House GOP, Dems to study reform for SC ethics laws

South Carolina's House Republican and Democratic leaders say they are looking at ways to strengthen the state's ethics laws.

House Majority Leader Kenny Bingham, R-Cayce, and House Minority Leader Harry Ott, D-St. Matthews, said Wednesday they would each appoint a study committee charged with coming up with proposed legislation.

The committees will be separate, but both Bingham and Ott say they will collaborate and share ideas. State senators are also planning their own study of ethics reform.

Gov. Nikki Haley has proposed her own reform ideas, including the abolition of the legislative panels that field ethics complaints against state House and Senate members. Instead, Haley says the State Ethics Commission should handle all ethics complaints against public officials - a change that would require a constitutional amendment.