Latest Updates

  • Analysis: Bill would let for-profit pipeline companies take citizens’ property

    A House committee this week deliberated a bill that would allow for-profit pipeline companies to take citizens’ property using eminent domain. Two similar bills were filed in 2020.    
  • Half of House budget meetings not streamed in first week (now updated weekly)

    Budget meetings sorted by week As part of our push for more government transparency, we have been tracking the streaming of legislative budget meetings each week. Below is list of how many budget meetings were held compared with how many were streamed, sorted by week. For a more thorough explanation...
  • Three crucial tax reforms for South Carolina

    The S.C. Legislature convened for session this week, renewing calls to fix South Carolina’s dated and uncompetitive tax structure. This focus comes as our northern neighbor passed a significant tax cut last year, with Georgia making a smaller cut, making the Palmetto State’s years of inaction even more baffling.    Taxes can be complicated – our problems, however, are...
  • Bills to watch in 2022

    At the end of each year, state lawmakers file a series of bills (known as “prefiles”) in anticipation of the upcoming legislative session. The following report looks at some of the most significant House prefiles, organized by category, as well as two bills gaining traction relating to state Coivd policy.    
  • South Carolina needs judicial reform

    1.20.22 UPDATE: Ahead of next month’s judicial elections, including for one seat on the state Supreme Court and Administrative Law Court, and many on the Court of Appeals, circuit court, and family court, enough candidates have dropped out that there are NO contested seats left. Lawmakers are left to choose from...
  • Eight reforms to take your power back

    SOUTH CAROLINA HAS SOME OF THE MOST POWERFUL POLITICIANS IN THE COUNTRY. THEY EXERCISE UNWARRANTED POWERS OVER STATE GOVERNMENT AND THE ECONOMY, AND FACE VERY LITTLE ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THEIR DECISIONS – CREATING A BREEDING GROUND FOR CORRUPTION. HOW CAN SOUTH CAROLINIANS TAKE THEIR POWER BACK?  
  • Delegations have a transparency problem: let’s fix it

    Legislative delegations in South Carolina have a serious transparency problem. As it turns out, an alarming number of counties are missing basic information about legislative delegations on their websites. In fact, some counties don’t mention them at all. Citizens can’t hold their elected officials accountable if they don’t know what’s happening, and when it’s...
  • Delegations in SC rank among most powerful in nation

    South Carolina’s county legislative delegations, comprised of the lawmakers representing each of the state’s 46 counties, are among the most powerful in the nation. In fact, most states don’t even recognize such delegations, and where they do, many have weak, if any, power.    
  • Lawmakers need to fix SC’s magistrate system

    In South Carolina, magistrate judges have serious power, especially over the lives of everyday citizens. For many, their courtroom will be the final stop when it comes to adjudicating legal issues. This is why it is particularly alarming that in South Carolina, Senate delegations (often comprised of just one senator) still play a primary role in their appointment, as this influence totally undermines any chance of judicial...
  • Why don’t more counties control local road funding?

    Despite the gas-tax-hike having passed in 2017, an alarming number of South Carolina’s roads and bridges are still crumbling. As bad as things are for state roads and highways, locally managed roads are sometimes in the worst condition, as they receive far less attention than big and costly transportation projects.   As lawmakers gear up for a new road funding bill heading into next year, it...