COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster was joined today by members of the business community and members of the General Assembly for a bill signing ceremony for H.3653, a bill protecting South Carolina companies from being found a public or private nuisance if they are following all pertinent laws, licensing regulations, and local ordinances. The bill is expected to spur economic growth, attract further investment in South Carolina’s communities, and create more jobs for the people of the state.
“One thing we always want to convey to people looking to invest in our state is that they know what they're getting when they come to South Carolina; they're not going to be vexed with unnecessary complaints and lawsuits,” said Gov. Henry McMaster. “One of the things that has troubled some is nuisance lawsuits that have no basis. So, what we're doing is making the pre-existing common law even more clear to say that as long as a business is following all the rules and has all the permits and documentation that it needs to have, someone who moves near that plant or facility can't start complaining that it is there doing what it is licensed to do.”
“Governor McMaster and his secretary of commerce, Bobby Hitt, have done a tremendous job recruiting new industry to our state as well as expanding our existing industries, and they're bringing thousands of jobs for our citizens,” said Representative Mike Forrester, the lead sponsor of H.3653. “With hundreds of companies who have invested heavily and have built facilities and factories, people move closer and closer to the facilities, increasing the threat of nuisance lawsuits even though the companies, as the governor said, are operating under their permitting guidelines. Through the legislative process we were able to address the needs of business and industry and still protect the individual property owners' rights.”
“On behalf of South Carolina manufacturers and their thousands of South Carolina associates, we are grateful to the legislature and Governor McMaster for their leadership in making H. 3653 law,” said Sara Hazzard, President and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance. “As South Carolina's population continues to grow and neighborhoods continue to expand closer and closer to existing manufacturing facilities' footprints, it is important to provide certainty to those manufacturers so that they can continue to invest, operate, and provide jobs. South Carolina manufacturers strive to be good neighbors and this legislation strikes a balance between the needs of industry and the rights of citizens. This law will encourage future South Carolina manufacturing capital investments and jobs."
“Today’s signing of H.3653 is a victory for South Carolina jobs,” said South Carolina Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Ted Pitts. “The manufacturing sector employs nearly 12 percent of the state’s workforce and is on the rise in the Palmetto State – paving the way for job creation, economic growth, and unrivaled innovation. Over 47,000 new manufacturing jobs have been announced in the past seven years, and employment in advanced manufacturing has grown by over 19 percent. The passage of this bill represents a unified effort between job creators, the legislature, and the governor to protect existing South Carolina businesses and encourage continued growth in the manufacturing sector.”
“Volvo Cars is proud of the work being done by the Governor and legislature to ensure that advanced manufacturing continues to prosper in South Carolina,” said Katarina Fjording, Vice President, Purchasing & Manufacturing of Volvo Car Group and Chair of the SC Chamber’s Manufacturers’ Steering Committee. “Like many other companies, Volvo Cars has chosen to call South Carolina home due to the strength of its workforce and its business-friendly climate. The passage of this bill is a strong example of the state’s commitment to job creation and innovation.”
“When a manufacturer locates in South Carolina, it must be assured that its operations will not be threatened by nuisance lawsuits against its existing operations” said Jack Sanders, Chairman of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce and President and CEO of Sonoco. “We thank the General Assembly for their fair leadership on this issue and for supporting the prosperity of manufacturing in our state.”
“Manufacturers have a long and proud history of being good corporate citizens to the communities where we work and live,” said Dirk Pieper, President and CEO of Sage Automotive Interiors and past Chairman of the SCMA. “It’s important to have policies like H. 3653 that encourage fair, consistent, and common-sense approaches in the legal system, because this allows manufacturers to continue to do what they do best – create, innovate, and provide meaningful local employment.”