The South Carolina Commission on Ethics Reform, an independent eleven-member panel co-chaired by former South Carolina Attorneys General Henry McMaster and Travis Medlock, today recommended strengthening state ethics, election, campaign finance and public records laws in its final report.
Gov. Nikki Haley said, "When I appointed this commission, I knew I was giving its members a tough assignment, and a short timeframe. I am immensely pleased that they rose to the occasion and did a remarkable job. The power of this commission comes from its membership. These are bipartisan leaders in the areas of law enforcement, ethics, and journalism, who, most importantly, have no stake in the current system and no bias toward protecting anyone's prerogatives. If their recommendations are adopted, South Carolina will move from being among the worst states on government ethics to one of the best states. It's that simple. Now it is up to members of the General Assembly to move the ball forward. If this bipartisan commission could do its exceptional work in less than two months, the General Assembly should be able to do its work in less than four months. I look forward to working with the commission and the General Assembly in the days and weeks ahead. We now have a golden opportunity to make comprehensive and meaningful ethics reform the law of our state. It's time to seize that opportunity."
State Sen. Larry Martin, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said, "I have met with Attorneys General Henry McMaster and Travis Medlock and discussed the need for ethics reform. I am appreciative of their hard work and encouraged that their recommendations will help us pass the most far-reaching and important ethics reform in our state's history."
State Rep. Murrell Smith, Chairman of the House Republican Ethics Study Committee, said, "We thank the S.C. Commission on Ethics Reform, particularly its Chairmen Henry McMaster and Travis Medlock, for its hard work, and we welcome its recommendations for comprehensive state ethics reform. Members of the House look forward to working with the governor and the commission on strengthening our state ethics laws to make them the strongest in the country and giving the people of South Carolina the kind of accountable, transparent government they want and deserve."