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Governor Sanford Comments on House’s ESC Reform Vote

February 17, 2010

STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
MARK SANFORD, GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:        Ben Fox    803-734-2100    bfox@gov.sc.gov

Governor Sanford Comments on House’s ESC Reform Vote

Columbia, S.C. – February 17, 2010 – Gov. Mark Sanford today issued the following statement regarding the state House’s passage of an Employment Security Commission (ESC) reform bill.

“First, we’d thank the House for taking a substantial first step in addressing the mismanagement and lack of real accountability at the ESC. Specifically for their hard work and bipartisan leadership on this issue, we’d recognize Speaker Bobby Harrell, Majority Leader Kenny Bingham and Minority Leader Harry Ott.

“It’s also worth noting that similar bipartisan legislation is currently being debated in the Senate, and we’d applaud all members involved and specifically Senators Greg Ryberg, Nikki Setzler and Joel Lourie for their dedicated efforts and leadership on that front.

“Second, and as we’ve made clear for more than a year and a half now, the ESC’s incompetence and disturbing lack of accountability have real world consequences * from $171 million in inexplicable payments to people who were fired for good reason and a failure to even investigate fraud since 2008, to an estimated Unemployment Trust Fund shortfall of nearly two billion dollars, as well as the harrowing potential for increased taxes on our state’s businesses and taxpayers as a result.

“Finally, what can sometimes be lost in the political process is the fact that the ESC has a vital mission and is filled with many hard-working employees. It’s not the staff on the front lines that this legislation is aimed at, but instead a recognition that the ESC must get back to basics and start connecting people looking for a job with open positions across the state. This task is all the more important given that just last month, the Conference Board report found about 55,000 online job postings for South Carolina.”

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