SC House votes to expand its ethics panel

The South Carolina House has expanded its ethics committee to include an equal number of Republicans and Democrats.

The House voted Tuesday to add four members to the Ethics Committee.

Under the new rule, the committee will consist of five members of each party, though members of the majority party will choose the chairman. Republicans have a 77-to-46 majority in the House.

State law says the House and Senate ethics committees handle complaints against their current and former members. The state Ethics Commission handles complaints against all other public officials.

Being on the committee had been a low-profile job until earlier this year, when House Ethics members for the first time investigated a governor. They cleared Gov. Nikki Haley of accusations she lobbied while in the House.

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