Senate Moving Ahead with Fee, Tax Hikes

● Numerous and complicated tax and fee hikes. ● Constitutional issue addressed – briefly. ● Bill to come up in full Senate next week. The Senate Finance Committee had a productive meeting on Wednesday, passing out a road funding bill to the full Senate. This may be good news for the committee, but it’s terrible news […]

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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: New Regulations for Uber

H.3525 bears many similarities to H.3413 and S.409, two other bills introduced this session to create a regulatory framework for transportation network companies (TNCs), that is, companies that provide personal transportation arranged by a digital network (Uber, Lyft, Sidecar, et al.). Despite their similarities, H.3525 has advanced to the House floor while H.3413 continues to sit in […]

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House Budget: Misplaced Priorities

THE HOUSE FOUND MONEY FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS PROJECTS, BUT NOT FOR CORE SERVICES The recent House-passed FY16 budget is the largest of the three versions of the budget released this year (the other two include the governor’s budget and the House Ways and Means budget). The House budget restores the trend of each successive version […]

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S.C. Going the Wrong Way on Road Funding

FOR HOUSE LAWMAKERS, ROAD FUNDING IS ABOUT BUILDING NEW ROADS, ‘ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT’ – AND JUST ABOUT ANYTHING BUT FIXING THE STATE’S CRUMBLING ROADS AND BRIDGES.  Lawmakers are quick to bemoan the state of South Carolina’s roads and bridges, and virtually all have stated an intention to do something about it in 2015, but something terrible happens each time they’re […]

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. 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 […]