The S.C. House of Representatives has once again approved a government transparency bill that unanimously passed its chamber a year ago – but then stalled in the State Senate.
The legislation – sponsored by S.C. Rep. Nathan Ballentine (R-Lexington) – is identical to the bill that passed the S.C. House last spring by a 104-0 vote. That legislation was sponsored by then-S.C. Rep. Nikki Haley, who along with Ballentine was an early supporter of transparency.
How times have changed, right?
This year’s bill also passed by a 104-0 vote (stay tuned for republishing of the recorded vote) and now heads over to the S.C. Senate.
Anyway, if the measure becomes law (and we sincerely hope that it does), anonymous voice votes on tax or spending increases – like last year’s anonymous voice vote to raise the cigarette tax – would be outlawed. The law would also require a recorded vote on the final passage of any piece of legislation – as well as recorded votes on individual sections of the state budget.
(To read Ballentine’s bill for yourself, click here).
Obviously we support this measure – just as we strongly supported Haley’s efforts to get it passed as a state lawmaker and, later, as a gubernatorial candidate.
There’s no excuse for any vote that’s taken by any member of the General Assembly not to be recorded, particularly votes that involve the expenditure of taxpayer funds.
We just wish that Haley believed that transparency applied to her, too.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This year we’ll be closely monitoring legislation that comes before the General Assembly in our 2011-12 S.C. Legislative Scorecard. If you’ve got a vote (or proposed bill) that you think we should include in the scorecard, feel free to email it to us (or submit it anonymously on our contact page).