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It’s been another busy week in the State Legislature.
After a week of debate and intense lobbying, the SC Senate voted 29-14 to adopt the the Nuisance Lawsuits bill (H.3653) on Wednesday. It now goes back to the House where hopes are high they will agree with the Senate’s changes. From there, it will go to the Governor’s desk.
Also this week, the House debated a repeal of the Base Load Review Act (H.4375), a measure passed in 2007 that allows investor-owned utilities to charge ratepayers an additional fee to recover “prudently incurred costs” associated with bringing new base load electrical power generation online.
In a rare move, Speaker of the House, Jay Lucas, made an impassioned plea from the podium in support of repeal that would prevent future additional fee increases to pay for the failed VC Summer nuclear project. The House voted for repeal by an overwhelming 114-1 margin.
If the bill passes the Senate, it would give immediate relief to ratepayers, temporarily rolling back the $27 a month surcharge for the nuclear plant on their power bills, pending a permanent ruling by the Public Service Commission.
Senate leadership has signaled they are in support and a subcommittee hearing could happen as early as next week. The Governor has also signaled support.
If the legislation is signed by the Governor, it will likely face a legal challenge. The outcome of any lawsuit will have implications for the proposed sale of SCANA.
There’s a long way to go yet, but this particular bill is moving quickly.
As always, we will keep you updated in the coming weeks. Have a great weekend!