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SENATE RULES CHANGE REQUIRES MORE VOTING ON THE RECORD

January 13, 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: Bryan Cox

(803) 779-5022 Ext. 4

January 13, 2009

SENATE RULES CHANGE REQUIRES MORE VOTING ON THE RECORD

The new rules adopted by the South Carolina Senate today are a positive move toward greater government transparency, according to analysis by the South Carolina Policy Council. Policy Council President Ashley Landess said the new Senate requirement for recorded votes on second readings of contested bills and Joint Resolutions, as well as on bills with a fiscal impact greater than $10,000, represents substantive improvement in the voting process.

“The Senate showed a commitment to better government today,” said Landess. “Unlike the House rule, the Senate rule represents real progress toward greater accountability. The Senate deserves credit for recognizing the importance of transparency in a representative democracy.”

Landess noted that the rule does not require votes on all sections of the budget, and that legislation on the Senate uncontested calendar is still exempt from a recorded vote. In addition, while a rules change is a good start toward full transparency, a state law would further ensure that the legislative process is held to a higher standard than the governing body itself.

“While there is room for improvement, Senators clearly demonstrated that they are listening to the people. Our research outlined a clear problem, and we are encouraged that the Senate recognized that and took a positive step toward change.”

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