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, […]

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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 […]

chester arthur

What Will the State Do with the Surplus?

PROBABLY NOT WHAT CHESTER ARTHUR WOULD HAVE DONE You might have recently heard that South Carolina ended the fiscal year with a higher-than-expected surplus – a surplus big enough to cover the entire list of items on lawmakers’ $235 million surplus priority (a.k.a. “pork”) list and still give them an extra $32 million to “distribute” […]

How Federal Funding Has Ruined S.C.’s Roads

. . . AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT IT As South Carolinians hit the roads for summer vacations, they’ll  have plenty of opportunities to discuss the state’s poorly maintained roadways. The potholes, crumbling bridges, and highways last paved during the Nixon administration will likely raise the topic in many a vacation-bound car. State House politicians, too, […]

Farm Bill

Governor Vetoes 0.07 Percent of the State Budget

HOORAY FOR LIMITED GOVERNMENT, RIGHT? After the General Assembly rammed through a record high $25.5 billion state budget with little public debate, Governor Nikki Haley had the opportunity to make some substantial vetoes of items in the bloated budget. Her vetoes amounted to roughly $18.5 million. That may sound like a lot, but it comes […]

State Budget: Enough to Fund Roads Already

THE GOOD NEWS: THE STATE HAS ENOUGH TO FUND ROADS. THE BAD NEWS: LAWMAKERS WILL NEED TO GO WITHOUT PAY HIKES, CORPORATE WELFARE, AND PORK. State budgets are a big deal. They’re more than just lists of things to spend tax dollars on. State budgets are comprehensive guides that show what the role of state government […]

Hey Senators, Here’s What to Cut

WE KNOW, YOU WON’T CUT MUCH. BUT COULD YOU AT LEAST SKIM A LITTLE? The Senate is set to take up the budget recently approved by the Senate Finance Committee. When including General Funds, Other Funds, and Federal Funds (and the federal food stamp funds lawmakers for some reason no longer include in the budget), […]

Making Earmarks Public

 PERSONAL FUNDING REQUESTS SHOULDN’T BE ANONYMOUS A vast amount of money, but you know virtually nothing about what’s being spent, or why. That’s not because you’re uninformed – the state budget is designed to be as opaque, secretive, and abstruse as possible. The state spending plan is supposed to begin with a hearing on the […]

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State Budget Skyrockets in Ten Years

SO THIS IS THEIR IDEA OF “CONSERVATIVE” BUDGETING? Despite South Carolina politicians’ claims over the past decade that South Carolina has a “conservative” budget, the FY 2014-15 budget passed by the House is significantly larger than the 2005-06 budget. When accounting for inflation – converting 2006 dollars to 2014 dollars – the $25 billion House […]

Farm Bill

The Ways & Means Budget Is Here

  SHORT VERSION: MASSIVE HIKES FOR THE USUAL SUSPECTS The House will begin debate on another record high budget today. At $25.4 billion (assuming a $1.5 billion food stamp item for some reason no longer listed in the budget), the Ways and Means Committee’s proposed budget is over $1 billion higher than last year’s ratified […]