Time running out for SC lawmakers on ethics reform

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The pressure will be on the House this week to pass a bill strengthening South Carolina's ethics laws before a legislative deadline dooms it for the year.

Ethics reform is the most high-profile issue threatened by the Wednesday "crossover" deadline. Bills that don't advance from one chamber to the other by Wednesday require a two-thirds vote to even be considered. That's a nearly impossible hurdle for measures that are at all controversial.

House leaders insist their 38-page ethics reform package will make the deadline. House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister says the goal is to just get it to the Senate, so the process can continue.

But other reform bills are almost certainly dead for the year. They include legislation to strengthen the state's public records law.

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