COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — House lawmakers advanced a bill Wednesday afternoon that would reform the University of South Carolina Board of Trustees.

The bill was introduced on Tuesday by House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, and others and put on the calendar immediately to be taken up on Wednesday.

Efforts to make changes to the board stalled in 2019. Discussions about the board were reignited after a panel of lawmakers grilled members of the board who were up for reelection about the process that was in place to elect former President Bob Caslen and to buy out two fired coaches.

The panel decided not to approve the five board members for reelection.

At one point Lucas asked a trustee, “If the board is as dysfunctional as you say it is, why in the world would we reelect any of the current members back to their current seats?”

The legislation approved on Wednesday would cut the number of voting members on the board from 20 to 13. It would also remove all current trustees at the end of June 2023.

State lawmakers would elect seven trustees from the state’s seven congressional districts. Currently, the legislators elect 16 trustees from the state’s 16 judicial districts.

The governor would have two appointees to the board, there would be four at-large members elected as well.

“The four at-large members must reside in a county where there is a branch campus,” Rep. Murrell Smith R-Sumter, said “There are seven regional campuses in the state, and we want to make sure those regional campuses are represented.”

The House voted 113-1 to give the bill a second reading. It will get a third reading on Thursday and be sent to the Senate ahead of the legislature’s crossover deadline.