Yawkey Wildlife Center

One of the biggest legislative issues this week for our area was the news that the Senate had passed a provision in the budget that would allow hunting in wildlife sanctuary areas and more particularly in the 20,000-acre Yawkey Wildlife Center in Georgetown County. Click here for news coverage.

The concern is that by allowing hunting in the Yawkey Center, it would violate the provisions of Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey’s will that essentially gifted the land to the state of South Carolina as a wilderness area, possibly causing the Yawkey Trust to take back the land.

I have gotten assurance from the House leadership that the budget will not pass the House with the Senate provision allowing hunting in sanctuaries in it.

The Senate voted Thursday 42 to 1 to seek binding offers to purchase or manage Santee Cooper in the wake of the massive debt accumulated from the failed VC Summer nuclear reactor project. The Senate’s proposal asks the State Department of Administration to evaluate offers from companies who want to buy or manage Santee Cooper and bring the best ones to the General Assembly to consider.

The House passed a joint resolution weeks ago 101 to 6 that would allow the special legislative committee to proceed with the process of analyzing bids and making recommendations on offers to purchase or manage the utility. The House will consider the Senate’s proposal next week while continuing to make the ratepayers, taxpayers, and employees’ the top priority.

On Wednesday a joint legislative session elected trustees for Coastal Carolina University, The Citadel and Medical University of SC.

The bill I sponsored to allow our struggling shrimpers access to prime inshore shrimping grounds off Horry County in the fall was passed out of the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee and hopefully will get a floor vote on Tuesday or Wednesday. Sen. Stephen Goldfinch has been very helpful in moving the bill forward.

There are just three days left in the legislative session.

As always, please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Rep. Lee Hewitt

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