ROAD (2)

UPDATE: House & Senate Road Proposals

DEBATE LIMITED TO ONE GOAL: HOW TO SEND MORE MONEY TO A BROKEN SYSTEM Tuesday’s Senate Finance Committee featured a lot of grandstanding but little action. Senators agreed to strike the original text of Sen. Cleary’s roads bill (S.523), but they have yet to vote on replacing its language with host of tax and fee […]

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BILL ANALYSIS: Regulating the Funeral Industry

  More often than not, state regulation – especially licensing laws – has little to do with protecting the public and everything to do with insulating currently entrenched businesses from competition. Consider S.160, legislation that would require the licensure of all third-party funeral service providers. Is anyone harmed by unlicensed funeral services? Almost certainly not, but […]

Reducing Obligations to Local Governments

H.3374 would rename the Local Government Fund the “Local Government Revenue Sharing Fund” and would delete a requirement that the fund be appropriated an amount not less than 4.5 percent of General Fund revenues of the last completed fiscal year. The bill further states that the appropriation to the fund should be increased by two percent […]

Ethics Bills Perpetuate Self-Policing

• A pair of omnibus ethics bills now in the General Assembly purport to end legislative “self-policing.” • They don’t. • Instead, both bills perpetuate a system in which lawmakers have special laws written only for themselves, and in which they “investigate” and “punish” each other. [download .pdf] The issue of the day is “independent […]

Ethics Reform in Reverse?

MAJOR ETHICS BILLS ARE MOVING IN BOTH HOUSE AND SENATE. EACH HIDES PROVISIONS THAT WOULD LEGALIZE UNETHICAL CONDUCT ON THE PART OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS, AND PUNISH CITIZENS FOR CHALLENGING THEM. [download .pdf] Both S.1 and H.3722 (omnibus bills in the Senate and House, respectively) would seriously abridge the First Amendment rights of nonpolitical, nonpartisan groups that […]

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On Roads, S.C. Doesn’t Have a Revenue Problem

THE BAD NEWS? WE HAVE A STRUCTURAL PROBLEM Every South Carolinian who drives a car knows our state’s roads need work. Many have also heard about the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) alleged funding shortfall between now and 2040. What you may not know, however, is that both these problems can be traced to the same […]

On Roads, S.C. House Doing Its Own Thing

THE HOUSE PLAN HAS THIS IN COMMON WITH THE GOVERNOR’S: IT ASSUMES WE HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM. Nearly a week after the governor released her plan to fix South Carolina roads, the House Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York), unveiled its own proposal. In some small ways the plan is superior to […]

Senate Ethics Bill Would Take Reform Backward

MEET THIS YEAR’S GIANT ‘ETHICS BILL’ The legislative session has only just begun, but somehow lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee are already poised to pass an omnibus ethics reform bill. Subcommittees met in December and January – before the legislature was even in session – to assemble the bill, S.1. Now Sen. Larry Martin, the […]

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Gov. Haley’s Budget: Same Deal, More Money

THE GOVERNOR DOUBLES DOWN, PHONES IT IN Update* Budget documents prepared by the Executive Budget Office not available at the time of initial publication reveal an even larger executive budget. The full executive budget comes in at $26 billion, an $890 million increase in total appropriations over last year’s budget. Gov. Nikki Haley has released her […]

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Lawmakers File Scores of ‘Ethics’ Bills for 2015

WHICH ONES DESERVE THE WORD ‘REFORM’? Two years ago, many, perhaps most, lawmakers dismissed the need for ethics reform. They know better now. As the 2015 session begins, already more than 30 ethics-related bills have been filed. Some would accomplish worthy goals, to be sure. Yet most contain troubling and dangerous provisions that would loosen rather […]