Stripping some of the Governor’s interim appointment power

S.1 would undercut the Governor’s power to make interim appointments when the legislature is not in session. If this bill becomes law, the Governor will not be able to make any interim appointments if a) the office became vacant before the previous legislative session, or b) if the Senate rejected his previous appointee. This creates […]

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S.1128 – ORS may request circuit court for release of V.C. Summer documents

This joint resolution would allow the executive director of the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) to file for a circuit court order requiring V.C. Summer documents and/or witnesses to be produced. It should also be noted that ORS already has authority to require – under oath – the production of documents and witnesses. While state […]

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S.1112 – Shortening session by one month

This bill would shorten the legislative session by around four weeks. Instead of ending on the second Thursday in May, it would end on the second Thursday in April. All other related deadlines would also be moved up a month. For instance, deadline for the budget’s passage in the House would be February 28 instead […]

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The Gas Tax Hike Passed. Now What?

IF YOU WANT TO HOLD TRANSPORTATION POLICYMAKERS ACCOUNTABLE, HERE’S HOW. After three years of effort, lawmakers raised the gas tax (and a host of related taxes and fees). In the process they slightly altered the structure of the Department of Transportation, but the changes don’t amount to the kind of restructuring that would ensure accountability: […]

Ending Legal Corruption – A Progress Report

WHERE DO WE STAND ON ETHICS REFORM? Since the Policy Council released its eight-point reform agenda in 2013, several lawmakers have been indicted and the General Assembly has passed a number of incremental reforms. Corruption flourishes in the combination of concentrated power and secrecy. In South Carolina, the bulk of state power is firmly in […]

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‘Reform’ to State Pension System Now the Law

SOUTH CAROLINA’S ‘PENSION DEFICIT DISORDER’ HASN’T BEEN SOLVED On April 25, Gov. Henry McMaster signed a bill intended to reform South Carolina’s pension system. The bill, now a law, raises more money for the system but doesn’t so much reform the system as put more money into it and mostly leave it alone. Here are […]

Tightening (?) Income Disclosure Laws

LEGISLATION WOULD TIGHTEN SOME REQUIREMENTS FOR STATEMENTS OF ECONOMIC INTEREST — AND LOOSEN OTHERS Late in March, House Republicans, including Speaker Jay Lucas, sponsored a bill requiring increased disclosure on elected officials’ statements of economic interest. On its face, the legislation seems to tighten disclosure laws pretty significantly. The main items: (1) Officials would be […]

S.256 – Legislative Delegations may Remove Their Appointees or Recommendations

S.256 would allow the county legislative delegations to remove their appointees or recommendations for appointment for neglect of duty, misconduct, or malfeasance. While the ability to remove appointments for cause is a necessary accountability measure, it fails to deal with the real problem. True reform would be to a) eliminate special purpose districts altogether, and […]

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S.386 – Constitutional Amendment to Have Justices Appointed, Eliminating Judicial Merit Selection Commission

S.386 would amend the state constitution by having the governor appoint the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and Circuit Court judges rather than having them elected by the legislature. The bill would also strike from the state constitution the language establishing a Judicial Merit Selection Commission (JMSC) to screen and nominate judicial candidates. Finally, the […]

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S.370 – Constitutional amendment making judges gubernatorial appointment

S.370 would amend the state constitution by having the governor appoint Supreme Court justices, Court of Appeals, and Circuit Court judges rather than having them elected by the legislature. It would also prohibit former legislators from applying for judicial office unless they have been out of office for at least two years, rather than allowing […]

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