Prefiled 2016 Legislation – Mostly Bad News

Worst of the worst: ● Forcing citizens to undergo training before even buying a gun. ● Creating a new crime of failing to notify law enforcement after gun theft. ● Rolling back roll-call voting requirements. ● Repealing the state’s right-to-work law. ● Creating a state minimum wage. ● Making all misdemeanor convictions, including those resulting from Ethics Act violations, eligible for […]

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ANALYSIS: Constitutional Carry

ON CARRYING FIREARMS, THE PRESUMPTION SHOULD BE ONE OF LIBERTY S.105 and companion bills S.570 and H.3716 are all attempts to enact a policy of “constitutional carry.” If passed, any of the bills would make South Carolina the seventh state to legalize constitutional carry. Maine became the sixth state to do so on July 8. Anyone over 21 […]

Cracking Down on Online Rental Providers

WHY TAXES AND FEES ON PARTICULAR INDUSTRIES PROTECT  ESTABLISHED COMPANIES AND STIFLE INNOVATION  Companion bills S.862 and H.4329 would stipulate that a third party that makes an accommodation reservation and accepts an accommodation charge is liable for the payment of accommodation taxes. That “third party” could be a rental agent, an online travel company, or […]

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ANALYSIS: Eminent Domain for Private Companies?

SOME SLOPES REALLY ARE SLIPPERY [Update: S.868 has been amended. The amendment has replaced the entire text of the bill with a provision stating that the eminent domain powers granted to telegraph and telephone companies do not apply to for-profit pipelines that are not public utilities. In other words, the new version of the bill makes it […]

SC General Assembly

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 […]

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 […]

King v. Burwell: Reality Check for States

● U.S. Supreme Court defines federal agency as “state” ● Millions will continue to be subject to individual, employer mandates ● Only one way remains to circumvent ObamaCare Last week the Supreme Court issued its second major ruling on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which once again sided with the Obama administration. The new ACA […]

How Lawmakers Have Made Themselves FTEs

‘IF THEY BELIEVE THEY AREN’T BEING PROPERLY COMPENSATED FOR THE WORK THEY DO, THEY SHOULD REDUCE THEIR WORKLOAD’ Watch the General Assembly long enough and you’re sure to hear the popular complaint about how South Carolina lawmakers are underpaid. Rep. Bruce Bannister (R-Greenville) recently proposed an amendment to a budget bill to provide a substantial pay increase […]

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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 […]

Why the Gas Tax Is a Tax – Not a “Fee”

THE DISTINCTION IS VITAL, AND STATE LAWMAKERS ARE WRONG TO IGNORE IT A common mentality inside the South Carolina General Assembly holds that all private goods and services belong to government. We’re calling this a mentality, not a doctrine or an explicit belief, because lawmakers rarely if ever state it explicitly. But the mentality is […]