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.



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 >

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