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The 2009 Spending Accountability Act Delivers

October 2, 2008

By Jeffrey Sewell

Not since Operation Lost Trust has there been such an outcry for openness and transparency in our state government and the 2009 Spending Accountability Act delivers.

Lexington Representative Nikki Haley and fellow Lexington Representative Nathan Ballentine flew around the state with Gov. Sanford pushing the Haley Bill, a straight-forward piece of legislation that would require state lawmakers to vote on the record for:

1. All 2nd readings of a bill

2. All amended 3rd readings of a bill

3. All conference reports

4. Every section of the state budget

While this seems like a “no-brainer”, some political forces in our state are anything but happy, others, though, see the train coming down the track and are prepping to get on board.

Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler is a prime example. In a press release issued today, Peeler joined the choir of voices saying, “There’s an old hymn we sing in church that goes ‘when the roll is called up yonder, I’ll be there. That’s the tune I’ll be singing next session and I’ll be passing song sheets around the Senate Republican Caucus so that my colleagues can sing with me.’”

Can you imagine if our state leaders had to actually stand behind every single one of their votes? This is the place where reform begins.

Few citizens in this state know that only 8% of the votes in the House last year were on the record – and only 1% in the Senate. The people of South Carolina think they’ve sent their legislator to Columbia to vote for legislation, willing put his or her name on it. But as more people see the reality, just watch! You’ll see a groundswell of support for the Haley Bill in the days and weeks to come, and you’ll see voting on the record becoming a key piece of legislation in 2009.

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There are 15 current sponsors (10 Republicans, 5 Democrats): Haley, Ballentine, Wylie, Stringer, Ted Pitts, Garry Smith, Rice, Huggins, Frye, Danning, Kirsh, Miller, Whipper, Knight, Robert Brown,

Statewide office holders endorsing: Governor Mark Sanford, Lt. Governor Andre Bauer

On record sponsoring or supporting: Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler will file companion Senate legislation to Representative Nikki Haley’s House bill, Shane Massey will support Haley Bill per his consultant.

Candidates on record supporting: Anton Gunn (D)

Currently on record as opposed: At this point we have NO ONE currently on record as opposing this bill.

We had earlier reported that Speaker Bobby Harrell was opposed but after a contact by his office today we understand that to be inaccurate.  We apologize to the speaker for placing him in that category and are awaiting a statement from his office regarding his position.

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“I have always supported more transparency and responsibility in government. More transparency is good for our state, and more roll call voting in the General Assembly would be a good idea”.

~Speaker Bobby Harrell

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