December 10, 2014 •
South Carolina Ethics Bills Prefiled
A state House study panel considering ethics reforms has endorsed legislation to remove lawmakers’ ability to police themselves on legal issues. A similar bill failed in the Senate during the last legislative session.
The draft proposal unanimously approved by the panel would create a new independent commission to investigate allegations against public officers. Opponents to last year’s proposal believed the measure to be unconstitutional since the state constitution explicitly requires the House and Senate to discipline their own members.
Additional ethics bills have been prefiled to increase lobbying fees, change reporting dates, and remedy the unconstitutional definition of “committee” for campaign finance purposes. The decision to push several separate bills rather than an overall ethics reform measure is a significant difference from last session.
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