take action to make sure your voice is heard. Highlights from last week: The Poultry Pollution Bill (H.3929) passed […]

May 1, 2017 | Read More >

We have 9 legislative days left and we need your help to make it to the finish line. Please stay tuned for more action opportunities. Highlights from last week: Unfortunately, the Auto Stay bill (S.105) passed out of the House Judiciary Subcommittee after being amended to remove the compromises reached in the Senate. Essentially, they made a bad bill even worse. See my update below for more action this week. The committee meeting on the […]

April 25, 2017 | Read More >

On Tuesday, legislators return to the State House from a week off. They’ll have 12 legislative days to work on priority bills before the end of the legislative year, meaning there will be a flurry of activity for the next 3-4 weeks. We’ll keep you informed of all the happenings and opportunities to take action. Highlights from last week: Although the House and Senate were both on furlough, there were some notable developments last week: […]

April 17, 2017 | Read More >

We made it to crossover (a bill had to “crossover” to the other chamber by April 10th to pass into law this year)! And when the legislature returns from their spring furlough on April 18th, we will only have 12 days of left at the State House for 2017. Highlights from last week:  The Senate kept the Finance Committee’s budget recommendation restoring the deed stamp funding source and fully funding the Conservation Bank at $16M […]

April 10, 2017 | Read More >

This past week, we had a lot of conversations with legislators that will hopefully lead to action in the coming weeks. That being said, our priorities didn’t move much — which is good for the bad bills and bad for the good bills. Here’s what happened. Highlights from last week:  The Senate Finance Committee restored the deed stamp funding source and fully funded the Conservation Bank at $16M with an additional $10M, for a total […]

April 3, 2017 | Read More >

We only have six more weeks left in the legislative year (and the first year of the 2017-2018 legislative session)! We hope to see movement on some positive bills, but we need your help stopping some bad ones. Please visit our Legislative Action Center for opportunities to contact your legislators. Here’s the rundown on legislation: Reauthorizing the Conservation Bank: The Conservation Bank was created 14 years ago to safeguard our drinking water, preserve our history and culture, and protect […]

March 26, 2017 | Read More >

We can’t wait to see you at the Conservation Coalition Lobby Day and Oyster Roast tomorrow. Here’s the registration and schedule for the day. Please come to whatever part of the day is convenient for you. The training at Capital City Club is “sold out,” but you can still come if you’re okay standing at the back. The House debated the budget last week. The Conservation Bank’s funding was reduced to $5 million. DHEC also […]

March 20, 2017 | Read More >

We saw a lot at the State House last week!  Tuesday afternoon, we finally got to the long-awaited debate and vote on the “Anti-Home Rule” bill, or known by some as the ban on plastic bag bans (H.3529). If passed, the bill would have limited the ability of citizens to work with their local government to find local solutions to local problems – including plastic bag and other container pollution. After intense debate about the roles […]

March 11, 2017 | Read More >

This week will be a continuation of last week’s floor debates in the House. They will debate and likely vote on the Auto Stay and the Anti-Home Rule (or Banning Plastic Bag Bans) bills. A new bill will also be on the calendar this week — the Nuisance Bill — which gives immunity to industries who expand from nuisance suits. These three bills all attempt to limit citizens’ voices. We need to you turn up […]

March 6, 2017 | Read More >

Before the House debates the budget, they will finally work through the remaining contentious bills on their calendar. That means we’re finally getting down to the wire on important legislation. They will debate and likely vote on the Auto Stay and the Anti-Home Rule (or Banning Plastic Bag Bans) bills. We need to you turn up the pressure and make sure your legislators know how you feel about these important issues. Please visit our Legislative Action […]

February 27, 2017 | Read More >

The good news is we’re about 1/3 of the way through the legislative session! The bad news is that we still need your help fighting some bad bills. Thank you for helping us — whether you’re testifying or contacting your legislators. Please visit our Legislative Action Center for opportunities to contact your legislators. Saving the Automatic Stay: If passed, S.105 and H.3565 will weaken citizens’ ability to successfully challenge the government when a citizen believes a permit is incorrectly issued (before it’s finalized). […]

February 20, 2017 | Read More >

We have another busy week at the State House. Thank you for helping us — whether you’re testifying or contacting your legislators. Visit our Legislative Action Center for opportunities to contact your legislators. Anti-Home Rule (or Banning Plastic Bag Bans): If passed, H.3529 will prevent our cities and towns from find local solutions for local problems — taking away what is referred to as “Home Rule” and what has been a cornerstone of our governmental structure in South Carolina. Despite being […]

February 13, 2017 | Read More >

A number of anti-conservation bills are expected to have floor votes in the week ahead while many of our pro-conservation bills are awaiting subcommittee and committee hearings. Your help is needed now more than ever to stop the bad bills and put pressure to advance bills that protect the air, land, and water we love.  Visit our new Legislative Action Center for opportunities to contact your legislators. Anti-Home Rule (or Banning Plastic Bag Bans): If passed, H.3529 will prevent our cities […]

February 5, 2017 | Read More >

We have yet another week of action in committees. Your help is needed now more than ever. We have an action center set up to make it easy to contact your legislator. Please take action at our new Legislative Action Center. This Wednesday (Feb 1), the SC Conservation Coalition will present our legislative priorities at the Senate “Conversations with Conservationists” Briefing hosted by Senators Courson and McElveen at 10 am in 105 Gressette on the State House Grounds. I encourage you […]

January 30, 2017 | Read More >

We have a lot happening at the State House this week. Please take action at our new Legislative Action Center. Solar Market Growth: Landmark clean energy legislation passed in 2014 (Act 236) and has made South Carolina one of the fastest growing solar markets in the nation. In order to maintain expansion of renewables in South Carolina, we support adoption of clear guidance for reasonable property tax treatment of renewable energy equipment installed in our state. S.44 establishes […]

January 23, 2017 | Read More >

We’re off to a productive start at the State House this week. First up, we have subcommittee hearings in the Senate on Solar Property Tax and the Conservation Bank. Next, we’ll have a hearing in the House Ag committee on dam safety reform. Solar Market Growth Landmark clean energy legislation passed in 2014 (Act 236) and has made South Carolina one of the fastest growing solar markets in the nation. Utilities now have additional flexibility […]

January 16, 2017 | Read More >

We’re looking forward to another productive year at the State House. January 10th is the first day of session. Legislators voted to end session a month earlier from now on, so we have until May 11, 2017 to support conservation-friendly legislation and stop bad legislation. I’ll be reaching out through this blog, email, and social media as we need you to take action during the legislative session. Don’t forget — we’ll be tracking the votes […]

January 9, 2017 | Read More >

Wow. What a year it’s been! The short story is that in 2016 conservation WON at the State House. We PASSED hard fought legislation to protect South Carolina from coal ash and irresponsible shoreline development. We BLOCKED bad bills that would put South Carolinians at risk and take away our rights to hold polluters accountable. We were strong, we held our ground, and proved that conservationists in South Carolina are a force to be reckoned […]

June 29, 2016 | Read More >

Your Representative will vote next week on the Polluter Amnesty Bill (S.229). This bill will prevent you from protecting yourself and your family from illegal and toxic pollution. Take a stand now and ask your Representative to oppose polluter amnesty. The House of Representatives wants to take away your right to protect yourself and your children from illegal and toxic pollution. House members say that EPA and DHEC give us the protection we need, but […]

May 10, 2016 | Read More >

We are grateful for the work of the Senate Finance Committee to fully fund the Conservation Bank this year. Additionally, they are authorizing some Conservation Bank funds to leverage DNR’s ability to access important federal land conservation programs. We are hopeful that this compromise will ultimately prevail through the legislative budget process. Please join us by thanking your Senator for making the Conservation Bank a priority for South Carolina.

April 26, 2016 | Read More >

Thank you for taking action and joining us in subcomittee meetings last week. It was a week to remember. We hope that the Plastic Bag Ban and the House Auto stay bill are “dead” for the legislative session, but we will remain vigilant. While we didn’t get to testify on all of our bills, it’s important to remember that the delay of bad environmental bills last week counts as a victory. We’ll keep you posted […]

April 19, 2016 | Read More >

After a much needed Easter break, House members return to Columbia this week. As May 1st looms (crossover date), members will be pushing for their bills to pass either the House or the Senate by then if they hope for passage this year. For us, this means the next few weeks will be a whirlwind of legislative activity. Senators returned last week to begin reviewing the House’s budget and will continue those discussions this week in […]

April 11, 2016 | Read More >

This week, the House takes up the budget. We hope that they will fully fund budget requests from the Conservation Bank and state agencies, like DHEC’s request for support of its dam safety program, water quality programs, and Pinewood. CVSC also shared the following message with legislators this week: In the last several years, we have had numerous conversations about the need to protect fair regulations that enable citizens, and in some cases, your constituents, […]

March 21, 2016 | Read More >

When I speak with South Carolinians about what happens at the State House, citizens are shocked that each year we must fight the rollback of important environmental protections that protect public health and give us the opportunity to hold polluters accountable. This week I am both disappointed and heartened by actions in the House of Representatives. CVSC has been working in the House to improve dam safety regulations as this State article so eloquently describes, especially in the […]

February 29, 2016 | Read More >

The Senate remains in an intense debate about fixing our roads this week as the House Ways and Means Committee reviews the budget. We look forward to seeing good budget decisions for the Conservation Bank and state agency funding. We’ll let you know if and when action is needed. Coal Ash Disposal: The Senate unanimously passed out H.4857 last week. The House should confer this week and we may see it signed into law this week! Why is this a […]

February 23, 2016 | Read More >

In some respects, we have a “slow” week. The House is taking furlough this week while Senators debate the roads bill. In other news… Coal Ash Disposal: After swift action in the House, Senators in the Judiciary Committee will review the coal ash disposal bills tomorrow. Why is this a big deal? Coal ash is a dangerous waste product of coal-fired power plants containing toxic arsenic and lead that can cause breathing problems and contaminate groundwater, lakes, and streams— threatening the health […]

February 15, 2016 | Read More >

Whew! Things are busy at the State House! Here’s the rundown: Shoreline Management: The Senate should finally have a chance this week to restore the permanent baseline language to S.139 from DHEC’s Blue Ribbon Committee (BRC) on Shoreline Management’s recommendations. We’ve been talking about setting a permanent baseline to limit seaward development on our shoreline for several years — and it’s finally time to act. We thank Senator Cleary for pushing for a permanent baseline in keeping with the BRC’s recommendations. We need to […]

February 8, 2016 | Read More >

We had a fun week last week adding co-sponsors to Rep. Bingham’s Conservation Bank bill. We have over half of the House signed on! Please thank your Representative for adding their name to it, or encourage them to do so this week before it’s filed. The bill mirrors Senator Campsen’s bill in the Senate (S.519). It will eliminate the sunset, improve the death clause, and increase funding by .05 cents (as recommended by the Wetlands Task Force). […]

February 1, 2016 | Read More >

Thank you to everyone who joined us last week at the State House for the Senate Briefing: Conversations with Conservationists. The presentations from our friends and allies this year were great. If you missed it and would like to view the video: check out the archives here (look for Conversations with Conservationists on Jan. 20, 2016). The Conservation Bank: This week, Rep. Bingham will introduce a Conservation Bank bill, mirroring Senator Campsen’s bill in the Senate (S.519). […]

January 25, 2016 | Read More >

Whew. The State House will be bustling this second week of session with events and legislative action in both the House and the Senate. The Conservation Bank: This week, Rep. Bingham will introduce a Conservation Bank bill, mirroring Senator Campsen’s bill in the Senate (S.519). This bill will eliminate the sunset, improve the death clause, and increase funding by .05 cents (as recommended by the Wetlands Task Force). Thank you to our bill sponsors and numerous co-sponsors […]

January 18, 2016 | Read More >

Welcome back to the State House! The 2016 legislative year marks the second year in a two year session. That means a lot of the issues we worked on last year will still be on the table. 2015 was a more tumultuous year for our state than any of us expected with the Emmanuel Nine tragedy in June and the historic vote to remove the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds. October’s devastating flooding will permeate many of […]

January 11, 2016 | Read More >

The 2015 legislative year can be described as full of talk and little action. We joined our partners in the Conservation Coalition in successfully securing increased funding for the Conservation Bank and fought rollbacks that would have weakened coastal protections, removed the automatic stay and struck the PCA savings clause. Very few bills passed this year, including the symbolic but benign litter coordination bill titled as the Palmetto Pride Where You Live Act. The Senate’s resistance to […]

July 28, 2015 | Read More >

Thank you for your support and participation at conservation lobby day and the oyster roast. We loved advocating with you at the State House! Please save the date for next year: April 5, 2016. Accountability  Senate rules promote compromise and contemplative action, meaning bills are usually fully supported by the time they reach the Senate floor for a vote. To dig deeper into the true actions of Senators on conservation issues, we score votes in Senate […]

April 20, 2015 | Read More >

As legislators approach a short Easter break, it’s a trying time at the State House. As aptly summarized in The State, an onslaught of bills at the State House threatens to eliminate basic environmental protections. Our rights to question government action, like the automatic stay, are under attack. Thank you for your continued interest and action in protecting the South Carolina you love. Saving the Stay Thank you for sending messages to your Senator in opposition to S.165, […]

March 30, 2015 | Read More >

It’s an exciting time at the State House. Thank you for your continued interest and action in protecting the South Carolina you love. Saving the Stay Thank you for sending messages to your Senator in opposition to S.165, which would eliminate the Automatic Stay. In state permitting decisions, if there are environmental concerns leading to a legal appeal of a permit, SC state law allows an automatic “stay” to be put into place disallowing forward movement on the […]

March 20, 2015 | Read More >

It’s an exciting time at the State House. Thank you for your continued interest and action in protecting the South Carolina you love. Conservation Bank  After a long week of budget deliberations, the House approved the Ways & Means cap on Conservation Bank authorization at the same cap as last year of $9.8M in the coming fiscal year. The proviso that sends Bank funds in excess of the authorized amount to DNR for the operation and maintenance […]

March 13, 2015 | Read More >

It’s an exciting time at the State House. Thank you for your continued interest and action in protecting the South Carolina you love. Thank you for all of your action this last week speaking with and emailing your Senators. Unfortunately, both S.228 (DHEC Board Review) and S.229 (Polluter Amnesty) passed out of the Medical Affairs Committee. One of our champions, Sen. Kevin Johnson (D-Clarendon), placed a minority report on S.229, which will make it harder […]

March 6, 2015 | Read More >

We had a short, yet busy, week at the State House because of the winter weather. This week, Eleanor Kitzman withdrew from consideration for DHEC director. Thank you again for adding your voice to the more than 1,000 people who called for the Senate to ask the DHEC Board to conduct a public, open search for the next director. Together, we showed the Senate that the public cares about their “advice and consent” role. Now, we look forward to […]

February 27, 2015 | Read More >

Thanks for another great week at the State House. We had lots of activity involving DHEC — whether covering a Senate request for a hearing on Pinewood or the Senate hearing to confirm the nominee to take the helm. We still need help from you with action on important issues that will be coming up soon: The Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee passed S.228 (DHEC Board Review) and S.229 (Polluter Amnesty) to the full Medical Affairs […]

February 21, 2015 | Read More >

As the legislative session moves forward, we are beginning to tackle tough issues. Committee meetings are in full swing with lots of activity on the issues we care about. Here’s an update on our “hotlist”: The Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee passed S.228 (DHEC Board Review) and S.229 (Polluter Amnesty) to the full Medical Affairs Committee. We expect a committee vote soon, so please contact your Senator on the committee. We oppose both bills because they will erode […]

February 13, 2015 | Read More >

After another busy week at the State House, we are bracing ourselves for key decisions next week on how our rights as citizens to protect the South Carolina we love. But first, let’s give a shout out to the unanimous passage by the House of a bill to reduce litter in our State. H.3035, sponsored by Reps. Gilda Cobb Hunter and Deborah Long, will evaluate public and private programs and campaigns that are working, create a Strategic Plan […]

February 6, 2015 | Read More >

Whew. We’re done with Week 3 at the State House and boy did we make the most of it. Here are some of the highlights:1. It’s all about the money. Legislators are hearing budget requests from agencies and deciding how to best allocate state dollars. DHEC presented their budget request to the House Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee this week. With the help of our partners at the Sierra Club and the leadership of subcommittee […]

January 30, 2015 | Read More >

On Wednesday, over 80 advocates filled the room for Conversations with Conservationists. The South Carolina Conservation Coalition gathered to brief Senators on its conservation priorities for this legislative session. Hosted by Senators Courson and McElveen, Senator McElveen set the tone by expressing the important message that “business and conservation are not mutually exclusive.” Bob Guild, Sierra Club, discussed the growing concerns regarding Pinewood hazardous waste landfill. This former kitty-litter mine sits a few hundred yards from […]

January 23, 2015 | Read More >

After a mostly ceremonial first week at the State House, we are entering the second week with a lot of action on conservation issues. This second week is one of organization. Committees in the House and Senate will be meeting to discuss bills and vote on bills to pass out of committee and move onto floor debate and votes. The real action and discussion on bills happens in sub-committees and full committees. This is particularly […]

January 19, 2015 | Read More >

Thank you again for supporting our advocacy efforts this past year. With the help of our conservation partners in the lobby, we have a lot to be proud of this year. In the hotlist wrap-up, you’ll find CVSC’s summary of the 2014 legislative year as it relates to many of our Conservation Common Agenda priorities.

We were able to stop anti-environmental initiatives like the “flow control” bill and prevent further weakening of the Pollution Control Act. We passed a major piece of solar energy legislation. We were disappointed that funding for the Conservation Bank was held at the same level as last year. We look forward to a fresh start in 2014 when we hope to improve protections for our rivers.

Most importantly, we want to pause to thank you for helping us make our collective voices heard to protect the South Carolina you love.

July 28, 2014 | Read More >