Santee Cooper

I hope you’ve had a Happy Valentine’s Day!

This week brought about one of the biggest decisions the General Assembly will ever face, the fate of debt-ridden state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

On Tuesday, we received a report from the Dept. of Administration (DOA) detailing their recommendation of the three best options for Santee Cooper:

  1. Sell Santee Cooper to privately-owned utility NextEra.
  2. A management agreement with privately-owned Dominion Energy.
  3. Reform Santee Cooper while keeping state ownership and management.

Now, the House and Senate must decide on the best option for ratepayers and taxpayers. Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith appointed an Ad-Hoc Committee to go through all of the information in the DOA report and bring their findings to the full House within 30 days.

This is all in response to the billions in debt accumulated from the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project that has resulted in lawsuits and higher rates for electric customers who are served by Santee Cooper as well as most Electric Co-ops.

Yesterday, the Business License Fees Ad Hoc Subcommittee I serve on passed a much-needed bill, H. 4431, that would streamline the maddening process of obtaining business licenses for all the cities and counties that require them. The bill establishes a standard application and renewal date, and a single website for payments. The bill will be considered by the full Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee next week.

I was privileged to serve on discussion panels at two conferences this week. On Monday, I was a panelist at the SC Beach Advocates’ annual conference in Myrtle Beach, discussing pending legislation affecting the coast.

On Tuesday, I was a panelist at the SC Association of Realtors’ Capitol Conference where we discussed legislative issues affecting real estate and realtors, including an update on the status of the business license reform legislation.

It’s an honor to represent District 108 in the House of Representatives! Please let me know if I can be of assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt

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