Time Bomb over Blue

The Legislature’s $2.2 Billion Debt Bomb

● Bill would raise revenue by creating debt ● Senators seemingly unaware of state’s debt problem ● Plan would expand highways, do little about repair/maintenance of roads So far in this year’s legislative session, lawmakers have been unable to pass a tax increase for roads repair. Rather than giving up on the effort and sending […]

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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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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Ready to Watch Lawmakers Not Follow the Law?

THE STATE BUDGET LAW – WHAT IT IS, WHY IT MATTERS, WHY LAWMAKERS IGNORE IT Debate over the state budget has already started, but you don’t know anything about it. Of course, that’s intentional. Legislative leaders have long preferred to keep the public out of discussions of each year’s state spending plan, and this year will be […]

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 […]

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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 […]

Why S.C. Lawmakers Can’t Pass a Budget on Time

EVERY YEAR, LAWMAKERS TRY TO PASS POTENTIALLY CONTROVERSIAL CHANGES THROUGH THE STATE BUDGET. BUT NOT EVERY PROBLEM IS A FUNDING PROBLEM. Legislators returned to Columbia July 6 for a third week of extended session. The purpose, in part: to vote on the governor’s budget vetoes and thereby finalize the fiscal year (FY) 2016 budget. The […]

State Budget Sets Records, Vetoes Make Zero Difference

THE STATE BUDGET IS A TRANSACTION BETWEEN TAXPAYERS AND GOVERNMENT. HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE BUYING. After being rushed through a secretive committee process, the fiscal year (FY) 2016 conference budget – which reconciles the budgets passed by the full House and Senate – was voted on and passed by both chambers before the public ever saw […]

state house dome

UPDATE: Surplus, Capital Reserve, Sine Die, Uber

SESSION IS OVER … ALMOST The third week in June ended on a tragic note in the General Assembly, and attention has rightly been away from legislative business. In the interests of keeping tabs on the legislature, however, here’s a summary of the main business at present. Supplemental appropriations bill  The House passed a supplemental appropriations […]