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Columbia Mayor disagrees with SC AG, says stay-at-home order is lawful

A stay-at-home order for Columbia residents will begin on Sunday at 12:01 a.m.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Mayor of the City of Columbia, Steven Benjamin, says the stay-at-home order passed by the council is lawful. 

Council approved the measure Thursday afternoon on a remote meeting. The ordinance goes into effect this Sunday, March 29, at 12:01 a.m. It's set to expire in 14 days.

RELATED: Columbia approves stay-at-home order for all residents

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson came out against the order, saying that local governments do not have the power to issue an emergency order like the stay-at-home order set to begin in Columbia on Sunday morning. 

Charleston also passed a similar order that is currently in effect. 

RELATED: Local governments don't have authority to issue stay-at-home orders, SC attorney general says

Mayor Benjamin responded on Saturday morning in a tweet, writing "The opinion of the Attorney General of 3/27/20 is incorrect on a constitutional & statutory basis & also inconsistent with his office’s previous opinions."

He also urged residents to stay home and follow the law, unless they are part of an essential service. In his last tweet he says that the virus is a public health crisis and it is not about politics. Finishing with saying that not following this order could cost lives. 

For basics on the order, including what businesses count as essential, click here. 


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