Ethics Reform Bills Aim for Status Quo

ON INCOME DISCLOSURE AND LEGISLATIVE SELF-POLICING, LAWMAKERS WANT CREDIT FOR REFORM WITHOUT CHANGING THE SYSTEM. At the moment, the two hottest issues in the State House going under the banner “ethics reform” are income disclosure and independent investigation of lawmakers. There’s a problem, though: Neither bill purporting to address these issues would accomplish significant reform. […]

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UPDATE: Senate Moves on Income Disclosure

INCOME DISCLOSURE, WITH LOOPHOLES Senators seemed determined this week to not let another session go by without addressing “ethics reform” – although nothing that’s likely to pass the legislature will change their conduct in the least. After several days of debating an omnibus ethics bill that’s no longer omnibus, the Senate seemed to stall on […]

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South Carolina roads legislature

What the House Did on the Senate Roads Plan

STILL NO TAX INCREASE, BUT STILL NO ACTUAL REFORM The House took up the Senate roads plan (H.3579) on Wednesday, April 13, and amended the bill once again. Debate was extensive, but all the votes related to the bill were lopsided. Representatives Jonathon Hill (R-Anderson) and Rick Quinn (R-Lexington) each proposed amendments that would abolish the […]

Giant Ethics Bill to Hit Senate Floor

ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THIS YEARS ETHICS DEBATE On April 5, 2016, the South Carolina Senate will begin debating the omnibus ethics-related bill that is currently on special order. What follows is an overview of what bills are currently in the Senate, where they stand in the process, and exactly what they would […]

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What Lawmakers Want to Spend in 2017

  ● Ways & Means budget $1.28 billion larger than 2016 budget ● Committee does not treat roads as priority ● Lots of increases in education, but no real change in approach ● Medicaid continues to expand in state that “didn’t expand Medicaid” The House Ways and Means (W&M) Committee budget has been released. The […]

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ANALYSIS: The Senate Roads Plan

REAL REFORM, NON-REFORM, OR SOMETHING ELSE? On Wednesday night, senators emerged from a behind-the-scenes meeting to adopt an amendment to the roads bill. As it exists now, the bill does not include a tax/fee increase and includes changes that would improve the current system. Even so, it does not eliminate the State Infrastructure Bank – a […]

Bill Would Send More Subsidies to Farms

FARMERS WERE HIT HARD DURING LAST OCTOBER’S FLOODS. SO WERE MANY OTHERS. BUT ARE MORE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES ALWAYS THE ANSWER? Thousands of individuals and businesses have received governmental assistance following South Carolina’s historic rainfall and flooding in October of 2015. However, one industry in particular has said the assistance made available to it was not […]

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Why DOT’s Priority Lists Are Mostly Meaningless

Gas tax hike supporters claim DOT already uses objective criteria in choosing road projects. They’re wrong. One of the most frequently repeated arguments against reforming the Department of Transportation – and thus one of the most frequently repeated arguments in favor of raising the gas tax – is that the DOT was already reformed in 2007 […]

The Gas Tax Debate: How We Got Here

Lawmakers have bypassed the public, the law, their own rules, and the constitution to get a gas tax through the Senate. Citizens deserve better. Legislation to raise the gas tax and a host of fees is now before the Senate. It’s currently held up by a filibuster. For the bill to get as far as it has, […]

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Fuzzy Math: The Gas Tax Debate’s Bad Numbers

WHY ARE PROPONENTS OF A GAS TAX HIKE RELYING ON SUCH BAD NUMBERS? The debate over roads and road funding, especially as it’s taken place inside the State House over the last two years, has been riddled with bogus statistics and implausible projections. Here are three of the worst examples of this trend: Tax cut […]

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