- Associated Press - Sunday, March 1, 2020

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - There will likely be key votes this week on whether South Carolina should sell its state-owned utility.

A special House committee deciding Santee Cooper’s future plans to vote Tuesday with the full House Ways and Means Committee following up with its recommendation on Thursday.

Lawmakers are deciding whether to let Santee Cooper reform itself, sell the utility to NextEra Energy of Florida or have Santee Cooper managed by Dominion Energy of Virginia.

The full House and Senate will have to approve the decision. The Senate Finance Committee is meeting Tuesday for more discussions with Santee Cooper executives.

Santee Cooper is $4 billion in debt after buying a 45% stake in a pair of nuclear reactors in South Carolina that were abandoned during construction.

Lawmakers have told Santee Cooper executives if they have any hope for the utility to stay publicly owned, they need to put together major reform plans.

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