This Week at the Statehouse - May 7, 2018
State House Report
Sine Die Resolution:
At 5pm on Thursday, May 10th, the General Assembly adjourned sine die for the 2017-2018 Legislative session. However, the work is not over. The General Assembly will be coming back to Columbia on May 23rd through the 24th and June 13th through June 15th to continue working on the budget, any legislation affecting V.C. Summer Nuclear units, any conference committees, and other matters.
Dams and Reservoirs - S. 1190:
The House passed S. 1190 on Thursday - a Joint Resolution directing DHEC to focus their resources on high and significant hazard dams and to only reclassify a dam if failure or breach will likely result in loss of human life. The Joint Resolution will have the effect of law upon the Governor's signature. This is an important step in the right direction as SC Farm Bureau and other stakeholders work over the summer to address the concerns raised during a Senate committee hearing on the Dams Safety Program. These concerns include many raised by individual farm bureau members such as expensive upgrades required by DHEC for dams in rural areas where loss of life is not likely, upgrades required solely because of development downstream after the dam was constructed, and lack of engineers willing and able to address the numbers of dams needing professional engineer work. As we approach this work over the summer, your stories and experiences will be needed to guide the process as we seek real solutions.
Action: Please reach out to Cassidy Evans (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your stories so we can begin to catalog the concerns.
Agribusiness Tax Credit - S. 404:
In 2017, the Senate passed S. 404, sponsored by Campbell, Gregory, Reese, Williams, and Climer, which allowed for a tax credit to be given to an agribusiness operation or an agricultural packaging operation that increases its purchases of SC Certified Grown products. This bill unfortunately did not receive a hearing in the House, but it was added as amendment to another bill, S. 1043 - an abandoned building revitalization tax credit - that received third reading this past Thursday. Because this amendment was added after the bill had already passed the House, the House and Senate will go to Conference committee on the bill and determine the final disposition. SC Farm Bureau will continue to support this effort.
Solar Habitat Act - H. 4875:
The Senate passed H. 4875, sponsored by Ott and Clary, which created a voluntary program to be run through DNR to encourage commercial solar farms to participate in a native vegetation habitat and pollinator management plan. This will not only beautify the state, but reduces runoff from these sites as well as encourages native wildlife in the area to thrive. This bill will have effect of law upon the Governor's signature.
Cotton Bale ID Tag - H. 5152:
The Senate passed H. 5152, sponsored by V.S. Moss and Hixon, which allows for a warehouse to utilize the Permanent Bale Identification (PBI) number and tag of another gin rather than requiring a separate ID tag to be applied. This bill will have effect of law upon the Governor's signature.
Statewide Elections 2018
With Statewide Primaries being held on June 12, 2018, the following positions are up for Election on November 6, 2018:
- Secretary of State
- State Treasurer
- Attorney General
- Comptroller General
- State Superintendent of Education
- Commissioner of Agriculture
- U.S. House of Representatives
- State House of Representatives
- Multi-county district offices • Solicitor (circuits 3, 5, 6, 12, 13, 15)
- Various countywide and less than countywide offices
South Carolina Farm Bureau encourages you to get to know your candidates to ensure we have good individuals in office who understand and support agriculture in the State of South Carolina. While it is too late to register to vote in the Statewide Primaries, there is still time to register for General Election Day. Register to vote.