SC House approves ethics reform package


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The House has approved a bill aimed at strengthening South Carolina's ethics laws.

The measure was approved 113-7 on Tuesday. It would require politicians to disclose their income sources, end the pre-election blackout period for reporting donations and extend the regulation of lobbyists to local governments.

A perfunctory vote on Wednesday would send the bill to the Senate, meeting a legislative deadline that allows for passage this year.

House Republicans wrote an amendment last week to the 38-page bill following criticism from groups pushing for reform.

Critics still don't like how the bill handles ethics complaints against legislators. It creates a joint House-Senate ethics committee composed of legislators and their appointees.

But House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister says he believes the compromise is a substantial improvement.

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