Hate crime bill still facing hurdles to pass in South Carolina
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - South Carolina is one of only three states without a hate crime law, and legislation to change that is slowly moving its way through the statehouse. But not without some questions from lawmakers.
The South Carolina House Democratic Caucus says the bill passed the state Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday afternoon. With a green light from the House, the bill now heads to the full Senate floor.
Republican senators had questioned whether it is necessary to add penalties to violent crimes based on someone’s motives.
House representatives gave key approval by a 79-29 vote back in April on the proposal to allow harsher penalties for certain crimes motivated by hatred.
The Clementa C. Pinckney Hate Crimes Act does allow prosecutors to ask the same jury that convicted someone for extra punishment for a violent crime based on THE race, color, religion, sex, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, or physical or mental disability of the victim.
It is named for the African American state senator killed along with eight others in a 2015 attack on a bible study at Emanuel AME Church.
The legislation would add up to five years in prison for someone convicted of violent crimes fueled by hate. An additional fine of up to $10,000 could also be tacked onto these sentences.
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- The South Carolina House is insisting the state continue to accept offers to sell Santee Cooper. That means the fate of a bill to overhaul the state-owned utility will go down to the wire at this year’s session. The House refused to accept the Senate version of the bill that removed a committee of lawmakers that could consider any bids to buy Santee Cooper over the next 10 years. The House and Senate did agree on getting rid of almost all Santee Cooper board members who served when a project to build two new nuclear reactors failed in 2017.
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