S.1128 – ORS may request circuit court for release of V.C. Summer documents

This joint resolution would allow the executive director of the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) to file for a circuit court order requiring V.C. Summer documents and/or witnesses to be produced.

It should also be noted that ORS already has authority to require – under oath – the production of documents and witnesses. While state law does not specifically state the limits of that authority for the ORS, the Public Service Commission’s (PSC) subpoena power is limited to the state of South Carolina. In other words, it is uncertain whether, under current law, ORS could subpoena Westinghouse or other out-of-state companies. This bill would not expand ORS’s subpoena authority, but it would give them a one-time workaround in the case of V.C. Summer.

There may be a case for giving ORS authority to request a court to demand documents/witnesses from out-of-state companies. However, according to both the state Constitution and principles of good policy, it should be general in nature, not specific to a one-time situation as this bill is currently written.

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