FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2018
Contact: Reagan Kelley
UNWARRANTED, UNENDING PROJECT DELAYS RECTIFIED IN SENATE BILL HEADED TO GOVERNOR’S DESK
House Passes Bill, Legislation Now Awaits Governor’s Signature
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina House of Representatives today gave final passage to Senate Bill 105, commonly referred to as the “automatic stay” bill. The bill, as passed by the Senate last year, provides better protection to capital projects from unwarranted delays that stalled job creation and resulted in high costs on the taxpayers.
Sponsors of the bill say passage restores the integrity of project appeals process, and reserves it for legitimate, well-founded complaints. It will also ensure that those complaints be heard and ruled on in a timely manner as to avoid unnecessary delays for permitted, regulated projects.
“This bill strikes the proper balance between the business and environmental communities, and allows South Carolina to join the majority of other states in placing the burden of proof on those opposing a permitted project with the responsibility to prove it,” Senator Luke Rankin says.
Senator Stephen Goldfinch says, “This is a win for the taxpayers of South Carolina. Passage of this bills says loud and clear — we will not let economic obstructionists stand in the way and blackmail the people of our state anymore.
The automatic stay, although well intentioned, had become a tool of abuse by extreme environmentalists,”Senator Greg Hembree says. “This substantial change to automatic stay will curtail abuse, lead to a more balanced judicial system, and save taxpayer money.”
Current law allows for a project to receive an automatic “stay,” if a petitioning body or person requests a hearing by the Administrative Law Court to a project that may have unintended, harmful consequences on our state. Senate Bill 105 still allows that process to occur but allows the Administrative Law Court to remove the stay after ninety days of a contested case, and requires a hearing to be held within thirty days to hear the merits of the stay.
The bill – which passed the Senate with a 26 to 6 vote, and passed the House with a 86 to 30 vote – now heads to the governor’s desk for signature to become law.