The Greenville News on lawmakers' votes, Aug. 13
State lawmakers should conduct more roll call votes. Too many pieces of state legislation are approved on only a voice vote in Columbia.
In voice votes, no record is made of how individual elected lawmakers voted. That's not good policy.
A rather notorious example of a non-roll call vote occurred earlier this year when House lawmakers approved cost-of-living increases for their own retirement pay. That decision was reversed after a public outcry, but it would be good to know how each legislator voted on the original proposal.
The report urges lawmakers to take more roll call votes, noting correctly that such records are needed to help the democratic process work and hold public officials accountable for their actions. Clearly other states do a much better job when it comes to legislative transparency.
The Beaufort Gazette on fighting domestic violence, Aug. 10
South Carolina has made strides in fighting domestic violence in the past two years with tougher punishment and more financing for victim advocates, but we still have a long way to go before touting any of our achievements.
It won't be enough to say that we no longer rank seventh in the nation in criminal domestic violence cases. Until we've stopped the abuse altogether, we shouldn't be satisfied. …
Reducing the number of abuses is the ultimate goal, but education and advocacy are the tools. Rep. Shannon Erickson, R-Beaufort, has been named to the 10-member committee, and she promises to work hard on an issue she's supported long before she became a House member. …
The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News on biker rallies,
As it turns out, some members of the Horry County Council do want to work with the city of Myrtle Beach to curtail the May motorcycle rallies. Councilmen Brent Schulz and Marion Foxworth, whose districts include north and south sectors of the city, have authored a plan to abolish vendor permits for the entire month.
As Foxworth says, this plan would “reclaim a semblance of order for the month of May.” In stark contrast to a competing plan proposed by Councilman Harold Worley, Schulz and Foxworth ask real sacrifice on the county's part. But they also would put the county in lockstep with the city on addressing the rallies' negative effects, in keeping with their constituents' wishes.
The key question is whether their plan is capable of attracting a majority of County Council votes. For some council members, Worley's plan could be more attractive because it entails less pain for county government. …
No one should pretend, in short, that meeting residents' demands to “do something” to ease the rallies' negative impacts is easy for local governments. It's not.
But Schulz and Foxworth have taken a good first step toward recognizing those complexities and breaking them down. The County Council should give their thoughtful effort the consideration it deserves – soon.