Haley promises to push her committee’s plan

  • Posted: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 12:01 a.m.

COLUMBIA — Gov. Nikki Haley said Tuesday she will push her committee’s ethics reform recommendations, whether she agrees with them or not.

Haley told the ethics reform commission she supports whatever it does. She created the panel by executive order in October, saying experts outside of public office should weigh in on an overhaul. Separate House and Senate committees are developing their own plans.

Lawmakers said strengthening the state’s weak ethics laws is a top priority for the 2013 session that starts next month.

“I want people to truly trust their government,” Haley said to the panel. “What you come out with is what you’ll see me push, whether I agree with it or not. I have total faith in you.”

Responding to questions from the group, Haley said she supports requiring public officials to disclose all of their sources on income on campaign filings, as well as the specific amounts received from each. She said an investigation into her own filings made her opinion stronger.

“I actually think it helps the Legislature and the public,” said Haley, a former three-term House member. “If it’s cut and dry, you never have to wonder if you’re doing the right thing.”

The House Ethics Committee cleared Haley in June of allegations she lobbied for two former employers while a House member. Committee members said then the law was too vague and should be overhauled.

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