Local governments’ emergency power grabs

Local governments all over the state are adopting emergency measures to combat the COVID-19 outbreak – but not all of them are making their emergency declarations and ordinances easily accessible.  State law allows local governments to pass emergency ordinances in one meeting without giving the public any notice or a chance to read them first, […]

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Lawmakers call for federal constitutional convention

Legislation calling for an Article V convention to amend the U.S. Constitution has been gaining traction lately. An Article V convention has never happened before, and the U.S. Constitution contains no rules for how it would operate. Should any of this legislation pass and a convention be called, anything will be possible at that convention […]

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Property rights threatened by new eminent domain bill for private companies

EMINENT DOMAIN FOR PIPELINE COMPANIES? A recently filed bill (S.1100) would give private petroleum pipeline companies the power to condemn state residents’ property through eminent domain. It would also classify these companies as public utilities and subject the construction and expansion of pipelines to state approval. . How it would work Eminent domain is a […]

Lawmakers double down on Second Amendment attacks

MULTIPLE BILLS ATTACK SOUTH CAROLINIANS’ RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS A growing number of bills filed by lawmakers would erode South Carolinians’ Second Amendment rights. In recent weeks, five bills were introduced that push for gun confiscation powers, banning certain firearms, and severely limiting their access – all of which would violate the rights […]

Lawmakers attempt to divert gas-tax dollars to pay local transportation officials

Three recently filed bills would pay certain local transportation officials (appointed by lawmakers) out of their counties’ local share of gas-tax revenue. H.4819 would pay each member of the Union County Transportation Committee (CTC) $75 for each meeting attended, for up to ten meetings. S.994 would pay each member of the Lee County CTC $100 […]

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Bills to watch in 2020: Part two

It’s a new year in the Palmetto State, and that means South Carolina’s legislative session is about to begin – on January 14 to be exact. While it’s impossible to predict every desired policy change on lawmakers’ agenda, the primary takeaways from the 250-plus bills prefiled for this year include more spending of taxpayer dollars, […]

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What do state agencies want to spend in 2020?

The most important bill passed in each legislative session is the state budget. Every year, state agencies spend more and more taxpayer dollars on a variety of things – sometimes actual core functions of government, but too often on pork, pet projects, and non-essential items like tourism, marketing and politically driven economic development. Worse, the […]

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Bills to watch in 2020: Part one

It’s nearly the end of the year and South Carolina’s legislative session is rapidly approaching! The first day of session begins on January 14, 2020. Since 2019 was the first half of the two-year session, bills that did not pass this year could still become law next year.  Lawmakers filed nearly 2,500 bills and resolutions […]

South Carolina budget legislation

The Budget Process: A Quick Primer

The budget process spelled out in state law is a thorough, deliberate process, designed to inform citizens at every stage and to maximize their input into the spending of taxpayer dollars. Unfortunately, lawmakers consistently flout this law in favor of a process that centers key decision-making in the hands of a few powerful lawmakers. Here’s […]

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