House and Senate members overrode Governor Mark Sanford’s veto on the port restructuring bill that was sponsored by Berkeley Senator Larry Grooms.
“The new law has a number of provisions that will impact how the ports run and managed in the future. Those changes will have to be implemented here at the Ports Authority, and we will continue to focus on doing what we are suppose to be doing, which is serving as an economic engine for the state,” Byron Miller with the State Ports Authority reacts.
Miller explains some of the changes that he says the Ports Authority will embrace aggressively.
“Well, there are a number of provisions included in the law. There are things such as how our board is qualified and to serve. Also, there are conditions on the information about the Ports Authority’s finances have to be made available publicly. All sorts of key requirements for both the ongoing governance and management of the Ports Authority,” says Miller.
The new structure sets up requirements to sell certain port properties and requires oversight of expenditures and the performance of the State Ports Authority leadership. Governor Sanford issued a statement that said: “The ideas contained in this bill were nothing more than a smokescreen for taking away governors’ ability to hire and fire board members.” Miller reacted to that:
“That’s something for the others involved in the bill to talk about. There are numerous provisions that will impact the port and the Ports Authority’s governance and management and we’ll have to deal with those,” says Miller.
When asked about rail access at the Port of Charleston, Miller said the Ports Authority is not involved.
The new law is effective immediately.