Seat belt

Friday Follies: Seatbelts in School Buses

Perhaps one of the most arrogant things that any legislature can do is to adopt the idea that every single part of life must be controlled by law.  There have been many examples of this throughout the current legislative session, but one of note is H.3945. 3945 would require new school buses put into service […]

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South Carolina Roads

Statehouse Update: Gas Tax Hike in the Senate

  Today the Senate continued yesterday’s debate of the gas tax bill, which raises the gas tax by twelve cents per gallon (up from the ten-cent hike passed by the House) to “fix roads.” While the House version included some elements of reform, the Senate Finance Committee stripped everything but the tax and fee increases. […]

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Where Does the Gas Tax Really Go?

  IF LAWMAKERS WANT TO SEND MORE OF THE GAS TAX TO ROADS, THEY’RE FREE TO DO IT. SO WHY DON’T THEY? When the gas tax hike bill (H.3516) was going through the House, House leadership circulated a flyer (click here) purporting to show how revenue from the gas tax is currently spent. Of the 16.75 cent […]

Tightening (?) Income Disclosure Laws

LEGISLATION WOULD TIGHTEN SOME REQUIREMENTS FOR STATEMENTS OF ECONOMIC INTEREST — AND LOOSEN OTHERS Late in March, House Republicans, including Speaker Jay Lucas, sponsored a bill requiring increased disclosure on elected officials’ statements of economic interest. On its face, the legislation seems to tighten disclosure laws pretty significantly. The main items: (1) Officials would be […]

Getting Rid of the DOT Commission?

BILL WOULD ELIMINATE THE COMMISSION THAT SHIELDS POLICYMAKERS FROM ACCOUNTABILITY There seems to be broad agreement (except, perhaps, among Statehouse legislative leaders) that the state’s road funding system needs structural overhaul. Structural reform at the DOT is no longer the foreign suggestion it was three or four years ago. H.3703 would restructure the agency, most notably […]

Why Revenue Won’t Solve S.C.’s Roads Problem

MORE MONEY HASN’T IMPROVED SOUTH CAROLINA’S ROAD SYSTEM – AND FOR A VERY GOOD REASON. If more money were the answer to the state’s infrastructure woes, the topic would hardly be worth debating. The real trouble with South Carolina’s roads, though, isn’t a lack of money. It’s a lack – indeed, a total lack – […]

Budget Growth Since 2007 – Fast and Furious

LAWMAKERS OVERSEE EXPLOSION IN FEDERAL FUNDS, FINES & FEES Each year during the budget debate, legislators talk about the responsible spending included in the budget. In this year’s debate, for instance, a House leader described the historically high budget as “reining in government spending.” But the numbers tell a different story. Since 2007, the total budget […]

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‘Small’ $497 Million Bond Bill to Hit Ways & Means

PAYING FOR ROUTINE RENOVATIONS WITH DEBT HAS BECOME A THING Update: The final version of the committee bill ended up being $497 million, nearly half of which is going to higher education. The amount appropriated to the DOT for rest area renovations is $16.2 million. Chairman Brian White stated that this appropriation will help ensure that […]