Judge dismisses lawsuit filed against McMaster for ending pandemic unemployment

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In this Aug. 9, 2021, photo, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic at a news conference in Columbia, S.C. Top Republicans are battling school districts in their own states’ urban, heavily Democratic areas over whether students should be required to mask up as they head back to school. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — A judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed against Governor Henry McMaster over his decision to end pandemic unemployment benefits.

“The Court correctly recognized that this lawsuit lacked merit from the start and appropriately rejected the plaintiff’s effort to force the State to reenroll in these optional federal unemployment programs,” McMaster said in a statement, praising the decision.

Bob Morgan, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce commended McMaster for ending the benefits in May.

In the decision, the judge said “Ultimately, this case is not about whether you agree with the Governor’s decision and whether South Carolina should be participating in these three programs. Rather, it is a case concerning whether Defendants have the discretion to opt in — and, conversely, opt out — of these programs.”

The residents said in lawsuit filed in state court in June that they are still struggling to make ends meet and have been unable to find work despite extensive job searches.

The unemployed workers are asking a judge to order state officials to rejoin the coronavirus pandemic assistance programs that provide additional federal funds to the jobless.

Read the full decision below:

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