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S.C. chamber calls for hate crimes legislation

South Carolina State House
South Carolina State House(WRDW)
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 8:46 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce is asking lawmakers to pass a hate crimes bill next month when the legislative session begins.

On Tuesday, the chamber delivered a letter signed by more than 80 businesses to the General Assembly and Gov. Henry McMaster.

The letter says it is critical for the Palmetto State to join 47 other states that have passed such legislation.

The topic will be on the chamber’s legislative agenda for next year.

Georgia passed a hate crimes law back in June.

The 2021 session begins in January, and the South Carolina House met this week to elect its leaders, pick seats and organize for the session.

Leaders on Tuesday pledged to continue working with kindness.

There were no contentious fights over positions, and unlike two years ago, there didn’t appear to be any unexpected changes in the leaders of committees.

House Speaker Jay Lucas was re-elected to a fourth two-year term without opposition.

He expressed his desire to continue molding the House into his vision of a chamber with cooperation, sense of purpose and humor.

There are now 80 Republicans among the House’s 124 members.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.