Lawmakers nearly ran out the clock Thursday for the year on an ethics bill that would have required more income disclosure.
At 4:36 p.m.—just 24 minutes before lawmakers were set to officially adjourn for the year—Senators agreed to carry the bill over until June 17. A handful of Senators didn’t want to pass a conference committee report without examining it first. Lawmakers will also reconvene later this month to take up budget vetoes by Republican Gov. Nikki Haley.
Senators received the joint House and Senate report after the House approved the report that day 101-12. Several Republican House members tried holding up the report, calling it a watered-down version.
The compromise requires income disclosure of sources, but not amounts—a stumbling block for several Senators. It also prohibits politicians’ political action committees from operating without campaign fund oversight. But it fails to provide independent oversight. Activists critical of the bill questioned how well lawmakers could police their own members—a supposed conflict-of-interest for some.
Sen. Lee Bright, R-Roebuck, held the floor for much of Thursday afternoon and referred to the measure as a “so-called ethics bill.” He said he had received several text messages from people who wanted time to know what was in the compromise.
Moments before Senators ended the debate, Haley posted on Twitter, “…as to whether I support it. Yes, I do. So any senators using me as an excuse should sit down, pass the bill, and I will sign it.”