The Automatic Stay is an important pause button that goes into effect when a permit decision is challenged, but before the permit is issued, in the Administrative Law Court (ALC). This stay has paused activities that may have done irreparable harm before the permit is reviewed in the ALC.
S.105 was introduced by Senators Rankin (R-Horry), Goldfinch (R-Georgetown), and Verdin (R-Laurens) to establish a time limit on the Stay and shift responsibility for showing irreparable harm to those challenging the permit. The conservation community believes that these actions will greatly impair the ability of citizens to use the legal system and ensure protection of clean air, land, and water.
After intense debate in subcommittee and committee in the Senate, the bill made it to the floor of the Senate where it was stalled by an objection from Senator McElveen. The Senate attempted to make this bill priority for consideration (by placing it on “special order”) and overcome Senator McElveen’s objection. The vote on the Senate floor failed to reach the 2/3 majority and failed 25-15 (27 were needed). See this link for more information on the special order vote.
After the failed special order vote, the Senate Rules Committee, under the leadership of Senator Massey, used its special order slot to bring this bill up for debate. Senator McElveen led an intense filibuster began with several other Senators working to kill the bill or reduce its impact. In an effort to prolong the filibuster, Senator McElveen moved to adjourn for the day. His motion to adjourn failed 10-22. See this link for more information on the adjournment vote.
The debate continued, and ultimately, S.105 was amended (improving it slightly) before being passed out of the Senate.
The amendment limits the stay to 90 days, requires a hearing within 30 days, shifts the burden of proof to the public for maintaining the stay, stipulates that a case cannot be found moot if the stay is lifted and work on the permit proceeds, and requires the Administrative Law Court to address the case within 12 months. The bill also provides an exception for hazardous waste permits, requiring these to follow the “old” version of the automatic stay law. Thanks go to Senator McElveen, Kimpson, Sheheen, Hutto, Senn, Allen, Fanning, Young, and Scott for their work to improve this bad bill.
After passing the Senate, the bill was considered by the House. After a lengthy committee process, the bill made it to the floor of the House. Here, Representative J.E. Smith, Bernstein, Powers Norrell, Clary and others worked valiantly to delay a vote by introducing hundreds of amendments. As a result, the Senate’s compromised version of S.105 passed the House by a vote of 86-30 on February 27, 2018. This House vote is the focus of this scored vote.
The bill was signed into law by Governor McMaster.
- This is an Anti-Conservation Bill.
- The Pro-Conservation Vote was NO for the bill’s passage in the House
- There are additional votes related to this bill. Click here for those vote details.
- An amended bill passed the Senate in 2017, the House in 2018, and was signed into law by the Governor