City of Beaufort says they are comfortable with state of emergency being lifted thanks to vaccine numbers

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 5:02 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT, S.C. (WTOC) - The governor of South Carolina lifted the state of emergency order Monday afternoon. As a result, the city of Beaufort’s was automatically lifted.

Fourteen months ago the city of Beaufort enacted its state of emergency ordinance. Now that it’s been lifted the government has a little bit less power.

The state of emergency within the city of Beaufort gave the government more power. Essentially, the city council could enact ordinances at the first reading without allowing for public comment, the mayor could create rulings on his own, and the city could access federal funding with fewer limitations. Now, the city no longer has that power.

“The city at least has been pretty prudent and most of our ordinance have been passed we’ve gone to the standard process of having to use a state emergency order which gives us the ability to pass an ordinance with a single reading instead of having to go through a public reading process. We haven’t done that, but now with the state of emergency order that’s not an option for us,” said Beaufort Mayor Stephen Murray.

The city says they are comfortable lifting the state of emergency as 45 percent of the population has been vaccinated and more are getting the vaccine each day.

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