Lawmakers: Combining victims’ services will better help them

Nikki Haley
FILE - In this Jan. 9, 2016 file photo, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley speaks to the crowd at the Kemp Forum, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, in Columbia, S.C. Two fresh faces in the Republican Party, Haley House Speaker Paul Ryan are offering messages of openness and diversity that could answer the GOP establishment’s increasingly desperate search for an antidote to the loud pronouncements of presidential front-runner Donald Trump. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina lawmakers want to combine crime victims’ services that are now spread over several agencies, saying a single office can better assist them.

Gov. Nikki Haley and Attorney General Alan Wilson announced a proposal to consolidate the various services in his office next year. Haley is signing an executive order to plan for the transition.

The consolidation will require legislation. Lawmakers from both parties stood behind Haley and Wilson at a news conference Thursday. They say the proposal should easily pass in the legislative session that starts in January.

Crime victims’ advocate Laura Hudson has been pushing the idea for years. Hudson says the state’s fragmentation makes it difficult for victims to get the help they need. She hopes a single office provides a compassionate “one-stop-shop.”

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