State House Update: More on the automatic stay and plastic bag bans
The good news is we’re about 1/3 of the way through the legislative session! The bad news is that we still need your help fighting some bad bills. Thank you for helping us — whether you’re testifying or contacting your legislators.
Please visit our Legislative Action Center for opportunities to contact your legislators.
Saving the Automatic Stay: If passed, S.105 and H.3565 will weaken citizens’ ability to successfully challenge the government when a citizen believes a permit is incorrectly issued (before it’s finalized). These bills neuter what is known as the Automatic Stay – a pause button that prevents harm from occurring while the permit challenge is considered. The “stay” allows the court to assess the facts and law in order to determine whether the permit was properly granted. The “stay” avoids irreparable harm to an affected party or place before that harm occurs.
This tool may be used by a wide range of entities – conservation groups, wastewater utilities, hospitals, restaurants, and any other entity that must obtain, or may be affected by, a DHEC permit for operation.
The stakes are high in permit challenges, for both an applicant and a challenger. Allowing a permitted activity to begin with a faulty permit or requiring citizens to post high bonds would significantly harm citizens’ ability to successfully challenge the government and unnecessarily increase costs of a project.
Read more about the automatic stay here.
- Senate Status: S.105 will be discussed again in Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. No more testimony will be heard. Please contact your Senator and ask them to oppose this bill.
- House Status: H.3565 will be voted on in the House this week. Please also contact your Representative and ask them to oppose this bill. Please thank Representatives Powers Norrell, J. Smith, Bernstein, Clary, Rutherford, King, and Whipper for voting with us in the House Judiciary Committee. Representatives Funderburk, McEachern, and Weeks also joined our supporters on a procedural vote as well. CVSC will score a vote for this bill on the House floor as anti-conservation.
Anti-Home Rule (or Banning Plastic Bag Bans): If passed, H.3529 will prevent our cities and towns from find local solutions for local problems — taking away what is referred to as “Home Rule” and what has been a cornerstone of our governmental structure in South Carolina.
Despite being a “home rule” state, the plastic bag companies are fighting to take away our right to make decisions about plastic use in our communities and the control of recycling waste.
We support coastal municipalities, like Isle of Palms and Folly Beach, that have taken the lead on this issue to reduce plastic waste on our beaches. Their commitment will protect marine life, birds, and the natural beauty we expect to see along our coast.
For more information, please read this media coverage.
- House vote status: After a vote was delayed last week, we expect to see this bill head to the House floor for a vote this week. Please reach out to your Representative and urge them to vote against this Anti-Home Rule Bill. CVSC will score a vote for this bill as anti-conservation.
Please Register for the Conservation Lobby Day and Oyster Roast on March 21, 2017