By Paul Gable
A recent organizational meeting of the S.C. House unanimously approved rule changes which could lead to interesting changes in the way that body operates.
Foremost among those changes is creation of a new Legislative Oversight Committee. This new committee will conduct oversight of the activities of all executive and Cabinet level agencies.
Newly elected Speaker Jay Lucas said the committee will allow the House to require true accountability from the many state agencies and spot potential problems before they rise to crisis levels. (Watch out DSS)
House members are now banned from operating non-candidate committees, better known as leadership PACs.
Actually the new rule is more comprehensive. “A member of the House shall not, directly or indirectly, establish, finance, maintain, or control any entity including, but not limited to, a non-candidate committee that receives or makes contributions.”
Former Speaker Bobby Harrell’s leadership PAC helped contribute to his downfall and these PAC’s are at the center of an ongoing federal-state investigation into corruption at the statehouse.
Other changes include placing a 10-year term limit on the Speaker position as well as limitations on the Speaker’s ability to keep proposed legislation on the floor without going through the normal committee process and a requirement for minutes from all House committee meetings, including tallies from “significant” votes, are now required to be posted online;