Budget Vetoes: Were lawmakers even there?

THE BUDGET VETO “DEBATE” INVOLVED PRECIOUS LITTLE DEBATE If you followed the coverage of the governor’s budget vetoes – rallies outside the State House, op-eds denouncing specific vetoes – you might had the impression that the debate was contentious inside the legislative chambers. It wasn’t. Both House and Senate ran through 81 budget vetoes in […]

Veto Recap

LAWMAKERS REDUCED THE STATE BUDGET BY A TINY FRACTION OF A TINY FRACTION Lawmakers began public meetings on the state’s 2012-13 budget January 10 of this year – the first day of the legislative session. Yet the state didn’t have an operational budget until yesterday, July 18th. Indeed, they took so long to pass the […]

The Battle over Vetoes

SORRY, BUT TAXPAYERS LOST THE REAL BATTLE MONTHS AGO Yesterday the South Carolina House overrode the majority of Gov. Nikki Haley’s budget vetoes. The vetoes themselves were minimal – at $57.1 million, they amounted to less than one quarter of one percent of the total budget – but evidently they weren’t minimal enough for lawmakers. […]

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What Did – and Didn’t – Gov. Haley Veto?

$57.1  MILLION SOUNDS LIKE A LOT. BUT IS IT? The release of the Governor Nikki Haley’s vetoes for the 2012-2013 budget has predictably been met with cries that the governor is a proponent of unnecessary austerity and wants to destroy or at least severely reduce vital state programs. Do the governor’s critics have a point? […]

The State Budget: Your priorities – or theirs?

YOU’RE A TAXPAYER? SORRY, YOU DIDN’T MAKE THE PRIORITY LIST This year, the General Assembly had more than $1 billion in new revenue to appropriate. The final version of the $23.5 billion spending plan, therefore, should be an excellent gauge of lawmakers’ priorities. Here’s what we know: Lawmakers created 250+ new full-time government employees; gave […]

Senate Budget Priorities: The Un-funded Tax Relief Reserve Fund

The Senate has passed their version of the budget, and it is now headed to the House for a final vote there. The budget includes an un-funded tax relief reserve fund in addition to other concerning expenditures. Lawmakers ignored the fund, and instead their priorities lie with questionable state agency budget increases, pork spending on […]

The Great Pork Debate

Tucked away at the tail end of part 1B of the budget bill is proviso 90.20, which deals with state non-recurring revenue: that is, revenue that’s only available for one year. Lawmakers have roughly $515 million dollars to appropriate in whatever way they see fit.  Yesterday senators debated an amendment that would take some of […]

Ask Not, and Ye Shall Receive Anyway

Most state agencies submitted their budget requests back in November. (State law requires them to submit requests, but a few just never get around to it.) When an agency submits a request, it is saying, in effect: This is what we need to fulfill our mission. There is, of course, always the possibility that the […]

Health and Human Services Director agrees with the Policy Council

Our coverage of the health care debate, beginning in October of last year, dispelled the myth of a free market health exchange and highlighted the growing costs associated with the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.  It appears the Director of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is on the same page as we […]

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Who should manage the OPEB funds?

You probably are like many other South Carolinians who haven’t heard of the little-known OPEB trust fund.  The OPEB, Other Post Employment Benefits, trust funds consists of:  a health insurance trust fund ($582.4 million) and a life and long-term disability ($35 million) trust fund. Currently, the State Treasurer manages the funds, whose unfunded liability was […]

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