The South Carolina House Tuesday changed its to expand its Ethics Committee and add more members of the minority party.
“This is only the first salvo on ethics reform,” says Rep. Murrell Smith (R-Sumter) chairman of the House Republican Caucus Ethics Reform Study Committee.
New House Majority Leader Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville) says, “Our Ethics Reform Study Committee quickly realized that our 1991 Ethics Laws are inadequate to meet 21st Century realities. Until we can get a comprehensive package through early next year, this is a quick step we can take now to shore up the existing system.”
The five Republicans elected to the committee by the House are: Sumter Rep. Murrell Smith, Cayce Rep. Kenny Bingham, Summerville Rep. Jenny Horne. Laurens Rep. Mike Pitts, and York Rep. Tommy Pope.
Bingham will serve as chairman of the House Ethics Committee.
The full House of Representatives also elected the Democrats for that party’s newly created seats. They are: Charleston Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, Williamsburg Rep. Ronnie Sabb, Sumter Rep. David Weeks, Greenville Rep. Chandra Dillard, and Marlboro Rep. Elizabeth Munnerlyn.
According to House Democrats, the South Carolina House Ethics Committee was one of only a few ethics panels in the country to have a disproportionate number of Democrats and Republicans.
“I commend my colleagues for changing the partisan makeup of the House Ethics Committee,” said Representative Chandra Dillard, chair of newly formed House Democratic Ethics Study Committee.
Both parties have study committees working on recommendations for comprehensive ethics reform.