S.C. lawmakers who used the state plane to travel to a “legislative conference” in Winston-Salem, N.C. last weekend – with a registered lobbyist in tow – are now facing heat from their colleagues over the flight. Specifically, one of their fellow legislators is publicly chastising them while another is looking to pre-file legislation that would prevent lobbyists from flying the taxpayer-funded skies.
S.C. Reps. Bill Herbkersman and Shannon Erickson, both of Beaufort, S.C., took it on the chin in a prominent story that ran in their local papers, the Beaufort Gazette and the Hilton Head Island Packet.
News of the questionable flight and the subsequent after-hours drinking parties that were held at the “Southern Legislative Conference” were first reported here on FITS earlier this week.
“It’s just not the right thing to do,” Rep. Richard Chalk told the papers of his colleagues’ recent flight. “We’re not that important that the state needs to be flying us around. I question it doubly because of the economic conditions.”
Joining Herbkersman and Erickson on the flight were S.C. Rep. Anne Peterson Hutto and former S.C. Majority Leader Jimmy Merrill, as well as two tourism officials and a registered lobbyist.