Explosive spending, questionable provisos define next year’s budget

State lawmakers this week approved what will be the final version of next fiscal year’s $32 billion-plus budget, pending vetoes issued by the governor. The General Assembly will take up any vetoed items when it reconvenes next Tuesday for the final time this month.   Not only is this budget the largest in state history, it contains a multitude of year-long provisos that alter state law and have little to do […]

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Examining South Carolina’s massive proposed budget

While the 2021 regular legislative session ends this week, lawmakers are set to return to Columbia in June – possibly on three separate occasions – to address a number of matters as allowed per the end-of-session rules, or “sine die” resolution. The most immediate of these legislative responsibilities is passing the state budget, as the […]

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H.3137 – Altering the Local Government Fund

UPDATE: The Senate Finance Committee amended this bill to require LGF appropriations to increase or decrease by the same percentage as the general fund, capped at a 5% change. The Senate’s version also does not rename the fund.    H.3137 would lift the requirement that the Local Government Fund (LGF) receive 4.5% of last year’s […]

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Spending Growth, Priorities in the 2018 House Budget

UPDATE: When the Senate’s version of the budget returned to the House, the latter readopted the original House budget with additional amendments. The total budget spending approved by the House is now $24.5 billion – a $4 billion decrease from the original House budget. This decrease comes from a reduction in the Other Funds revenue projection. […]

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The State Budget: What You’re Spending in 2017

GOVERNMENT OUTPACING THE ECONOMY – BY A LOT The General Assembly just passed a $27.42 billion budget – by far the largest in state history and a $1.1 billion increase from last year. As in past years, lawmakers ignored state laws requiring a transparent and coherent budget process and instead cobbled together the state spending plan […]

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Why USC’s Budget Proviso Is Unconstitutional

SOUTH CAROLINA’S FLAGSHIP UNIVERSITY GOES AROUND THE LAW Recently the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education found itself the subject of debate in newspapers and on the Senate floor. A quick background: In many other states, some board or agency – usually a board of regents – has power to govern the state’s system of […]

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Budget Growth Since 2007 – Fast and Furious

LAWMAKERS OVERSEE EXPLOSION IN FEDERAL FUNDS, FINES & FEES Each year during the budget debate, legislators talk about the responsible spending included in the budget. In this year’s debate, for instance, a House leader described the historically high budget as “reining in government spending.” But the numbers tell a different story. Since 2007, the total budget […]

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The Return of ‘Competitive Grants’

THAT’S A EUPHEMISM FOR ‘PORK BY COMMITTEE’ [Update: This proviso was struck from the House budget when the bill went to the floor.] Buried in this year’s state budget bill is a proviso establishing a program that may sound familiar. The program is the Competitive Grants Review Committee – a committee that doles out money […]

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S.145 – Enacting a Biennial State Budget

S.145 would enact a biennial state budget to be considered and passed during odd-numbered years. However, the General Assembly would be permitted to enact a supplemental appropriations bill or a capital reserve fund appropriations bill every year. Adopting a biennial budget would be a positive reform, limiting spending opportunities and lobbying opportunities as well reducing the […]

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H.3311 – New Workforce Programs, Grant Fund, Tax Credit

H.3311 would create a Pathways Initiative to target workforce development and increase employment. One of the programs included in this initiative would invest in school-to-workforce development with a focus on industries with a critical workforce shortage. Another program would invest in workforce development, technical education, and job placement for adults. This bill would also create […]

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