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Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Legislative Luncheon

On January 22, 2019, I attended the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce Annual Legislative Luncheon, where I represented Beaufort County. In this short interview I cover the economic downside of off-shore drilling, the Santee Cooper Resolution, and current conservation efforts.

The LIDAR Bill

January 21, 2020

Last March, I proposed conducting LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) mapping at least every five years, and enabling public bodies and the private sector to seamlessly access the data. LiDAR accurately measures changes in elevation, which can help prevent another Church Creek Basin disaster — where homes were built in a flood zone and had to be condemned.

The LIDAR bill will put the public and private sectors one click away from accurate elevation and flood information. It will be an invaluable planning and design tool to safely accommodate the population surge in the Lowcountry. The LiDAR bill is an important tool in the flood mitigation toolbox.



January 17, 2020

Set for Special Order

S.419 Education Improvement: A bill to make changes to the state’s education policy, eliminate state mandated tests, codify minimum teacher salaries, set duty-free break periods, enforce school board code of ethics, and other related provisions. 

Third Reading and Sent to the House

S.656 Unclaimed Vehicles: A bill to provide for the transfer of a vehicle to an automotive dismantler or recycler and disposal of a vehicle. To conform changes related to the surrender of certificates and plates and permits to purchase or sell nonferrous metals. 

S.996 Public Service Commission Screening: A joint resolution to extend the screening for candidates for the Public Service Commission (PSC), Seats 1, 3, 5, and 7. To provide for the advertisement to three newspapers of general circulation of the District to be published once a week. Additionally, applicants who withdrew or was now found “qualified,” shall not receive further consideration. 

Looking Ahead to Next Week

State of the State Address — Governor Henry McMaster will address the General Assembly in joint session for the annual State of the State Address on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. 

Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee

H.4246 Criminal Background Checks: A bill to change the time effective of Act 60 of 2017 relating to criminal background checks by the Real Estate Commission to July 1, 2020.   

S.909 Professional Employer Organizations Tax Credits: A bill to relating to provisions of professional employer organizations which may be eligible for certain tax credits and economic incentives, as to delete the requirement that functions may be provided by regulation and make other changes. 

H.4327Farm Structures:  A bill to exempt certain farm structures that may accommodate up to three hundred guests without installing a sprinkler system, as classified in the 2015 International Building Code. 

S.796 Building Codes: A bill to provide that the council may promulgate the residential building codes no later than six years from date of publication or previously adopted building codes.

H.3200 Lactation Support Act: A bill to provide that employers shall provide reasonable unpaid break time and reasonable privacy accommodations for employees to express breast milk in close proximity to the work area. 

The information contained herein is prepared by the staff of the South Carolina Senate and is not the expression of the Senate. It is strictly for the internal use and benefit of members of the Senate and is not to be construed by a court of law as an expression of legislative intent. This is a compilation derived from committee staff summaries and meetings. 


Senate Passes Budget Proviso

January 16, 2020

Last April, the Senate passed my budget proviso — effectively prohibiting offshore drilling infrastructure in South Carolina

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and its jurisdictional waters. It passed by a vote of 40 to 4. The House and Governor concurred, and it is effective for the current fiscal year (2019-20).

On the second day of the new legislative session, the Environmental Subcommittee of the Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee PASSED my bill that would ban offshore drilling in perpetuity (S. 870). I have 31 of 46 senators as co-sponsors, so I am optimistic it will once again pass the Senate – this time as permanent law.

Pictured below are some key players who fought beside me to protect our coast from offshore drilling. I am grateful for each of them.

Turning Leaf

January 9, 2020

Senator Chip Campsen

I enjoyed visiting the Turning Leaf Project in North Charleston recently. Turning Leaf is an effective reintegration program for offenders recently released from prison. They are taught job skills, relationship management, and other skills needed for a fresh start. I sat in on a class and was very impressed – primarily by the determination of these former offenders to walk the straight and narrow – and the staff’s commitment to assisting them in doing so.


Our Visit With Dr. Edda Fields-Black

December 23, 2019

Lalla Lee and I were blessed to assist Dr. Edda Fields-Black research some ACE Basin history recently.

From left: Lalla Lee Campsen, Arthur Williams, Dr. Edda Fields-Black, Chip Campsen, Charles Fields, Dr. Ann Kulze

Dr. Fields-Black is a history professor at Carnegie Mellon University, with roots in the ACE Basin. She is writing a history of the June 2, 1863, Combahee Ferry Raid in which over 700 African-American slaves were freed by two Union gunboats under the command of Col. James Montgomery. The raid was led by Harriet Tubman, often referred to as “the Moses of her people” for tireless efforts to free slaves through the Underground Railroad.

Lalla Lee and I arranged for Dr. Fields-Black to record oral history from Arthur Williams of Dale, Beaufort County, whom we have hunted with for decades; and, Charles Fields of Green Pond, Colleton County. Charles is the son of Lucille Fields Grant who has been a friend of our family for decades.

Lalla Lee led Dr. Fields-Black deep into the forest to gravestones of participants in the Combahee Ferry Raid. Dr. Fields-

Photograph of Rebecca Simmons

Black became emotional when she discovered gravestones of leaders of the raid whom she has been researching for years.

Dr. Ann Kulze of Charleston also rendered assistance to Dr. Fields-Black’s research.

Most touching of all was when our respected friend, Arthur Williams, shared the photograph of his great-great-grandmother, Rebecca Simmons, who was freed in the raid. She was taken to Tabernacle Baptist Church in downtown Beaufort, which was under Union control at the time. Rebecca Simmons ultimately made her way to Edisto Island where she lived the remainder of her life as a freedwoman.

A very meaningful experience for all!

– Chip Campsen