The Latest: Solar energy bill killed in legislative surprise
Apr. 10, 2018
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the crossover legislative deadline in South Carolina (all times local):
The South Carolina House has taken a surprise step and killed a solar energy bill that passed a key vote last week.
The bill removing a cap on the amount of solar energy in the state failed to pass Tuesday after opponents had it ruled a property tax increase.
The proposal received a majority vote last week with both Democratic and Republican support, but tax increases require two-thirds approval to pass. Tuesday's 61-44 House vote fell nine votes short.
Bill sponsor Rep. James Smith says the proposal was an answer to problems on relying on older energy sources which led to two failed nuclear plants and billions in debt.
The Democrat from Columbia running for governor told opponents they were killing 3,000 jobs and the solar power industry in South Carolina.
Time is running out for new potential laws in South Carolina.
Tuesday is the crossover deadline, where a bill has to pass either the House or the Senate to be considered by the other chamber with less than a two-thirds vote.
This year also is the second year of the session, so bills that don't pass have to start all over again in January.
Some bills that aren't going to make the deadline would ban so-called sanctuary cities, allow medical marijuana and give authorities more time to conduct background checks for gun purchases.
Lawmakers say shortening the legislative session two years ago means fewer bills are passed. Also, lawmakers have been dealing with complex issues like the budget and failed nuclear plants, leaving little room for debate on other bills.