The Ethics Bill: The Devil’s in the Details

 THIS 23-PAGE ‘ETHICS BILL’ ISN’T WHAT YOU THINK (UPDATE: The bill analyzed here died on the Senate floor before the sine die session ended on June 19, 2014.) The South Carolina Senate is about to pass what some are still calling ethics reform. This is the bill that started out, in 2013, as an attempt […]

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Conference Committee Misses Mark on Ethics Reform

ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK The conference committee on H.3945 (the “ethics bill”) met on Wednesday to hash out differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill before agreeing to draft a conference version of the legislation. Below are some of the notable provisions that were kept in (or left out of) the […]

Sketchy Things Happening with the “Ethics Bill”

APPARENTLY THE PURPOSE OF “ETHICS REFORM” IS TO USE ALL AVAILABLE MEANS TO PROTECT POLITICIANS FROM SCRUTINY The more lawmakers amend the ethics bill, the more we’re put in mind of that Rolling Stones song: You can’t always get what you want, But if you try sometimes, well you just might find, You get what you need. […]

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The Ethics Bill: Still Alive, for Now

THE STICKING POINT: SELF-POLICING A House Judiciary subcommittee met on Tuesday to once again take up the “ethics bill” – H.3945. Versions of the bill have already passed both the Senate and the House, but rather than sending it to a conference committee, the House chose to amend the bill. The key sticking point has […]

Last Minute Chances at Ethics Reform?

THE CLOCK IS TICKING… An omnibus “ethics” bill has passed the House and the Senate in different versions. That bill, which could be considered more of an income disclosure bill than a real ethics reform bill in its latest version, is currently awaiting debate in the House. With time running out this session, the chance […]

The Ethics Bill: House vs. Senate

WHERE DOES THE ETHICS BILL STAND TODAY? The famous (and at times notorious) “ethics bill,” having recently passed the Senate, may soon head to conference committee. The House can propose an amendment to the bill passed by the Senate, and send it back to the Senate, which can either agree to the amended version or […]

The Ethics Bill Is Back

THREE PROVISIONS THAT SHOULD BE AMENDED, PRONTO Today, a Senate Select Committee on Ethics will consider H.3945, the ethics bill that failed to make it out of the Senate last year. The bill has gone through several manifestations, each one generally worse than the last. Our hope is that Senators Rankin, Campsen, Hayes, Hutto, Jackson, […]

Why Tax Reform Can’t Happen (Yet)

  THINK THERE ARE GREAT ARGUMENTS FOR ELIMINATING THE CORPORATE INCOME TAX? SO DOES ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE. AND YET . . .  In a red, “conservative” state like South Carolina, one would assume that our state would be among the leaders in promoting free-market policies on the state government level.  But with some of the […]

Why Ethics Reform?

 2013 WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE ‘YEAR OF ETHICS REFORM.’ IT WASN’T. SO DOES ANYONE CARE? At the conclusion of the 2013 legislative session, as the Senate prepared to vote on the legislature’s only attempt to reform the state’s ethics code – the bill was killed – Senator Luke Rankin (R-Horry) made the claim that […]

Half Time Ethics Report

It’s the beginning of April and lawmakers‘ two-week furlough is almost up, leaving us at roughly the half-way point of the 2013 legislative session. This was supposed to be the Year of Ethics Reform, but is it? Below is a “half-time report” detailing what’s been done already and what’s yet to be done. While some […]