SC bill would require permission for plane use

South Carolina senators are poised to consider legislation requiring lawmakers to get permission to use state planes, and specifically bars their use as a shuttle to legislative hearings.

Tuesday's debate in the Judiciary Committee comes a month after Rep. Bill Chumley brought conservative commentator Walter Williams from a suburban Washington airport to push for a bill that initially sought to nullify the federal health care law. The state Aeronautics Commission says it would have charged a paying customer $6,400.

Chumley dismissed requests that he reimburse the state, calling Williams' testimony official state business.

Democratic Sen. Joel Lourie says Chumley's actions were appalling, no matter what the legislation.

Under his bill, either the House speaker or Senate president pro tem must approve legislators' trips. Co-sponsors include five Republicans.