House approves SC jobless benefits agency overhaul

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's troubled jobless benefits agency would move under the governor's control under legislation gaining key House approval.

The House had little debate Wednesday before voting 108 to 1 for preliminary approval. The vote came after a raft of bad news in audits that found the Employment Security Commission didn't do enough to head off its jobless benefits trust fund going broke and that it failed to pay income tax withholdings on benefits.

The legislation ends the role of three commissioners who oversee the agency's operations. It creates a panel to hire an executive director who would report to the governor and can be fired at will.

The bill is expected to get routine final approval in the House on Thursday.

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