The Gas Tax Hike Passed. Now What?

IF YOU WANT TO HOLD TRANSPORTATION POLICYMAKERS ACCOUNTABLE, HERE’S HOW. After three years of effort, lawmakers raised the gas tax (and a host of related taxes and fees). In the process they slightly altered the structure of the Department of Transportation, but the changes don’t amount to the kind of restructuring that would ensure accountability: […]

Ending Legal Corruption – A Progress Report

WHERE DO WE STAND ON ETHICS REFORM? Since the Policy Council released its eight-point reform agenda in 2013, several lawmakers have been indicted and the General Assembly has passed a number of incremental reforms. Corruption flourishes in the combination of concentrated power and secrecy. In South Carolina, the bulk of state power is firmly in […]

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‘Reform’ to State Pension System Now the Law

SOUTH CAROLINA’S ‘PENSION DEFICIT DISORDER’ HASN’T BEEN SOLVED On April 25, Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill intended to reform South Carolina’s pension system. The bill, now a law, raises more money for the system but doesn’t so much reform the system as put more money into it and mostly leave it alone. Here are […]

Tightening (?) Income Disclosure Laws

LEGISLATION WOULD TIGHTEN SOME REQUIREMENTS FOR STATEMENTS OF ECONOMIC INTEREST — AND LOOSEN OTHERS Late in March, House Republicans, including Speaker Jay Lucas, sponsored a bill requiring increased disclosure on elected officials’ statements of economic interest. On its face, the legislation seems to tighten disclosure laws pretty significantly. The main items: (1) Officials would be […]

S.256 – Legislative Delegations may Remove Their Appointees or Recommendations

S.256 would allow the county legislative delegations to remove their appointees or recommendations for appointment for neglect of duty, misconduct, or malfeasance. While the ability to remove appointments for cause is a necessary accountability measure, it fails to deal with the real problem. True reform would be to a) eliminate special purpose districts altogether, and […]

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S.386 – Constitutional Amendment to Have Justices Appointed, Eliminating Judicial Merit Selection Commission

S.386 would amend the state constitution by having the governor appoint the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Circuit Court judges rather than having them elected by the legislature. The bill would also strike from the state constitution the language establishing a Judicial Merit Selection Commission (JMSC) to screen and nominate judicial candidates. Finally, the […]

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S.370 – Constitutional amendment making judges gubernatorial appointment

S.370 would amend the state constitution by having the governor appoint Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeals, and Circuit Court judges rather than having them elected by the legislature. It would also prohibit former legislators from applying for judicial office unless they have been out of office for at least two years, rather than allowing […]

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H. 3650 – License Tax Standardization

H. 3650 attempts to streamline and simplify business licensing in the state. It would create a uniform business license tax, that would expire on the 30th of April of each year. This proposed licensing tax would be based upon the adjusted gross income of a given business. A clearly defined and easily understood licensing fee would […]

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H.3473 – Convention of States to amend the US Constitution for spending cap

H.3473 is a resolution calling for an Article V Convention of States to amend the US Constitution. The resolution attempts to limit potential amendment subjects to a spending cap and fiscal restraints. While no one would argue that the federal government needs additional restraint, the Convention of State approach is misguided and overlooks the fact […]

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H.3352 – Creating the Office of FOIA Review

H.3352 creates a new judicial branch under the Administrative Law Court that would oversee Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) appeals and challenges and would institute a number of reforms to current FOIA law. This bill seeks to strengthen FOIA by capping both search fees (not to exceed the prorated hourly salary of the lowest-salaried staff member […]

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