Lawmakers side with McMaster on common-sense budget vetoes

South Carolina lawmakers returned to Columbia this week to take up the governor’s vetoes on the FY22-23 state budget, which went into effect July 1.   The governor’s veto list – released on June 22 and containing 44 substantive deletions – mostly cracked down on spending for legislative programs and projects that lacked sufficient details, known as earmarks, …

Check-in: Budget transparency hits a new low

Transparency for taxpayers hit a new low this week. On Wednesday and Thursday, the S.C. Senate held a total of nine budget subcommittee hearings – the most it has held in one week since session began. Not one was streamed to the public.   According to meeting agendas, 36 state agencies presented their budget requests to lawmakers without …

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 of this issue, see our …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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. …

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 …

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 …