Only Three Liquor Stores? A Tale of Regulation

HOW A SIMPLE, WELL-INTENDED REGULATION TURNED INTO A TANGLED MESS Earlier this year, a report at The Nerve detailed an attempt by a few lawmakers to insert a budget proviso into the state budget. This proviso – a one-year budget law – would effectively limit the number of brick-and-mortar liquor stores a person or company […]

Category: Featured, Taxes & Regulation · Tags:

The State Budget: What You’re Spending in 2017

GOVERNMENT OUTPACING THE ECONOMY – BY A LOT The General Assembly just passed a $27.42 billion budget – by far the largest in state history and a $1.1 billion increase from last year. As in past years, lawmakers ignored state laws requiring a transparent and coherent budget process and instead cobbled together the state spending plan […]

How Can Citizens Get Answers on Roads?

THE SYSTEM MAKES IT DIFFICULT – BUT IT’S NOT IMPOSSIBLE South Carolina’s transportation system is not accountable to any one elected official, and that’s by design. Even so, after several years of pressure from citizens and some piecemeal changes to the law, there are ways for South Carolinians to engage with transportation policymakers. (1) Citizens […]

Why USC’s Budget Proviso Is Unconstitutional

SOUTH CAROLINA’S FLAGSHIP UNIVERSITY GOES AROUND THE LAW Recently the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education found itself the subject of debate in newspapers and on the Senate floor. A quick background: In many other states, some board or agency – usually a board of regents – has power to govern the state’s system of […]

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The Gas Tax Hike Passed. Now What?

IF YOU WANT TO HOLD TRANSPORTATION POLICYMAKERS ACCOUNTABLE, HERE’S HOW. After three years of effort, lawmakers raised the gas tax (and a host of related taxes and fees). In the process they slightly altered the structure of the Department of Transportation, but the changes don’t amount to the kind of restructuring that would ensure accountability: […]

Ending Legal Corruption – A Progress Report

WHERE DO WE STAND ON ETHICS REFORM? Since the Policy Council released its eight-point reform agenda in 2013, several lawmakers have been indicted and the General Assembly has passed a number of incremental reforms. Corruption flourishes in the combination of concentrated power and secrecy. In South Carolina, the bulk of state power is firmly in […]

Category: Featured, Reform, Reform & Restructuring · Tags:

Disclosure: What the Law Does & Doesn’t Require

LAST YEAR’S DISCLOSURE LAW LEAVES OUT A LOT – A LOT THAT YOU CAN ASK FOR Last month, we launched Project Income Disclosure with the aim of giving citizens a way to ask for voluntary transparency on matters of income. Taxpayers have a right to know about the financial relationships existing between their elected officials and […]

Category: Featured, Transparency · Tags: