Two Years Work by Reps. Nikki Haley and Nathan Ballentine Produce Unanimous House Vote

“Today is a great day for the voters and taxpayers of South Carolina,” said a very happy state representative Nikki Haley when she announced the unanimous passage by the South Carolina House of H.3047, The Spending Accountability Act.

“Almost two years ago I introduced this bill because our legislators were voting anonymously more than 90 percent of the time and the citizens of our state could not see the spending habits of their elected officials. The House has now voted – unanimously – to make it permanent law that every single vote will be on the record, and I couldn’t be more proud to have helped bring this historic change about.”

Haley announced the passage of the bill Thursday during a speaking engagement in Greenville before the Greenville County Republican Women’s Club.

“Getting to this point has not been easy, and those of us who fought have the scars to prove it, but at the end of the day the House has now recognized that legislative votes belong to the people, not the elected officials, and that is a huge win for South Carolina,” Haley emphasized.

The House leadership was not happy that she introduced and campaigned for support of the transparency bill. In fact, she told the Republican women at the Poinsett Club that she was stripped of all committee assignments after she introduced the bill.

Haley thanked her colleagues in the House who saw the importance of making their votes transparent to the people they serve, and specifically thanked Rep. Nathan Ballentine, “the only Member who fought with me on this bill from the very beginning.”

Chad Waldorf, Chairman of the SC Club for Growth, commended Haley on passage of the bill he described as a “hard-fought victory for South Carolina taxpayers.” He said Haley “deserves huge credit for shaking up the way things have been done for too long.”

The bill now goes to the Senate where it may continue to see opposition unless constituents remain involved.

“Now more than ever, the people need to see exactly what their elected officials are doing,” said Talbert Black, State Coordinator for the Campaign for Liberty. “This has been a long struggle, and it’s not over yet, but what happened today is a huge step forward in terms of getting South Carolina taxpayers the kind of government we deserve.”

Governor Mark Sanford applauded Representatives Haley and Ballentine for their “leadership and tireless advocacy” of H. 3047, and commended the House for its unanimous passage of the Transparency bill.

“By taking last year’s rules changes requiring on-the–record voting and solidifying those rules in permanent law, House members opened the books on their voting to the people of South Carolina and improved the way business is done in Columbia. For that they deserve credit.”

Sanford urged the Senate to join with Sen. Harvey Peeler in passing this legislation in the near future, and at the same time he encouraged the people of South Carolina to make their voices heard with their respective Senators to help push this much needed reform across the finish line.

 

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Mike Scruggs