HOUSE WEEK IN REVIEW
February 2, 2018
The House of Representatives amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4375, legislation ELIMINATING ALL CHARGES ON THE ELECTRIC BILLS OF SCE&G CUSTOMERS THAT SUPPORT THE FAILED V.C. SUMMER NUCLEAR POWER PROJECT and REPEALING THE BASE LOAD REVIEW ACT GOING FORWARD. The bill orders new electricity rates for customers of SCANA Corporation’s South Carolina Electric and Gas that are reduced by eliminating all of the increases that have been imposed in recent years under the Base Load Review Act to finance the failed V.C. Summer nuclear power project in Fairfield County. These lower experimental rates would no longer include the increases, amounting to around 18% to 19.5%, that have been included on the power bills of SCE&G customers to fund construction of the nuclear reactors in Jenkinsville which have now been abandoned. The legislation repeals provisions of the Base Load Review Act prospectively so that utilities would no longer be able to make use of the provisions of this legislation to finance the construction of power generation projects with fees imposed on the electric bills of ratepayers. The repeal does not apply to pending legal matters. Existing disputes about the application of the Base Load Review Act will continue to be settled through administrative decisions of the Public Service Commission and judicial rulings from the courts. The legislation includes new definitions that provide detail on what constitutes imprudent actions of utilities under the Base Load Review Act.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4458, a bill REVISING PENALTIES FOR LITTERING in an effort to make them more effective. The legislation restructures penalties for violations so that their severity increases with the amount of litter waste involved. Under these graduated penalties, violations involving no more than fifteen pounds of litter are subject to comparatively lower fines and hours of community service. Fines and other penalties increase for violations involving the illegal dumping of more than fifteen pounds of litter, and become more severe for the illegal dumping of over five hundred pounds of waste.
The House amended, approved, and sent the Senate H.4673, a bill that revises the REVOCATION OF CERTAIN BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS BY DIVORCE, ANNULMENT, OR AN ORDER TERMINATING MARITAL PROPERTY RIGHTS UNDER EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLANS ADMINISTERED BY THE SOUTH CAROLINA PUBLIC EMPLOYEE BENEFIT AUTHORITY.