ETHICS BILLS GALORE
S.C. lawmakers are beginning the 2015 legislative session by acknowledging that ethics reform should indeed be a top concern. Already they’ve introduced at least six gigantic, allegedly all-encompassing “omnibus” bills and a host of smaller ones – many of which would simply bring the law into line with ongoing practices rather than tighten the state’s notoriously lax rules for lawmakers.
So here’s one scenario for 2015. Lawmakers will get early credit for “dealing with ethics reform,” they’ll spend much of the session working on bills the size of phone books that most of them won’t bother to read, and the public will have no idea what’s happening until it’s too late and something called “ethics reform” passes. At that point we’ll have a high-profile bill-signing, lots of press releases from politicians congratulating themselves for passing a “landmark reform,” and they’ll all go back to business as usual.
Or maybe we’re just being too cynical?