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Ethics clean-up bills advance in SC House

COLUMBIA (AP) — A package of bills aimed at limiting and clarifying how South Carolina’s officeholders can spend campaign donations are advancing in the House.

Bills sent Thursday to the full Judiciary Committee would ban cash donations and using cash to pay expenses. Others would bar using campaign money to pay for ethics fines and create a 30-day window to correct technical violations. One bill attempts to better define what qualifies as an allowed office expense.

Sponsoring Rep. Kirkman Finlay of Columbia says he’s trying to clear up the laws so officeholders and candidates can better understand what is allowed.

Rep. Tommy Pope says he believes Finlay’s bills do more to address ethics issues that have arisen in recent years than the big ethics reform bill up for debate Thursday in the Senate.

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