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 […]

Category: Budget & Spending, Featured, Research · Tags:

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, […]

Category: Featured, Individual Liberty · Tags:

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 […]

Category: Taxes & Regulation · Tags:

S.C. Going the Wrong Way on Road Funding

FOR HOUSE LAWMAKERS, ROAD FUNDING IS ABOUT BUILDING NEW ROADS, ‘ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT’ – AND JUST ABOUT ANYTHING BUT FIXING THE STATE’S CRUMBLING ROADS AND BRIDGES.  Lawmakers are quick to bemoan the state of South Carolina’s roads and bridges, and virtually all have stated an intention to do something about it in 2015, but something terrible happens each time they’re […]

Why S.C.’s Deeper in Debt Than They Say

THE HOUSE IS DEBATING A $497 BOND PACKAGE. IT’S TERRIBLE IDEA, FOR LOTS OF REASONS. NOW TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT LAWMAKERS WANT TO SPEND THE MONEY ON. This week the House will consider a nearly half-billion dollar Capital Improvement Bond bill. The proposal is being considered as Part III of the General Appropriations Act. […]

Why the Infrastructure Bank Should Go

IT SERVES ITS PURPOSES, ALL RIGHT . . . AND THEY’RE ALL BAD As lawmakers and the governor seek to add more revenue to, and possibly reform, South Carolina’s broken transportation system, there is one glaringly obvious issue hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves: eliminating the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB). There is no entity […]

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Ethics Bills Perpetuate Self-Policing

• A pair of omnibus ethics bills now in the General Assembly purport to end legislative “self-policing.” • They don’t. • Instead, both bills perpetuate a system in which lawmakers have special laws written only for themselves, and in which they “investigate” and “punish” each other. [download .pdf] The issue of the day is “independent […]

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 […]