Road Funding: A Guide for the Perplexed

WHERE DOES THE MONEY COME FROM? WHO SPENDS IT? AND WHO ARE THEY ANSWERABLE TO? The debate over road funding has seen a number of outrageous and contradictory claims: on the one hand, for example, we’re told that the Department of Transportation (DOT) faces a $43 billion shortfall, but also that it’s a flawlessly run […]

Bill Would Impose Sales Tax on Web Purchases

LATEST ATTEMPT TO GET STATE HANDS ON NEW REVENUE MAY ENCOUNTER PROBLEMS OF LEGALITY, CONSTITUTIONALITY South Carolina’s sales tax is unfair in its imposition and isn’t producing enough revenue. At least that appears to be the opinion of many senators. Several who take that view introduced a measure they no doubt believe will help to […]

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Fixing Our Roads: Real Answers, in Plain English

THROWING MORE AND MORE MONEY AT A BROKEN SYSTEM IS HOW WE WOUND UP WITH A DECREPIT ROAD SYSTEM IN THE FIRST PLACE. THE WAY FORWARD IS SOMETHING DIFFERENT. Over three years ago, our policy analysts began warning that, thanks to South Carolina’s convoluted government structure, road maintenance was being neglected throughout most of the […]

Weak, Confusing Ethics Bill Has One More Shot

● One last chance for this year’s omnibus “ethics” bill ● Self-policing provision makes little actual improvement ● Income disclosure provision contains loopholes, exceptions The Senate may take one more shot at ethics reform when the legislature returns from break next week. The chamber has already taken one shot at passing a bill this year, […]

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Lawmakers Continue to Raid Victims’ Funds

IT’S MONEY. THEY WANT TO SPEND IT. THAT SETTLES IT. ANY QUESTIONS? In a little remarked upon move, South Carolina House members scrambled last month to insert line items from a failed bond package into the Capital Reserve Fund and Part 1B (provisos) of the state budget. To do that, members had to make minor […]

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Why S.C. DOT Still Needs Reform – Badly

● The S.C. Department of Transportation is an unaccountable mess. ● Act 114, the 2007 “reform,” improved virtually nothing. ● What little Act 114 did improve may soon be repealed. Some lawmakers and Department of Transportation (DOT) leaders are fond of saying there’s no problem with management of DOT. There’s barely an ounce of waste […]

Senate Moving Ahead with Fee, Tax Hikes

● Numerous and complicated tax and fee hikes. ● Constitutional issue addressed – briefly. ● Bill to come up in full Senate next week. The Senate Finance Committee had a productive meeting on Wednesday, passing out a road funding bill to the full Senate. This may be good news for the committee, but it’s terrible news […]

House Budget: Misplaced Priorities

THE HOUSE FOUND MONEY FOR SPECIAL INTERESTS PROJECTS, BUT NOT FOR CORE SERVICES The recent House-passed FY16 budget is the largest of the three versions of the budget released this year (the other two include the governor’s budget and the House Ways and Means budget). The House budget restores the trend of each successive version […]

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Free Speech, Electioneering, and Constitutionality: The Debate in South Carolina

HOW A BILL IN THE S.C. SENATE WOULD RUN UP AGAINST THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND U.S. SUPREME COURT PRECEDENT [Click here for a short fact sheet of this report.] First, the background. The South Carolina legislature is poised to pass new regulations of political speech. While the proposed law is being spun as perfunctory regulation of election ads, […]

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Senate to Scrap Constitution, Raise Revenue

WHEN IT COMES TO GETTING YOUR MONEY, STATE SENATORS WON’T LET A LITTLE OL’ CONSTITUTION GET IN THE WAY When a special Senate subcommittee met on Tuesday, the purpose was clear: raising revenue by increasing the gas tax and other fees. There’s just one problem – the constitution says they can’t. In fact, Article 3 Section 15 of the […]

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