H.4421 Solar Jobs (Third Reading)
On the third reading of H.4421, Rep. Thayer raised a parliamentary inquiry concerning the bill – asking if 2/3 of the House would be needed for passage of the bill because the bill contained property tax exemptions and the SC Constitution requires 2/3 approval of the House and Senate for additional property tax exemptions. After lengthy discussions with Reps. James Smith, Mandy Powers Norrell, and others, Speaker Lucas ruled that a 2/3 vote would be required for passage. This set the threshold for approval at 82 votes.
Rep. James Smith and other clean energy champions like Peter McCoy, Katie Arrington, Gilda Cobb-Hunter, Russell Ott, Gary Clary, and Mandy Powers Norrell took steps to try and remove the property tax provisions of the bill and reduce the need for an 82 vote supermajority. The only way to remove the offending section was to move the House into a “Committee of the Whole,” a tactic that had not been used in over 30 Years in the SC House.
Anti-solar Representatives moved to table a motion by James Smith to move into the Committee of the Whole. The tabling motion succeeded by a vote of 54-51, preventing amendment of the bill. This vote is not scored.
Rep. Arrington then moved to reconsider the tabling vote in order to try again to enter the Committee of the Whole. This vote failed 55-54.
With all efforts to fix the bill exhausted, the bill proceeded to third reading with the supermajority vote requirement still in place. While the bill received a majority of votes with 61-44, it did not reach the 82 vote supermajority and therefore was defeated on third reading.
- This vote is a vote on a Pro-Conservation Bill.
- The Pro-Conservation Vote was YEA for third reading.