Senator Larry Grooms (R-Berkeley) introduced legislation that may derail the city of North Charleston’s federal lawsuit–if passed. At the last minute in its Tuesday session, Senator Grooms introduced a budget amendment that would force a city or town in South Carolina to pay back state funds if it files a federal lawsuit against any state entity.
The money must be returned in full within 10 days of receiving it.
The city of North Charleston says the budget amendment takes direct aim at its federal lawsuit on rail lines in the city.
The city’s mayor, Keith Summey, says:
These bully tactics will not deter the city of North Charleston from fighting for the rights of its citizens. I insist that the state of South Carolina do what it morally obligated itself to do and keep its promises.”
In the city’s letter of intent to sue several South Carolina agencies, Summey claims that the state is going against its 2002 agreement to place rail lines on the southern end of the Port of Charleston. However, the state wants the rail at the northern end now, where Summey says he has worked hard at redeveloping the surrounding community.
The amendment passed first reading with a 26-11 vote.