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House Equitable Justice System and Law Enforcement Reform Committee

Posted by: Jason Zacher on Monday, June 29, 2020

With the passage of "smart on crime" reforms in 2010, South Carolina emerged as a national pioneer in criminal justice. These reforms have helped make South Carolina a better place to live, work, and do business. But, as the events of the past several weeks have brought to light, there is more left to do.

Like you, we have been horrified by the awful events taking place in our country over the past month. While the incidents and related reactions as a result of the violent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery have been startling, they unfortunately are only the most recent of many similar tragedies that have transpired in our country over the past 400 years.

Thank you for creating the Equitable Justice System and Law Enforcement Reform Committee. It is time for our state to  again prioritize and expand the dialogue  on matters that will make life better for all of  our residents. To bring about real and lasting change and economic prosperity to all our neighbors, our communities must be safe, thriving and equitable. With this base, we can continue our work to correct disparities in education , health, and income.

As you prepare for the 2021 session, the issues of sentencing reform, criminal procedure, hate crime penalties, and law enforcement tactics will transcend social debates and become economic development imperatives. Our Chambers wrote to you in 2018 urging continued action on sentencing reform following the historic expungement legislation that passed in 2017, and collectively, our organizations have a legacy of leading initiatives in our community to foster prosperity for all citizens.

Our state's success in 2010 shows that forward-thinking policy making can deliver results for our state. We applaud you for creating this committee and hope we can double-down on the success of previous reforms.

We look forward to continuing to lead and engage in these conversations and assisting you in implementing long-overdue solutions. South Carolina is a special place. Let's love our state and everyone in it.

Sincerely,

Carl Blackstone                                       
President and CEO                          
Columbia Chamber of Commerce      

Carlos Phillips
President & CEO
Greenville Chamber

Karen Riordan
President and CEO
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce

Bryan Derreberry
President and CEO
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

Janet LaBar
President and CEO
Charlotte Regional Business Alliance

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