COLUMBIA — After hours of on-the-floor negotiations, the Senate approved on Thursday the state’s $7 billion general fund budget.
It took two days for senators to reach a compromise on amendments proposed by Sens. Lee Bright, R-Roebuck, and Vincent Sheheen, D-Camden, that had stalled passing of the budget for days.
Senators made minor changes to Sheheen’s proposal, which will use the state’s extra cash in the budget that it collected this year above its expenses and allocate it toward a one-time $800 bonus for state employees, totaling $23.5 million. Another $4.1 million has been slotted to help cover the expenses of counties hit the hardest by the 2014 ice storms. Read more ›
The S.C. Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require all police officers in the state to wear body cameras.
Although the proposal passed by a 41-3 vote, senators debated privacy issues and who would be able to request body camera recordings under the Freedom of Information Act. The vote came weeks after release of a video recorded by a bystander showing a white North Charleston police officer shooting and killing an unarmed African-American man in the back as he ran away.
Sen. Lee Bright, a Spartanburg Republican who voted against the bill, expressed concern about the state collecting recordings in a public setting that could be stored indefinitely. Read more ›
COLUMBIA — A bill requiring police officers to wear body cameras got final approval from the Senate on Wednesday, heading to the House just weeks after a North Charleston cop was charged with murder in the fatal shooting of Walter Scott.
The bill passed 41-3 after lengthy debate about privacy concerns that the cameras raise. Senators went back and forth, looking for a balance between police transparency and privacy.
As it stands, the legislation would limit the public’s access to the video footage. Video would only be available to the public when a complaint is filed against an officer. Crime victims and lawyers with cases dealing with the video also would have access. The public, including the press, would not have access to the majority of body camera videos. Read more ›