V.C. Summer, Opioid Abuse Prevention, & Budget Priorities
On Wednesday the 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 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 next week by the House Judiciary Committee.
There were also several House funding priorities added to the budget this week by the House Ways & Means Committee that will improve the lives of South Carolinians. The House has chosen to prioritize education funding, retirement benefits, tax relief, and opioid abuse prevention. Specific budget additions include a 2% teacher pay increase, $32 million increase in education funding, $50 million for higher education capital project needs, a 1% pension contribution increase for state employees, $600 million in tax relief, and $11.35 million for opioid abuse prevention measures. These budget priorities will be voted on by the full House during the week of March 12.
It is an honor and a privilege to serve you in Columbia. If you need help navigating state government, or have any thoughts or concerns about what we are doing, please do not hesitate to contact me.