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 […]

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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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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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The Return of ‘Competitive Grants’

THAT’S A EUPHEMISM FOR ‘PORK BY COMMITTEE’ [Update: This proviso was struck from the House budget when the bill went to the floor.] Buried in this year’s state budget bill is a proviso establishing a program that may sound familiar. The program is the Competitive Grants Review Committee – a committee that doles out money […]

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S.145 – Enacting a Biennial State Budget

S.145 would enact a biennial state budget to be considered and passed during odd-numbered years. However, the General Assembly would be permitted to enact a supplemental appropriations bill or a capital reserve fund appropriations bill every year. Adopting a biennial budget would be a positive reform, limiting spending opportunities and lobbying opportunities as well reducing the […]

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H.3311 – New Workforce Programs, Grant Fund, Tax Credit

H.3311 would create a Pathways Initiative to target workforce development and increase employment. One of the programs included in this initiative would invest in school-to-workforce development with a focus on industries with a critical workforce shortage. Another program would invest in workforce development, technical education, and job placement for adults. This bill would also create […]

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H.3081 – Creating the Poverty Elimination Bank

H.3081 would create a “Poverty Elimination Bank” and require the General Assembly to appropriate funds to it every year. The bank would also be added to the list of funds to which individuals may donate their income tax returns. Fund revenue would be used for the vague purpose of funding “poverty reduction initiatives.” It should […]

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H.3076 – Zero-Based Budget Review for State Agencies Every Ten Years

H.3076 would implement a zero-based budget process for each state agency and entity at least once every ten years. While this would be a good practice, it is unclear whether or not it would be adopted once passed, as the General Assembly routinely ignores state law regarding the budget process.

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