House leadership still going back and forth on ethics reform bil - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

House leadership still going back and forth on ethics reform bill

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A massive ethics bill has gone back and forth through the House and Senate with still no clear solution.

"This bill is going to get amended, it's going to go back to the Senate," said House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, at a subcommittee meeting Wednesday. "Whether the Senate likes it or not, we'll see, whether the governor likes it or not, we'll see."

But before the ethics bill can get amended there's still a lot of debating left to do.

"Should you be able to use your campaign funds to pay criminal fines that are levied in a criminal court as part of a criminal prosecution? I would say no," said House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister, R- Greenville.

The bill itself is massive, detailing what would be considered a criminal act by an elected official and what they can do with their campaign funds.

The amendments the committees are making are just as big as the bill itself.

"Some of the updates on this bill are 25 pages long," Rutherford said.

There's a lot to pick apart.

"One of the big things is making sure every technical violation is not a criminal offense," Rutherford said.

There's one problem though. The clock is winding down to the end of the legislative session and if the ethics bill hasn't been amended and approved, it may not make it through.

"There's a possibility with any bill, until it actually passes, then if it doesn't get voted on, it may miss the end of session," Rutherford said.

Many of the Senate amendments for the bill still have to be discussed by the house judiciary committee and a meeting date for that has not yet been set.

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