Senate Passes ‘Independent [sic] Investigation’ Bill

LEGISLATIVE SELF-POLICING REARRANGED, NOT ELIMINATED Yesterday the Senate amended H.3184, which deals with the legislature’s system of self-policing – i.e. lawmakers adjudicating each other’s ethics violations in the form of House and Senate ethics committees. While the concerning provisions remain the same (they’re explained here), senators made these changes. It would now take a three-fourths […]

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state house dome

Does the Constitution Require Self-Policing?

THE SHORT ANSWER: OF COURSE NOT Many, if not most, South Carolina state lawmakers have a peculiar understanding of the separation of powers. For them, the principle seems to mean that all powers should be removed from the executive and judicial branches and concentrated in the legislature. In the ongoing debate over ethics reform, for instance, several lawmakers […]

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Municipal Association4

What Happened to Business Tax Reform?

● Major reforms no longer under discussion ● One bill would put nonprofits in charge of business taxes ● Legislation would allow lobbyist principals to set taxes ● Municipal, county associations would handle confidential tax docs For a year or more, some reform-minded Columbia politicos have been discussing the need for business tax reform. Among […]

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Bill Would Send More Subsidies to Farms

FARMERS WERE HIT HARD DURING LAST OCTOBER’S FLOODS. SO WERE MANY OTHERS. BUT ARE MORE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES ALWAYS THE ANSWER? Thousands of individuals and businesses have received governmental assistance following South Carolina’s historic rainfall and flooding in October of 2015. However, one industry in particular has said the assistance made available to it was not […]

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Why the Latest Ethics Bill Would Change Nothing

● Bill includes unaccountable exceptions to private income disclosure ● Actually weakens public income disclosure requirement ● Legislative self-policing rearranged, not abolished ● Allows ethics committees to sign off – in secret – on sketchy practices The Senate Judiciary Committee has passed another long, complicated ethics bill. The amended bill addresses two principal areas: income disclosure and […]

ANALYSIS: Abolishing Certificate of Need Laws

EXCELLENT REFORM MADE MEANINGLESS BY ONE AMENDMENT H.3250 is the most significant health care reform introduced so far this session. At the end of the 2015 session, the bill would have, beginning in 2018, repealed state laws that establish and regulate the Certificate of Needs (CON) program in South Carolina. The bill was recently made significantly […]

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Ready to Watch Lawmakers Not Follow the Law?

THE STATE BUDGET LAW – WHAT IT IS, WHY IT MATTERS, WHY LAWMAKERS IGNORE IT Debate over the state budget has already started, but you don’t know anything about it. Of course, that’s intentional. Legislative leaders have long preferred to keep the public out of discussions of each year’s state spending plan, and this year will be […]

Prefiled 2016 Legislation – Mostly Bad News

Worst of the worst: ● Forcing citizens to undergo training before even buying a gun. ● Creating a new crime of failing to notify law enforcement after gun theft. ● Rolling back roll-call voting requirements. ● Repealing the state’s right-to-work law. ● Creating a state minimum wage. ● Making all misdemeanor convictions, including those resulting from Ethics Act violations, eligible for […]

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ANALYSIS: Constitutional Carry

ON CARRYING FIREARMS, THE PRESUMPTION SHOULD BE ONE OF LIBERTY S.105 and companion bills S.570 and H.3716 are all attempts to enact a policy of “constitutional carry.” If passed, any of the bills would make South Carolina the seventh state to legalize constitutional carry. Maine became the sixth state to do so on July 8. Anyone over 21 […]

Cracking Down on Online Rental Providers

WHY TAXES AND FEES ON PARTICULAR INDUSTRIES PROTECT  ESTABLISHED COMPANIES AND STIFLE INNOVATION  Companion bills S.862 and H.4329 would stipulate that a third party that makes an accommodation reservation and accepts an accommodation charge is liable for the payment of accommodation taxes. That “third party” could be a rental agent, an online travel company, or […]

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