Sen. Shane Martin
Since 2008, 42 current and former state senators, as well as Senate candidates, collectively have been fined $64,804 by the Senate Ethics Committee, according to committee records obtained recently by The Nerve.
In April this year, the South Carolina Policy Council undertook an experiment. The experiment was this: Could progress be made in the sphere of transparency in the absence of a law passed by the General Assembly?
Here in the Palmetto State, S.C. Sen. Shane Martin is kind of like “Mr. Magic Man” – at least when it comes to revealing to the public what he does for a living, which just so happens to be connected to NASCAR.
An investigation by The Nerve found at least one instance where Martin's lack of transparency as a lawmaker might have allowed him to engage in an apparent conflict of interest related to his work in the racing world.
It may be hard to miss a pig in a dress, but some South Carolina legislators apparently go to great lengths to hide pork in the state budget.
Case in point: The Senate's votes last week on Gov. Nikki Haley’s vetoes of a section of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ budget for next fiscal year, which started Monday.
The S.C. Senate is running out of time.
A Senate panel Tuesday scrapped major parts of a controversial House ethics-reform bill, putting investigations of lawmakers under a reconstituted State Ethics Commission and proposing tougher penalties for ethics violations.
When it comes to transparency of taxpayer-backed incentives for business projects, the Palmetto State received an “F” in a recently released study by a national nonprofit consumer group.
As the S.C. House of Representatives begins debate on the 2013-14 budget in about 10 days, one of the biggest issues focuses on whether South Carolina will expand Medicaid under new federal health care rules coming in January 2014.
Fines and other sanctions against S.C. lawmakers are not published online and usually are not released publicly unless there is a specific request.
An effort to give South Carolina taxpayers a better sense of whether they get their money’s worth in economic development incentives could be generating more discussion, if not greater support.