House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee to Hold Two Additional Hearings

(Columbia, SC) – The House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee will hold its fifth and sixth hearings on Mon. Oct. 30 and Tues. Oct. 31, as the group continues to work towards developing a viable plan forward in response to the V.C. Summer suspension. Continue reading

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State House leaders request SLED investigation into V.C. Summer affair

COLUMBIA—South Carolina legislators have asked the state Law Enforcement Division to investigate potential criminality on the part of SCANA and SCE&G regarding mismanagement at the V.C. Summer nuclear plant.

This request comes in the form of a letter to SLED Chief Mark Keel by South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington), and Chairman Peter McCoy (R-Charleston) and Vice-Chairman Russell Ott (D-Calhoun) of the House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee (HURPC).

“If, as we suspect, criminal activity exists at the root of the V.C. Summer disaster, it is imperative that it be discovered as quickly as possible and that those responsible are held accountable for their actions,” the letter read.  Continue reading

Samsung to Bring 950 Jobs to Newberry County

NEWBERRY—Electronics giant Samsung has announced an agreement that will bring approximately 950 jobs to the Newberry area. The arrangement was celebrated Wednesday at a ceremony at Memorial Park in Downtown Newberry.

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The $380 million investment will be put toward the creation of Samsung’s first manufacturing facility in the Palmetto State, and the facility is set to produce home appliances including, but not limited to, washing machines. The plant will occupy the site formerly owned by Caterpillar at 284 Mawsons Way in Newberry, and production is set to begin early next year.

Wednesday’s announcement was attended by South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, Sen. Ronnie Cromer (R-18), Rep. Rick Martin (R-40), Newberry Electric Cooperative CEO Keith Avery, top Samsung executives including Samsung Electronics America President and CEO Tim Baxter, and Executive Vice-President and Head of Digital Appliances Business Byungsam Suh, and members of the Newberry County Council.

“Many people at the state and county levels, as well as the good people at the Newberry Electric Cooperative, made this momentous occasion possible,” Martin said in a statement. “We are so thankful to everyone who contributed to this agreement, but most of all, we are thankful to Samsung for choosing our community. Our hard-working, highly-skilled citizens are also to thank, because they were a major factor in Samsung’s decision, and they are the people Samsung seeks to put to work.”

Property Tax Reform Passes House Unanimously

COLUMBIA–On Thursday, a property tax assessment reform bill introduced by Rep. Rick Martin (R-Newberry) passed the House of Representatives unanimously. The bill passed the Ways and Means Committee favorably on Wednesday before heading to the House floor. H. 3463, designed to protect agricultural property from being taxed at residential, commercial, or industrial rates, passed its second reading by a bipartisan vote of 98-0. Continue reading

Speaker Lucas: House Passes Infrastructure Funding and Reform Bill

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the House passed H. 3516, the SC Infrastructure and Economic Development Reform Act, by an overwhelming and bipartisan vote of 97-18. The bill will be given third reading tomorrow and then sent to the Senate for consideration.

“Fixing South Carolina’s dangerous roads and bridges should be the greatest priority for this legislative session. Refusing to compromise will not solve our roads problem, but simply places politics above responsible public policy.  A delayed resolution continues to threaten the safety of South Carolina drivers and increases costs for repair and resurfacing of decaying roads and bridges. Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE: Speaker Lucas: House Ways and Means Committee Passes Roads Bill

House Ways and Means Committee Passes Roads Bill

Includes Long-term Funding and Governance Reform

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the Ways and Means Committee amended and adopted H. 3516. The bill will be added to the House legislative calendar next week for debate in the coming weeks. Continue reading

PRESS RELEASE: South Carolina Department of Agriculture Has Taken Regulatory Action Against B&H Foods of Chester

COLUMBIA- The South Carolina Department of Agriculture Consumer Protection Division took regulatory action today against B&H Foods located at 181 Saluda Street, Chester, and revoked the company’s Registration Verification Certificate (RVC) after Listeria monocytogenes was found in the finished product. Without the RVC permit, the company is prohibited from producing, distributing and selling any products until the RVC has been reinstated. B&H Foods produces Ruth’s Salads for the Charlotte-based company. Continue reading

Martin Introduces Bill for Farm Tax Protection

COLUMBIA—State Rep. Rick Martin (R-40) introduced a piece of legislation on Thursday designed to protect agricultural land from being taxed at residential or commercial rates.

The introduced bill, H. 3463, would provide that if any property was assessed as agricultural property, farm machinery or equipment for 2016, that property must continue to be taxed at agricultural rates as long as it retains its agricultural use. The bill currently resides in the House Committee on Ways and Means. Continue reading