Requiring Background Checks for all Firearm Sales and Transfers

H.3033 is a reintroduction of last session’s H.4503. Just as last session’s bill, H. 3033 would require an instant criminal background check be completed for private sales exchanges, and transfers of firearms (with very limited exception), including sales, exchanges, and transfers that occur at gun shows, by a licensed dealer who can charge a fee […]

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 […]

Category: Reform & Restructuring · Tags:

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 […]

Category: Featured, Reform & Restructuring · Tags:

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, […]

New Ethics Measures Proposed, Debated

WHAT IS SO HARD ABOUT ELIMINATING EXEMPTIONS AND LOOPHOLES? On Monday the House Ethics and Freedom of Information Act Ad Hoc Study Committee met to consider six proposals. Two of the six proposals – one that would ban “leadership PACs” and another that would codify the definition of “committee” for purposes of PAC disclosures – […]

Category: Reform & Restructuring · Tags:

New Ethics Proposals Made Public

ARE WE HEADED INTO ANOTHER YEAR OF WEAK ETHICS LEGISLATION? HARD TO SAY. The indictment and subsequent conviction of former Speaker Harrell on ethics charges has brought renewed calls for reform at the State House – and rightly so. Following the former speaker’s indictment, acting speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) was quick to establish a number of […]

Category: Reform & Restructuring · Tags:


Roads: Is Raising Taxes Really the Only Option?

LAWMAKERS SEEM TO THINK SO. A LITTLE EFFORT MIGHT BE IN ORDER. Tax hikes are on the mind of legislators. At least that’s what the October 30 meeting of the Ad Hoc Transportation Committee would lead any observer to believe. The first half of the committee meeting was taken up by presentations from representatives of […]


How “Restructuring” Gave the Legislature More Power

  NEW POWERS FOR LAWMAKERS? Much has been made of the restructuring of state government through the Department of Administration bill passed in January. Proponents of the bill have labeled it historic reform and said it would move South Carolina away from unresponsive government. But analysis of the bill by the Policy Council showed that the […]