Since our last State House update, the business community notched another significant legislative victory. Last week, the S.C. House of Representatives passed the Automatic Stay Bill (S.105) by a vote of 86-30.
Automatic stay is a legal injunction to stop work on a project pending the outcome of a legal challenge. Currently, anyone with a gripe and $600 can file a lawsuit and halt progress on an approved economic development or infrastructure project, often for as long as two years.
This legislation reduces the uncertainty of indefinite automatic stay by adding common-sense parameters to the process. For example:
- It limits the number of days an economic development or infrastructure project can be halted
- It also established a threshold for parties filing a lawsuit to show cause of potential harm to the environment or individuals
After passing the House, the bill moves to the Governor’s desk where he is expected to sign the legislation into law.
Automatic stay reform will be the second item checked off the Chamber’s 2018 Legislative Priority List. This is not only a big win for the business community; it’s also good news for anyone who wants quicker completion timelines for major road and bridge projects.
This week in Columbia, the House cleaned up the legislative docket in preparation for next week’s 2018-2019 budget debate. The Speaker informed the body that they will start working on the budget on Monday.
Of the $8.2 billion budget proposal, only $276 million are new monies to the general fund. Most of those dollars will go to cover increased healthcare costs and help offset the increased funding needs for state workers’ pensions. There is also a budget proposal to increase teachers’ pay by 2%.
Budget debates often bring out the sharpest elbows. Stay tuned for what could be an eventful next week at the State House.
CMCC Business Lobbyist