HomeLearning CenterS.C. House Passes Bill to Allow Candidates to Spend Campaign Money on Childcare

S.C. House Passes Bill to Allow Candidates to Spend Campaign Money on Childcare

Originally published by Mary Green for WCSC Live 5

Some South Carolina lawmakers say the only people who can stick around at the State House long enough to have a real impact – fall into three very limited categories– retired, rich or retained.

Richland County Democrat Todd Rutherford told his colleagues in the South Carolina House of Representatives on Tuesday that lawmakers must fall into one of those three limited categories to be able to stick around the State House long enough to have a real impact.

Otherwise, Rutherford said, financial challenges tend to get in the way and force legislators to leave the General Assembly to spend more time at their jobs or caring for their families.

A bill the House passed this week aims to help more people outside those three categories serve, like working parents.

“We are really trying to open the doors for people to run for office,” Rep. Spencer Wetmore (D-Charleston) and the bill’s lead sponsor, said after its passage Wednesday.

Right now, candidates for office in South Carolina can spend their campaign money on a variety of expenses, including yard signs, polling, and even some meals.

Wetmore’s bill would allow candidates for office at all levels, ranging from local to statewide to General Assembly races, to use campaign money on dependent care related to their campaigning or official duties, if elected.

For example, it could be used to pay for childcare when a candidate is door-knocking.

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