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      Legislature kicks off with old issues on agenda

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Legislators will again attempt to pass bills that strengthen South Carolina's ethics laws and restructure state government.

      The 2014 legislative session kicks off Tuesday. Bills that don't become law before the session ends this summer officially die and would have to be reintroduced next year.

      Lawmakers of both parties have faced ethics violations over the past few years, prompting calls for reform. A bill passed by the House last year is up for debate on the Senate floor. A main sticking point is who handles allegations against legislators. Currently, legislative committees oversee their colleagues while the State Ethics Commission has responsibility for all other officeholders.

      Both Gov. Nikki Haley and her Democratic rival Sen. Vincent Sheheen will renew their push for restructuring as election-year politics heat up.

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