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Unfinished Business at the Statehouse

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 into the fall to settle other unfinished state business. But, things didn’t go as smoothly as we all hoped.

Instead, legislators from the House and Senate found themselves at odds – again. The House quickly passed a continuing resolution, but the process broke down between the chambers over language that included a proposal to restrict Santee Cooper from approving any contracts longer than a Year.

After debating the continuing resolution for over five hours, leaving many lawmakers frustrated by the process, the Senate eventually changed the bill so that the public utility could enter into contracts only if the governor, House speaker, Senate president and leaders of each chamber’s budget committee approved it in writing.

The House has yet to return to address the Senate’s resolution, and neither chamber has passed a sine die resolution. An article by The Associated Press further explains last week’s proceedings.

So, it’s safe to say that the business of this legislative session is still incomplete. More so, the most likely outcome of this presumed impasse is that our lawmakers will have to return to the statehouse before the end of summer. We will continue to watch how all of this plays out and will keep you in the loop.

In the meantime, there are still ways for you to remain engaged in issues that you love. Tomorrow, April 14th at 11:30 AM, along with our conservation friends, CVSC will produce the fourth webinar episode of Conversations with Conservationists. In this episode, we will focus on current land protection efforts at the state and federal levels — sharing information about the new “Thirty by Thirty” conservation goals in South Carolina and in Congress that aim to protect 30% of our land and water by 2030. Click here to register.

Also, on April 21st at 12:30 PM, CVSC will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day by hosting a webinar with an Ask the Experts conversation on climate and solar energy. The conversation will focus on climate change impacts in South Carolina and the importance of transitioning away from fossil fuels. You can register here.

As you can see, we are continuing to adjust to this new way of life. We hope that you have been able to join us in our previous webinars. But, if you missed our first few episodes, no worries. You can still watch them here.

We are always grateful for your feedback, and we appreciate your support. So, if you’re looking for a way to advocate for the issues that are dearest to you and your family, click here. As always, thank you for all that you do to ensure a safe and healthy South Carolina.

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