A review of the state Employment Security Commission, requested by the General Assembly, was released to the public today. The agency has been the topic of criticism and scrutiny by lawmakers and the governor’s office throughout the current recession. Among the LAC major recommendations: making the commission a cabinet agency, allowing the governor to appoint the executive director, and amending of state law to provide that an employee terminated “for cause” cannot get unemployment benefits.
The report was delivered to lawmakers today. House Speaker Bobby Harrell sent a statement early today saying,” “We must act swiftly to reform the ESC from a check writing agency to the job placement agency our state needs. These oversights and failures have cost our citizens opportunities and jobs. Reforming the ESC can’t wait another year, our state’s unemployed need it now.”
Gov. Mark Sanford’s statement reiterates his perennial call for that agency’s revamping, “The report again highlights the gross incompetence and lack of accountability that have infested the Employment Security Commission. As we’ve made clear for more than a year and a half now, these shortcomings have real world consequences. ”
As state Senators today moved an ESC restructuring bill a little higher on their calendar Senate, Aiken’s Greg Ryberg asked his colleagues to take the LAC findings into consideration: “Look at it as a moving forward point and hopefully later this week or as late as next Tuesday or Wednesday, we get to full discussion of the bill and we can move the bill forward.”