26 Feb V.C. Summer, Human Trafficking, Opioid Abuse Prevention, and Budget Priorities
This past Wednesday the SC House received a Senate resolution that extends the period of time the South Carolina Public Service Commission has to review a proposal by Dominion Energy to purchase SCANA Corporation. While an extension of time to review an acquisition bid may be merited, the House believes the main priority of the legislature should be addressing the existing 18% nuclear surcharge which SCANA forces its customers to pay every month for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project. The House has taken the position that the nuclear surcharge should be reduced to zero while the acquisition bid is being reviewed. Concerns about existing language of the Senate resolution will be addressed this week by the House Judiciary Committee.
This past week, by unanimous vote, the House passed H. 3329 – a bill I am glad to have cosponsored – dealing with human trafficking. This bill clarifies provisions in our current law and takes the next step in helping minors who are victims of human trafficking. A huge thank you to the primary bill sponsor and my colleague, Rep. Russell Fry, as well as the Attorney General’s Office, and the SC Children’s Law Committee for working on this issue to make the bill even stronger. Next step, the Senate, where we hope they will take up the issue without delay and send the bill to Gov. McMaster.
H. 3820, a bill supported by the House Opioid Abuse Prevention Study Committee, was passed by the full House Thursday. The legislation requires instruction in grades 9-12 on prescription opioid abuse prevention with an emphasis on the prescription drug epidemic. The bill passed with overwhelming support in the House, 107-1, and will now be taken up by the Senate. This is one of several opioid abuse prevention bills the House hopes to advance over the coming weeks. I urge my Senate colleagues to pass this critical legislation immediately and send it to the governor for his signature.