Sketchy Numbers Behind Road Funding Debate

‘STATE HOUSE ECONOMICS’ AT ITS FINEST The state’s roads are crumbling, according to the popular refrain, and the Department of Transportation (DOT) claims it faces a nearly $43 billion shortfall between the current year and 2040. This works out to just under a $1.5 billion annual shortfall. To address this problem, Gov. Nikki Haley has proposed […]

On Roads, S.C. Doesn’t Have a Revenue Problem

THE BAD NEWS? WE HAVE A STRUCTURAL PROBLEM Every South Carolinian who drives a car knows our state’s roads need work. Many have also heard about the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) alleged funding shortfall between now and 2040. What you may not know, however, is that both these problems can be traced to the same […]

On Roads, S.C. House Doing Its Own Thing

THE HOUSE PLAN HAS THIS IN COMMON WITH THE GOVERNOR’S: IT ASSUMES WE HAVE A REVENUE PROBLEM. Nearly a week after the governor released her plan to fix South Carolina roads, the House Ad Hoc Infrastructure Committee, chaired by Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York), unveiled its own proposal. In some small ways the plan is superior to […]

What to Do about Ride-Sharing

SOUTH CAROLINA’S REGULATORY REGIME DOESN’T PROTECT CONSUMERS, PLACES UNACCOUNTABLE POWER IN THE HANDS OF A FEW POLITICIANS, AND OUGHT TO BE ROLLED BACK – STARTING WITH THE TAXI INDUSTRY. HERE’S HOW TO DO IT. The ride-sharing service company Uber began operating in South Carolina in the summer of 2014. As the company usually does when it expands […]

Haley Road Plan: Higher Taxes, New Debt, Fuzzy Numbers

THE GOVERNOR’S PLAN IS A SHELL GAME  THAT WOULD DO LITTLE TO IMPROVE S.C.’S ROADS Gov. Nikki Haley’s plan to fix South Carolina’s decrepit roads and bridges and lower income taxes will ultimately do neither. The governor proposes to raise the gas tax 10 cents over three years, cut the income tax by 2 percent over […]

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Senate Ethics Bill Would Take Reform Backward

MEET THIS YEAR’S GIANT ‘ETHICS BILL’ The legislative session has only just begun, but somehow lawmakers on the Senate Judiciary Committee are already poised to pass an omnibus ethics reform bill. Subcommittees met in December and January – before the legislature was even in session – to assemble the bill, S.1. Now Sen. Larry Martin, the […]

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Gov. Haley’s Budget: Same Deal, More Money

THE GOVERNOR DOUBLES DOWN, PHONES IT IN Gov. Nikki Haley has released her executive budget for fiscal year 2015-16. As we’ve come to expect, it’s the largest budget in South Carolina history. When you include a $1.5 billion appropriation for food stamps that was first moved to an unbudgeted accountin 2013-14, Haley’s new budget comes […]

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Lawmakers File Scores of ‘Ethics’ Bills for 2015

WHICH ONES DESERVE THE WORD ‘REFORM’? Two years ago, many, perhaps most, lawmakers dismissed the need for ethics reform. They know better now. As the 2015 session begins, already more than 30 ethics-related bills have been filed. Some would accomplish worthy goals, to be sure. Yet most contain troubling and dangerous provisions that would loosen rather […]

The S.C. Supreme Court’s New Role: Education Czar

THE ABBEVILLE DECISION IS JUDICIAL IMPERIALISM IN SUPPORT OF DISCREDITED POLICY The South Carolina Supreme Court issued a momentous decision on November 12. In a case that’s been going on for years, three out of five justices ruled that the state has failed to meet its constitutionally required obligation to provide a “minimally adequate” education […]

S.C. House Passes One Excellent Reform

. . . AND KILLS A TERRIBLE ONE During the first day of organizational session on December 2, the House voted on and approved a package of 15 rule changes presented by the Ad Hoc Committee on House Rules and Procedures. A proposed rule change that would have required all citizens testifying before the General […]