Governor Henry McMaster Signs S.105, a Pro-business Bill Reforming South Carolina’s Automatic Stay Proceedings

Thursday, March 15th, 2018

Governor Henry McMaster was joined by members of the general assembly and business leaders from around the state for a bill signing ceremony of S.105, a pro-business bill sponsored by Senator Luke Rankin that protects South Carolina businesses from individuals or groups looking to delay construction projects without properly demonstrating legal grounds for doing so.

“Often lawsuits drag out for too long; this is an effort to see that we’re able to move forward quickly and shift the burden of proof to those seeking to have permits denied so that we can proceed with construction,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “Many times, the costs of projects can increase by fifty percent or even more simply because of unnecessary delay, so we’re trying to make sure we move on our infrastructure swiftly and appropriately in South Carolina.”

“The state’s business community applauds the legislature for passing the Automatic Stay bill, and we thank Senator Rankin and Representative Fry for their leadership and Governor McMaster for signing this legislation,” said South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Ted Pitts. “Businesses moving into our state and creating jobs here want clear expectations and timelines. This legislation provides that clarity while preserving citizens’ rights to challenge government permitting decisions.”

“With this passage and signing by the Governor, we are tipping the hat to a balance between legitimate environmental concerns and industry, progress, and economic development,” said Sen. Luke Rankin.

“Today is about restoring balance and fairness in the system,” said Rep. Russell Fry, sponsor of the House’s companion bill. “It is about making sure we flip the burden of proof, which is so crucial. As a conservative I think we would all agree that government doesn’t always get it right, and so it’s important that we be able to challenge those permits and that we preserve the stay, but that stay should not be unfettered, and we can’t hold up projects in South Carolina for baseless accusations.”

“Today’s bill signing is a win for South Carolina job creators and employees,” said Jack Sanders, Chairman of the South Carolina Chamber Board of Directors and President & CEO of Sonoco. “For too long, the automatic stay system placed undue burden on job creators, and this bill prevents frivolous legal challenges that hinder economic growth.”

“On behalf of South Carolina’s manufacturing community, we applaud the legislature and Governor Henry McMaster for the passage of S.105,” said Sara Hazzard, President and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. “The Automatic Stay bill provides a fair and equitable balance for businesses and private citizens. In the past, the previous law was used by some to stymie economic growth through costly, lengthy, and unnecessary delays. The passage of this legislation ensures that in environmental permitting cases our judicial system can strike an appropriate balance to protect our natural heritage while also protecting our jobs.”