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:

MOTEL

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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]