S.203 – Provides criteria for school district consolidation

S.203 would create a new series of criteria for school district consolidation. Specifically, if any school district met two of the following conditions, it would be consolidated: The district has an average student population of less than 1,500 The district contains a school with an accreditation status of “probation” or “denied” The district is deemed […]

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Bill would give subpoena power to legislative delegations

A concerning new bill filed this week – H.3934 – would allow committees created by county legislative delegations to subpoena any state or local government agency, board, commission, etc. and/or their representatives and records. This is a startling – and unnecessary – amount of power to give to a legislative delegation. Standing legislative committees already […]

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S.61 – Allows the governor to fire workers’ comp commissioners

S.61 would allow the governor to remove members from the Workers’ Compensation Commission at will, and would reinstate term limits for the chairman position, at a maximum of two. Currently, the governor can only remove members for cause, which includes malfeasance, incompetency, conflicts of interest, etc. This change would make the commission more accountable to […]

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S.251, H.3433 & H.3447 – Prohibits campaign contributions from regulated utilities

Three bills (S.251, H.3433 & H.3447) would prohibit lawmakers or legislative candidates from accepting campaign contributions from regulated utilities – including SCANA and every electric cooperative. However, under H.3447, the utility contribution ban would be also be applied to the state’s five constitutional officers (the Treasurer, Comptroller General, Attorney General, Secretary of State and the […]

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S.285, H.3070 – Constitutional amendment to allow governor to appoint judges

S.285 would place a constitutional amendment on the ballot allowing the governor to appoint judges with the advice and consent of the Senate (currently they’re elected by the General Assembly). While allowing the governor to appoint judges would go a long way toward restoring judicial independence – a vital element of ending legal corruption – […]

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S.1 – 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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