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Sen. Larry Grooms and his budget amendment aimed at North Charleston

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Published on Jun 16, 2011

With ONLY two minutes of debate....On May 24, 2011, less than an hour before passing the Senate version of the State Budget, which had been debated for five weeks, Senator Larry Grooms added an amendment to punish the City of North Charleston if legal actions against the State are not halted. Specifically, the amendment demands that the City return funds received from the State of South Carolina if a lawsuit is filed in federal court against the State.

In May, North Charleston sent a Notice and Draft Complaint to the Federal government and several State agencies highlighting likely violations of federal environmental laws by the State of South Carolina as a result of a planned intermodal yard on the northern end of the former Navy Base. The proposed yard and northern rail access are in clear violation of a 2002 Memorandum of Understanding between the City of North Charleston and the State of South Carolina.

The City seeks to challenge the State in Court, where disputes are supposed to be settled. Senator Grooms' threat seeks to stop the City from protecting the rights of North Charleston citizens by cutting funding to the City. His actions go against the fundamental right to challenge government action and call into question the very Constitution that this Country and State were founded upon.

This amendment and the State's efforts to dishonor the 2002 Memorandum of Understanding are clear, yet disappointing efforts to damage the quality of life of the citizens of North Charleston. 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.

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