Advisory Opinions

The South Carolina State Ethics Commission releases informal and formal opinions issued by staff and commissioners on a real or hypothetical set of facts or circumstances. These can be requested by anyone the Act could reasonably apply to and are considered by the Commission at public meetings.
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      Advisory opinion 2023-001
      (2023-09-21) South Carolina State Ethics Commission
      A retired public employee questions wheter Section 8-13-760 applies to all public officials. Section 8-13-760 of the Ethics Act applies to all public officials, public members, and public employees.
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      Advisory Opinion 2020-002
      (2020-12-03) South Carolina State Ethics Commission
      A public official, public member, or public employee may vote on entire budgets that contain items affecting the economic interests of himself, his family members, businesses with which he is associated, or individuals with whom he is associated, but is prohibited from voting on specific line-items affecting such economic interests and is prohibited from participating in work shops or budget committees dealing with such interests.
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      Advisory Opinion 2020-001
      (2020-09-17) South Carolina State Ethics Commission
      Individuals reporting government income on a Statement of Economic Interests should report the amount of gross income received. Gross income means the amount of wages earned prior to any deductions or withholdings.
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      Advisory Opinion 2019-001
      (2019-03-19) South Carolina State Ethics Commission
      Section 8-13-1348 of the Ethics Act prohibits the use of campaign funds to pay fines or penalties imposed by the State Ethics Commission for violations of the Ethics Act.
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      Advisory Opinion 2018-004
      (2018-07-19) South Carolina State Ethics Commission
      A Council Member's expression of a personal opinion on a ballot measure during a Council meeting constitutes use of public resources. Whether such an expression constitutes an attempt to influence the outcome of a ballot measure in violation of 8-13-1346 is a factual question and must be determined by looking to the totality of the circumstances. Informational materials provided pursuant to 8-13-1346(C) must be informational only and must not favor one side of a controversy over another, Whether such materials are "informational" will be determined by looking to factors such as the style, tenor, and timing of the publication.