South Carolina’s Endless Legislative Session

● South Carolina’s session is one of the nation’s longest ● Longer sessions mean lawmakers spending more time with lobbyists ● In South Carolina, there are about two lobbyists for every one lawmaker ● Last year, lobbyists in South Carolina made more than $15 million ● At least three current bills would significantly shorten session South Carolina’s legislative session can […]

Category: Featured, Reform & Restructuring · Tags:

Eminent Domain & the Threat to Private Property

EMINENT DOMAIN POWER FOR A NON-UTILITY PRIVATE COMPANY?  On Tuesday, October 20, a Senate Judiciary subcommittee met to discuss and take testimony on S.868, a bill that would grant the power of eminent domain to a company constructing any kind of pipeline. Eminent domain, remember, is a power held by governments – not private companies […]

Disaster Relief: Who’s Paying, and How Much?

TAKEAWAYS: ● Federal-state agreement on cleanup costs not available to public. ● Key officials in relief effort not accountable to any statewide official. ● State-federal assistance system is a dizzying web of bureaucracies. ● S.C. taxpayers will have to pay 25 percent of all government relief effort. ● South Carolina has money on hand for disaster relief and […]

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

On Roads: Reform First

MORE MONEY HASN’T IMPROVED SOUTH CAROLINA’S ROAD SYSTEM – AND FOR A VERY GOOD REASON. If more money were the answer to the state’s infrastructure woes, the topic would hardly be worth debating. The real trouble with South Carolina’s roads, though, isn’t a lack of money. It’s a lack – indeed, a total lack – […]

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Taking the Power Back: Eight Reforms

HOW CAN WE MAKE SOUTH CAROLINA’S POLITICIANS THE LEAST POWERFUL AND MOST ACCOUNTABLE IN THE NATION? (1)  Restore judicial independence. The public deserves confidence that judges rule independently of the legislature whose laws they judge. South Carolina is the only state in the nation in which the legislature unilaterally appoints judges even when vacancies arise. […]

The Five Worst Arguments against School Choice

WHEN THE ARGUMENT IS ABOUT EVIDENCE, SCHOOL CHOICE WINS. EVERY TIME. Over the last thirty years or more, well-meaning reformers have tried valiantly to improve educational results within public education systems. Prominent among their reforms have been increasing education funding and expanded pre-school programs, but these efforts have failed to live up to their promise. The one reform that has […]

What the Right to Work Really Means

SOUTH CAROLINA IS A RIGHT-TO-WORK STATE. DOES THAT MEAN SOUTH CAROLINIANS ARE FREE TO WORK? NOT ENTIRELY. South Carolina’s status as a right-to-work state is often credited by government officials as the reason business is attracted to our state. But there’s something troubling about the way they talk about that status. The right to work, […]

Category: Taxes & Regulation · Tags:

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Emergency Gun Bans & the Constitution

● Lawsuit alleges city acted improperly in gun ban. ● Attorney General opinion agrees. ● City’s ban runs against Second Amendment, court precedent. ● Flouting constitutionality a troubling trend in state, local bills. Of the rights enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, few have been contested as fiercely as American’s Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Throughout the […]

Budget Process Remains Secretive

THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO ACHIEVE BUDGET TRANSPARENCY, AND THAT’S TO FOLLOW THE LAW  The budget debate this session was one of the most bizarre we’ve seen yet. It wasn’t that many years ago that the state’s Budget and Control Board was making across-the-board budget cuts owing to the recession and the state’s inability to meet its […]

ANALYSIS: Imposing a Statewide Property Tax

SAME BAD ARGUMENT, DIFFERENT TAX It is a long held view among many elected officials that the only thing preventing exemplary achievements for students in state run schools is insufficient funding. If funding goes up without any apparent results, it simply means funding has not gone up enough. Recently, individuals of this mindset in South […]