The House Republican ethics study committee announced three public hearings next month as it prepares to introduce changes to the state’s ethics laws.
The committee will meet:
• Nov. 1 at 10 a.m.
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• Nov. 9 at 10 a.m.
• Nov. 28 at 1 p.m.
The first two meetings will be in room 101 of the Blatt building on the State House grounds. The location for the third meeting is to be determined.
The committee met Thursday in a closed meeting that was not advertised publicly. But Jason Zacher, communications director for the House Republican Caucus, described the meeting as organizational. He said all future meetings will be public.
“The Ethics Study Committee is anxious to hear from the public and to get citizens’ input on how we need to change our ethics laws,” said Rep. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, the committee’s chairman, in a news release. “It has been 20 years since we passed our ethics laws and many things have changed in 20 years – chief of which is the widespread adoption of e-mail and other technologies that weren’t widely available in the early 1990s.”
House Democrats have their own study committee. Its meetings have not been announced. Also, the Senate has a bipartisan ethics study committee lead by state Sen. Wes Hayes, R-York. Hayes said his committee likely would not meet until after the Nov. 6 general election.
-- Adam Beam