Is there a shortage of solid, well-written investigative news in South Carolina? Sadly, yes. If you want to know what politicians are doing with your money, THE NERVE is your source.

Freest State in the Nation?

Ever wonder why free-market reforms are virtually impossible to pass in a state as “conservative” as South Carolina? There is a reason – and there is a way forward.


Making South Carolina the freest state in the nation won’t happen overnight, and it won’t happen easily. It’s taking long hours, hard work, and help from our friends, too.

About Us

Who Are We?

The South Carolina Policy Council was founded in 1986 by the late Thomas Roe of Greenville as a traditional think tank. The organization’s purpose was – and still is – to publish research and analysis showing the relevance of the American republic’s founding principles: limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty and responsibility.

But while our principles haven’t changed – nor will they ever – the times have. The internet allows groups like ours to publish new analysis immediately, and social media enable us to reach a wide audience of citizens and public officials as events are happening. Gone are the days when a research organization could publish the occasional lengthy white paper full of dense analysis and remain effective. Read More



    A Crackdown on Accommodations Tax “Evaders”

    LAWMAKERS’ ANSWER TO UNFAIRNESS: PUNISH MORE BUSINESSES, NOT FEWER Almost all forms of taxation raise the question of fairness. Why does one person pay a higher percentage of his or her income than another? Why is one industry given the advantage of a sales tax exemption, while another industry gets no such advantage? Why is […]

  • Medicine

    Senate Leadership Gets Taste of Own ‘Rules’ Medicine

    “Veterans” of the South Carolina Senate know the Senate rules and Jefferson’s Manual like the back of their hands. To the untrained eyes and ears, the legislative “code” used in the Senate can seem perfectly harmless, while in reality, it’s being used to cut someone’s speaking time short, filibuster an amendment, push a bill through […]

  • red tape

    Committee Takes Up Regulatory Reform, Utility Cronyism

    ONE STEP FORWARD, ANOTHER STEP BACK The Senate Judiciary Committee met on Wednesday to discuss multiple bills, two of which (S.256 and S.1011) we’ve been following this session. S.256 – the Regulatory Reform Act – passed the committee but not before receiving criticisms from multiple Senators – most notably Sen. Brad Hutto (D- Orangeburg). The […]

  • Hidden Money

    Last Minute Chances at Ethics Reform?

    THE CLOCK IS TICKING… An omnibus “ethics” bill has passed the House and the Senate in different versions. That bill, which could be considered more of an income disclosure bill than a real ethics reform bill in its latest version, is currently awaiting debate in the House. With time running out this session, the chance […]

  • State Budget Skyrockets in Ten Years

    SO THIS IS THEIR IDEA OF “CONSERVATIVE” BUDGETING? Despite South Carolina politicians’ claims over the past decade that South Carolina has a “conservative” budget, the FY 2014-15 budget passed by the House is significantly larger than the 2005-06 budget. When accounting for inflation – converting 2006 dollars to 2014 dollars – the $25 billion House […]

  • SCPC Statement on Speaker Harrell

    Originally released to media on Thursday, March 13, 2014. A report by The State that Speaker Harrell’s attorneys are trying to get the Attorney General thrown off of Harrell’s case is alarming, and to make matters worse he wants the hearing to be held in private. Neither scenario should be allowed. Public trust is finally […]

  • The Ethics Bill: House vs. Senate

    WHERE DOES THE ETHICS BILL STAND TODAY? The famous (and at times notorious) “ethics bill,” having recently passed the Senate, may soon head to conference committee. The House can propose an amendment to the bill passed by the Senate, and send it back to the Senate, which can either agree to the amended version or […]

  • CCSC

    Anti-Common Core Legislation: Update

    The K-12 The Education Subcommittee met Wednesday to discuss bills related to Common Core, most notably, S.300 that, as originally written, would prohibit the use of Common Core academic standards in South Carolina. The strike and insert amendment proposed by Senator Mike Fair, however, would remove this flat-out prohibition from the bill, while adding several […]

  • How Do We Stop ObamaCare? Transparency.

      WHERE’S THE MONEY GOING? HOW MUCH? WHAT FOR?  The federal health care law known as “ObamaCare” gets more unpopular every week, but the question for citizens and policymakers is the same: What can be done about it? Many of the law’s critics contend that it can be nullified. What many advocates of this approach […]

  • Lawmakers Meet on Common Core – 3.5 Years Too Late

    WHY NOW? On Wednesday February 5, the Senate Education K-12 Subcommittee heard six short presentations on Common Core – three for and three against – in a packed room full of mainly Common Core detractors. What was peculiar about the meeting is two-fold, and has nothing to do with what actually happened at the meeting […]