COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Elected officials in South Carolina who commit felonies could be ordered to pay the costs of special elections needed to replace them under a new proposal.

The State of Columbia reports ( the measure put forth by Rep. Mike Fanning on Thursday would authorize solicitors to seek the restitution and judges to order it.

The Fairfield Democrat told the State his bill would save taxpayer money that could be spent in other ways, like on public education.

The bill could be the first of its kind in the country. Staff at the National Conference of State Legislatures were not aware Friday of any other states with similar policies.

State Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire says special state Senate elections typically cost around $85,000, while House elections are $35,000.