What the General Assembly did on Last Year’s Budget Vetoes

Last year the legislative session ended before the governor’s line-item vetoes of the 2017-18 budget were issued, and lawmakers opted to wait until session reconvened the following January to sustain or override them. The budget vetoes were accordingly the first order of business in the first two of weeks of session. It takes a two-thirds […]

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Senate Energy Solutions: An Analysis

In mid-November, the House prefiled and fast-tracked through committee six bills developed by the special energy investigatory committee, appointed by the House speaker (you can read our analysis of those bills here). Last week, the Senate prefiled its own version of legislative energy “solutions” – and like the House bills, it fails to truly reform the […]

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South Carolina energy bills

House Legislative Energy Solutions: An Analysis

THE HOUSE ENERGY COMMITTEE DRAFTED SIX BILLS TO “FIX” THE SYSTEM. HERE’S WHAT THOSE BILLS WOULD DO. UPDATE: The House passed H.4379 (ORS) and H.4378 (PURC) this week with no substantial changes. Those bills will now go to the Senate for debate. The rest of the bills remain on the House calendar for debate next week. […]

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University Enterprise Divisions: Vehicles for Dodging Accountability

A bill filed last year in the House would allow the creation of powerful mini-governments within public colleges and universities. These entities would function similarly to shell corporations by allowing universities to bypass state oversight for bonding, construction and even the exercise of eminent domain. This legislation – H.4182 – is specifically designed to allow […]

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Friday Follies: A Tax Exemption for … Huh?

A TAX BREAK FOR FOOD AND CLOTHING IN THE PREPARATION OF PERISHABLE FOOD. THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE. It’s often the case, and South Carolina is no exception. Lawmakers tend to view the sales tax provisions in state law, not as a means of raising revenue to carry out the necessary functions of government, but rather […]

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Wrap-Up of the 2017 Legislative Session

WHAT PASSED, WHAT DIDN’T, WHAT’S STILL TO COME On May 11, the legislative session ended for this year. Lawmakers will return next week to finish and pass the budget and vote on gubernatorial vetoes, but legislators are otherwise finished. Below is an overview of the important bills from the 2017 session. Some passed, some didn’t, […]

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Gas Tax Bill a Windfall for Infrastructure Bank

PROPONENTS CLAIM THE BILL WOULD FIX SOUTH CAROLINA’S ROADS. THAT’S NOT WHAT THE BILL SAYS. [NB: The bill discussed in this report is now law, the state senate having overridden the governor’s veto.] The legislature is poised raise the gas tax, along with sales tax on vehicles and several registration fees. Proponents claim the 72 […]

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House Gas Tax vs. Senate Gas Tax: A Comparison

LAWMAKERS HAVE TO COMBINE TWO BAD BILLS. THINGS COULD GET WORSE. The House and the Senate have both passed bills that contain significant tax increases, insignificant reform elements, and negligible transparency measures. What happens next? The legislation will go to a conference committee where three lawmakers from each chamber will attempt to reconcile them. In […]

The Gas Tax Bill – A Guide for the Perplexed

● The Senate’s bill raises gas tax by 12 cents per gallon ● Includes large increases in array of fees ● Calls tax a ‘fee,’ allowing Infrastructure Bank to create more debt ● Includes convoluted tax ‘off-sets’ ● Includes no reform of DOT After much debate and maneuvering, the Senate finally passed its version of a […]

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 […]