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Gov. Haley Takes Major Step Toward Ending Unconstitutional Practice of Local Legislation

Press Release

Location: Columbia, SC

Governor Nikki Haley today was joined by State Rep. Roland Smith and members of the Aiken legislative delegation as she signed into law a bill that was the result of their work toward good government reform that moves South Carolina forward and does not violate the constitution.

The governor signed H 3625 -- a bill that prohibits an individual from serving on the governing body of a state, county, municipal board or commission while at the same time being employed by that board or commission. Previously, State Rep. Smith had filed a similar piece of local legislation that Gov. Haley vetoed, saying it violated the Constitution and home rule, and State Rep. Smith led the House's effort to unanimously uphold the veto.

Gov. Haley said, "This is a very exciting day. When we started in this legislative session, what we had was local legislation that came before us. And in the General Assembly, there are a lot of traditions that take place. As a House member, I knew that whenever local legislation came up, the local delegation voted on it, and then it moved on. What I didn't know is that every time that happens, it is unconstitutional: it violates home rule.

"And so the first thing I thought of was how we are going to fix this. People said no other governor has been able to fix this, it's just what happens. But I said no, we're not going to let this happen. The first local bill that came up was one by State Rep. Roland Smith, and it said we were going to prohibit someone in Aiken County from serving on a government body while employed by that body. It was a good piece of legislation. It was common sense. It was good government. But if it's good enough for Aiken, why isn't it good enough to go statewide?

"I am proud to say that as I stand next to my friend State Rep. Roland Smith, he said that if we're going to do this, let's do it right. So, he and I worked together, and the state is better off because we have a good government bill. This is what good government looks like. When we see something wrong, we can work together to make it right."

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