The Buzz

Senate OKs requiring elected officials to disclose who pays them

The S.C. Senate passed a proposal Wednesday to require elected officials and candidates to disclose where they get their money.

“Disclosing sources of private income is a significant first step for the Senate in enacting ethics reform,” said Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Larry Martin, R-Pickens. “It will provide the public with important information about who pays public officials, making potential conflicts more transparent.”

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, R-Edgefield, said S.C. citizens deserve to know who is paying their elected officials.

The League of Women Voters, which has advocated for ethics reform, was delighted the Senate approved the proposal, said Lynn Teague of the group.

“This is a very important component of ethics reform that will help citizens to evaluate for themselves whether officials have conflicts of interest that might influence them,” Teague said, urging senators now to approve a proposal that allows independent investigations of ethics complaints against legislators.

Martin and Massey said that will be the next step.