Speaker Lucas: House Does Its Part to Make Sure Public Officials Do Not Receive Special Treatment
Makes progress on key portions of Ethics package
(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the House passed several pieces of legislation this week that are key components in its comprehensive ethics package.
The House Ethics Ad Hoc Study Committee worked diligently for months and left no stone unturned when developing nearly twenty pieces of all-inclusive legislation that work to restore public confidence in elected officials.
“The House has made unprecedented progress in working together to repair the fractured relationship between the public and their elected officials,” House Speaker Jay Lucas stated. “Although we still have work left to do, I am very proud we are doing our part to make sure that public officials do not receive special treatment when accused of breaking laws. By establishing an independent investigation, the public can rest assured that each case will receive unbiased attention. Additionally, we have eliminated the influence of PACs in hopes that politics will become more honest and transparent.”
The Ad Hoc Committee diligently studied a number of ethics concerns and worked to make considerable changes by receiving input from the Governor’s office, the Attorney General and his office, as well as a number of good government advocates. The committee also conducted its business with an unparalleled amount of transparency as all bill text, meetings, and votes were made readily available to the public.
House Passed Ethics Bills
1. 3184, Independent Investigation – Reinstitutes the State Ethics Commission and expands its authority to allow it to receive and investigate all ethic complaints against public officials. If probable cause is found, matter is made public and referred to body of jurisdiction for hearing and issuance of possible penalties.
2. 3187, Definition of “Committee” – Properly defines the term so that the public unquestionably knows who is paying for campaign/issue –based advertisements.
3. 3188, Political Action Committee (PAC) Restrictions – Prohibits public officials from operating or maintaining an additional campaign entity. Also bans public officials from accepting contributions from any such entities that continue to exist.