February 24, 2017
Inside this issue
- •Statehouse Report
- •Congressional Report
- •Dates and Events of Interest
Dams and Reservoirs
The Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee met Thursday and carried over S. 5, sponsored by Senator Katrina Shealy (Lexington). The bill would require the South Carolina Department of Environmental Control (DHEC) to inspect all dams traversed by a state highway. An amendment brought by DHEC would have amended the bill to include dams that could cause serious damage to maintained highways. The DHEC amendment was not adopted. Ultimately, Senators agreed that human safety is most important, but also acknowledged that it was important to keep the financial issues in mind moving forward. Discussion of S. 5 will continue at the next committee meeting, which has not yet been scheduled.
Night Hunting of Feral Hogs, etc.
Government Relations Director Gary Spires testified in support of companion bills S. 44 and H. 3748 further liberating night hunting of feral hogs. In his testimony, Director Spires shared results from the Clemson University study concerning feral hogs and the problems these invasive animals cause to the agribusiness industry. He also mentioned the need to close a loophole in current law relating to the illegal transportation of feral swine. S. 44 passed favorably to full committee with H. 3748 being carried over.
The House Ways and Means Committee met this week and adopted their version of the State Budget. Because the legislature this year meets a full month less than in the past, the whole budgeting process is moving along at a quicker pace than the past. The budget is expected on House floor, March 13-16 for further consideration.
Of interest -
The committee adopted an amendment directing the Conservation Bank deed stamp funds into the SCDNR and only appropriating $5 million to the Bank.
$4,893,750 to DHEC for the Dam Safety Program
Governor McMaster signed an executive order setting the dates for the special election to fill the vacancy in the 5th Congressional District. The 5th Congressional District spans the following 11 counties: Cherokee, Chester, Fairfield, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lee, Newberry, Spartanburg, Sumter, Union and York Counties.
Important Dates & Deadlines
March 3 - Filing Opens
March 13 - Filing Closes
April 2 - Voter Registration Deadline for Primary
May 2 - Primary
May 16 - Primary Runoff
Dates and Events of Interest
Join us for the first ever South Carolina Agricultural Labor Forum on Tuesday, February 28 at the South Carolina State Farmers Market.
DATE AND TIME
Feb. 28, 2017
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM LOCATION
South Carolina State Farmers Market
Columbia, SC RSVP FOR EVENT
This full-day program, co-sponsored by the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, the South Carolina Farm Bureau, and the National Council of Agricultural Employers, will provide agricultural employers practical guidance about wage and hour laws, worker protection standards and OSHA, immigration and I-9 compliance, the H-2A guest worker programs, and their rights during a Department of Labor investigation.
Frank Gasperini, Executive Vice President of the National Council of Agricultural Employers, will provide an update on national efforts to reform burdensome laws and regulations.
Lunch is provided.
Please contact Stacey McReynolds at (404) 240-4280 or for more information.
*Registration fees will be used to cover the costs of the event. Any and all remaining proceeds will be donated to the South Carolina Farm Bureau's Young Farmer & Rancher Program, which trains agricultural and agribusiness leaders to succeed in the workplace and on the farm, and to become knowledgeable advocates for agriculture.