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COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) - The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce (SC Chamber) and South Carolina businesses urged the General Assembly to pass a hate crimes law.

The SC Chamber, along with some of the state's most recognizable companies, including Colonial Life, Walmart, Nephron Pharmaceuticals, Duke Energy, UPS, IBM, and AARP, put pressure on lawmakers to pass the bill on Monday.

South Carolina, Arkansas and Wyoming are the only three states in the nation without a hate crimes law. 

In order for this bill to move forward this legislative session, the SC Chamber said it must pass the House before April 20, 2021.

SC Chamber of Commerce Interim CEO Swati Patel said in a news release, “Last summer was a turning point for many in the business community and reminded each of us that diversity, equity and inclusion make us stronger and more productive. We were also reminded that South Carolina remains one of three states without a hate crimes law. It is time for the General Assembly to pass a hate crimes law this session. The business community appreciates the efforts of Speaker Jay Lucas and the House Equitable Justice and Law Enforcement Review Committee to develop a bill with strong bi-partisan support. We ask the House to finish the good work it started last summer and quickly pass H.3620.”

The SC Chamber also announced the unveiling of a new website to support the effort to pass hate crimes legislation in South Carolina. 

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