June 1, 2014

Editorial: Ending SC legislators’ immunity from prosecution highly unlikely but still technically possible

With just three days left in the regular session, and no action thus far from the House or Senate, it is no longer possible for the Legislature to pass a stand-alone bill this year to make it clear that the attorney general doesn’t have to get legislators’ permission to prosecute them for profiting from their offices. The only option left is to add that language to the larger ethics reform bill, which House and Senate negotiators can continue working on between the regular adjournment on Thursday and a limited-agenda session June 17-19. That would increase the threshold for passing that bill from a simple majority to two-thirds in both bodies. It is technically possible to do that, and lawmakers need to do that, but at this point, no one has indicated a willingness even to try.

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