Penny Stacks

S.C. Is a ‘Low Tax State,’ Right? Wrong.

SOUTH CAROLINA IS A LOW INCOME STATE — SOMETHING VERY DIFFERENT South Carolina politicos sometimes claim that ours is a “low tax state” and that it has the “lowest taxes in that nation.” The claim is false. It confuses tax collections with tax rates – that is, total amounts sent to Columbia versus the proportion of […]

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ANALYSIS: The Pension System Reform Bill

SOUTH CAROLINA’S PENSION SYSTEM IS IN THE RED BY TENS OF BILLIONS. A NEW BILL WOULD TINKER WITH THE SYSTEM. After months of deliberations and expert testimony, the Joint Committee on Pension Systems Review finalized its recommendations on identical bills filed in both the House (H.3726) and Senate (S.394). These bills change both the funding and […]

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South Carolina roads legislature

House Leaders’ Gas Tax Bill

LAWMAKERS’ ANSWER TO THE ROADS PROBLEM IS STILL THE SAME: YOU HAVEN’T SENT ENOUGH MONEY TO COLUMBIA [The text of this analysis has been updated to reflect the bill’s most recent version. Updates on the bill’s history mentioned at the bottom.] House leaders filed H.3516, a bill allegedly designed to repair South Carolina’s deteriorating road system. […]

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S.C. Supreme Court Elections – Quick and Quiet

WHY YOU HEARD NOTHING ABOUT YOUR NEW SUPREME COURT JUDGE On Tuesday, January 31, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. Instantly, the nation’s media, political class, judicial interest groups, and citizenry began to debate Judge Gorsuch’s merits and record, and that debate will continue for probably another month. It’s a messy […]

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What Makes One Lawmaker So Powerful?

SEN. HUGH LEATHERMAN HOLDS A BEWILDERING ARRAY OF STATE OFFICES. HE IS ACCOUNTABLE TO ONLY ONE SENATE DISTRICT. THE RESULT IS PREDICTABLE. Two of the most powerful offices in South Carolina are the presidency pro tempore of the Senate, and the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee. Any politician occupying one or the other holds […]

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New Bill Takes Aim at Criticism of Lawmakers

  LEGISLATION WOULD REGULATE FREE SPEECH EVEN MORE TIGHTLY THAN LAST YEAR’S ‘DARK MONEY’ BILL In its present form, S.255, sponsored by Sen. Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence), would substantially encroach on South Carolinians’ right to criticize politicians. The bill would require groups engaging in “election communication” – broadly defined as communication that supports or opposes a candidate, […]

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New Bills Filed for 2017 – Our Take

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE EGREGIOUS The legislative session begins this week, and scores of bills await debate. Among these are bills that would increase the gas tax, restrict Second Amendment rights, and give tax breaks to special interests.  Below are some of the major bills we’re watching. Roads Over the past four years, […]

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