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SC Senate votes against House ethics plan

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COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The state Senate refuses to adopt the House's latest version of a bill intended to strengthen South Carolina's ethics laws.

Senators voted 39-2 Tuesday not to agree with last week's House changes. That sets up a committee of House and Senate members to try to reach a compromise on the chambers' versions.

That will be difficult. Legislators have called ethics reform a top priority since 2012. But they've gotten stuck over who handles complaints against legislators.

The latest House proposal creates a 12-member super ethics commission to investigate complaints against all publicly elected officials as well as judges.

Senators say that's too complicated. Their version keeps in place the current system of House and Senate ethics committees overseeing their own members' campaign filings.

The regular session ends next week.

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