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 […]

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 […]

What to Watch at the Organizational Session

THERE’S MORE AT STAKE THAN YOU MIGHT THINK At this week’s organizational session, South Carolina House lawmakers will be asked to make several important decisions, including who becomes Speaker of the House and Speaker Pro Tempore. The identity of the next Speaker, however, is all but a foregone conclusion, and some other points may be both more […]

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House Committee Proposes Rule Changes

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE IMPROVABLE Last week we wrote about some of the bills proposed by the House Ethics and Freedom of Information Act Committee, the committee created in the wake of the indictment (and subsequent conviction) of former House Speaker Bobby Harrell. These haven’t been the only proposals coming from the House […]

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Good & Bad Ideas on Roads

WHAT YOUR POLICYMAKERS ARE HEARING & SAYING Two recent meetings – the House Ad Hoc Transportation Review Committee, and a York Town Hall addressed by Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York) – have given us a glimpse of what lawmakers are planning for 2015 on the subject of road construction and maintenance. At both of these meetings, […]