Voters asked whether to appoint adjutant general

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's voters will decide in November whether the governor should appoint the state's top military officer.

The House agreed Tuesday to the Senate's changes to a measure that puts the constitutional question on the ballot. If voters approve, the governor would appoint the adjutant general beginning in January 2019.

The House also gave final approval to an accompanying measure that sets the position's qualifications, should voters say "yes." That bill goes to Gov. Nikki Haley's desk. The Republican governor supports the change.

"That South Carolina will now treat the head of our National Guard the same as every other state in the nation is so important, and is a further leap forward in our efforts to bring our state government into the 21st century," she said. "What happened today is another huge win for the people of South Carolina."

South Carolina is the only state where the top military officer is publicly elected.

The adjutant general oversees the South Carolina Army National Guard, Air National Guard, State Guard and the state's Emergency Management Division.

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