Ethics reform bills introduced in SC Senate

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Measures to strengthen South Carolina’s ethics laws have been introduced in the Senate.

Sen. Wes Hayes says the three bills he introduced Wednesday serve as a starting point for the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The measures would send complaints against legislators to the state Ethics Commission. House and Senate ethics panels would remain but not investigate their own members.

Other changes include defining campaign committees to eliminate the loophole that has allowed groups to spend money on elections without identifying themselves or their donors.

Hayes says he was a target of such secretive attacks last year.

Republican and Democratic lawmakers have said overhauling ethics laws is a priority this year.

The bills come a week after an independent commission created by Gov. Nikki Haley issued 23 recommendations for an overhaul.

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