A S.C. House committee has approved a bill to merge the state departments of Corrections and Probation, Parole and Pardon.
The bill now moves to the House floor for debate.
State Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, unsuccessfully argued the two agencies have different missions and merging them did not make sense. He also argued the move was unlikely to save money.
The merger also would eliminate the only African-American member of Republican Gov. Nikki Haley's cabinet -- Kela Thomas. Thomas’ appointment to Haley’s cabinet as director of the Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon was just approved by the state Senate.