One-on-one committee work

I wanted you to know that after a lot of one-on-one work with my fellow committee members, my bill, H. 4683, for fixing the process for determining beachfront jurisdictional lines was passed out of the Agricultural, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee last week.

SCDHEC is required by law to review these lines every 7 to 10 years based on the average annual erosion rates for all beachfront land and they impact first, and in many cases, second row properties regarding the structures that can be built or rebuilt according to where these lines are established. Most of the 20,000 beachfront property owners were not aware of the line review last year until it was almost too late to comment or appeal.

The bill was amended by the committee and will be debated on the House floor soon. It establishes the beachfront baseline at the 2012 location and mandates December 2023 as when new line review will begin. It improves property owner notification, expands the public comment period and allows owners one year from the date of line implementation to appeal.

Last week, the House overwhelmingly passed reform bills concerning the Public Service Commission and the Conservation Bank.

In response to the nuclear reactor spending disaster, we passed legislation Thursday to reform the Public Service Commission by a vote of 108-1. The legislation effectively fires the commission that approved the rate hikes to pay for the reactor project, strengthens ethical standards to limit outside utility influence, requires stricter questioning of parties by commissioners before making decisions and provides the ability to inspect utility construction sites.

On Wednesday, the House voted 107-3 to reform and reauthorize the state Conservation Bank, which purchases land conservation easements for landmark sites that merit preservation. The bill changes the way the Conservation Bank is governed and requires public access to easements that are purchased.

I'm thankful for the privilege of serving District 108 in the House! Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt

P.S. I'm up for reelection this year. Please donate to my reelection campaign today by clicking here and make the largest donation that you can afford. I really need your help. Thank you in advance!