SC lawmaker proposes giving governor control over state agency

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A state Senate Democrat says he’ll propose that Department of Disabilities and Special Needs be added to the governor’s cabinet.

Columbia Sen. John Scott told The Greenville News that he’s lost faith in the agency.

Scott serves on the medical affairs committee and the panel’s Republican chairman, Sen. Harvey Peeler, likes the idea.

The department serves about 20,000 adults with severe intellectual disabilities, autism, traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries.

The agency has about more than 2,000 workers employees and uses thousands of service providers.

Scott says some of the people served by the agency and its providers have died from abuse or neglect. He says he wants changes in structure.

A spokesman for Gov. Nikki Haley says she thinks more accountability would be good for the department.

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