COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Senate Ethics Committee has fined state Rep. Cezar McKnight $54,000 for failing to report campaign donations and expenses during his unsuccessful bid for the Senate last year.

The committee issued a public reprimand of the Kingstree Democrat and ordered him to pay the fines by Sept. 30. The violations stem from a special election last September.

McKnight calls Thursday’s order disappointing and the fines heavy-handed. He says many of the violations result from the self-funding of his campaign through his law office. The 41-year-old attorney won a seat in the House last November.

The Senate panel said McKnight still needs to pay $6,200 in fines related to his first unsuccessful bid to win a seat in that chamber in 2012. The committee previously cited him for not filing campaign disclosures on time.