Ethics reform held up by Senate on last day of regular session

June 5, 2014 

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— The Senate did not take action on ethics reform on the last day of session Thursday, but that doesn’t mean the bill is dead yet.

The House passed the reform earlier Thursday, but the Senate decided to not take action on the other side of the State House lobby on the final regular day of the legislative session.

Senators can take it up again when they return on June 17 to take up the governor’s budget vetoes.

The bill would require public officials and candidates to disclose immediate family members and sources of private income. It also bans political action committees tied to lawmakers and narrows the time before election campaign contributions go unreported.

However, the bill does not establish independent oversight and investigations for lawmakers who are subject to their peers’ judgment.

Some senators said they thought Gov. Nikki Haley would veto the bill. But in a Facebook post she said she supports the measure.

"The Senate is debating whether they should pass a bill that would require them to disclose their income, and there seems to be some confusion as to whether I support it," she wrote. "Yes, I do. So any senators using me as an excuse should sit down, pass the bill, and I will sign it."

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