Got Ethics

Conference Committee Misses Mark on Ethics Reform

ONE STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK The conference committee on H.3945 (the “ethics bill”) met on Wednesday to hash out differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill before agreeing to draft a conference version of the legislation. Below are some of the notable provisions that were kept in (or left out of) the […]


Governor Calls for Income Tax Elimination…In the Last Week of Session

A GREAT IDEA…BUT A LITTLE LATE This week, it came as a surprise to many when Governor Haley called for abolishing South Carolina’s income tax. This new proposal is significantly more ambitious than anything Haley has proposed on taxes before. The governor’s previous income tax proposal consisted of deleting the state’s 6 percent bracket in […]

Sadly, Common Core Is Not Dead

IT’LL ONLY GO AWAY WHEN LAWMAKERS LEARN TO TURN AWAY FEDERAL CASH On several recent occasions we’ve heard pundits or public officials – and in one case a candidate for Superintendent of Education – claim that South Carolina has gotten rid of Common Core. If only. Now it’s true that the state Department of Education […]

Category: Commentary, Education · Tags:

SC ethics commission

House Version of “Ethics Reform”: Smoke & Mirrors

SH.3945 HAS GIVEN LAWMAKERS FAR TOO MANY OPPORTUNITIES TO DO BAD THINGS The House version of the “ethics reform bill,” H.3945, approved this week, is a beautiful example of why ethics reform shouldn’t be done in an “omnibus” bill. Put simply: omnibus bills give lawmakers too many chances to insert regressive measures and too many […]

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Hey Senators, Here’s What to Cut

WE KNOW, YOU WON’T CUT MUCH. BUT COULD YOU AT LEAST SKIM A LITTLE? The Senate is set to take up the budget recently approved by the Senate Finance Committee. When including General Funds, Other Funds, and Federal Funds (and the federal food stamp funds lawmakers for some reason no longer include in the budget), […]

S.C.’s Economic Outlook Still Lackluster

 A BRIEF LOOK AT WHY  The latest ALEC-Laffer State Economic Competitiveness Index ranks South Carolina’s economic outlook at 31st in the nation. That’s right. Despite handing out hundreds of millions of public dollars in corporate welfare, hundreds of press releases proclaiming new jobs and investments, and countless ribbon-cutting ceremonies, South Carolina’s economic outlook still lags […]

Category: Commentary, Taxes & Regulation · Tags:

Lawmakers’ Latest Power Grab: Just the Facts

LEGISLATORS’ ARGUMENTS FAIL TO PERSUADE H.5072 – one of the most brazen acts of legislative retaliation we’ve ever witnessed – would allow the House and Senate to authorize a special prosecutor to investigate “alleged” violations of ethics laws by constitutional officers, including the Attorney General. This prosecutor would also be empowered to investigate “other officers,” a term that […]

Category: Commentary, Reform & Restructuring · Tags:

New Deregulation Bills Filed

ARE LAWMAKERS GETTING SERIOUS ABOUT REGULATION? The Policy Council has pointed out before the economically destructive effects of regulation. We’ve also argued that regulation is often – perhaps usually – less about protecting the consumer and more about protecting established businesses to the detriment  of would-be entrepreneurs. Several months ago, the Governor’s Regulatory Review Task […]


The Ethics Bill: Still Alive, for Now

THE STICKING POINT: SELF-POLICING A House Judiciary subcommittee met on Tuesday to once again take up the “ethics bill” – H.3945. Versions of the bill have already passed both the Senate and the House, but rather than sending it to a conference committee, the House chose to amend the bill. The key sticking point has […]

Making Earmarks Public

 PERSONAL FUNDING REQUESTS SHOULDN’T BE ANONYMOUS A vast amount of money, but you know virtually nothing about what’s being spent, or why. That’s not because you’re uninformed – the state budget is designed to be as opaque, secretive, and abstruse as possible. The state spending plan is supposed to begin with a hearing on the […]

Category: Budget & Spending, Commentary · Tags: