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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South Carolina energy bills

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 […]

Education “reforms” focused on workforce rather than education

Addressing public education was a top issue during the 2019 legislative session, and will remain a priority when the General Assembly reconvenes next year. Earlier this year the House passed an education omnibus bill, while the Senate Education Committee has been working on a companion bill that is still moving through the subcommittee process. Lawmakers […]

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santee-cooper

How not to sell a state asset: An update on Santee Cooper

This past session, lawmakers finally took action on Santee Cooper – without actually taking action. Instead of authorizing a sale of the troubled state-owned utility, they passed a resolution (H.4287) to explore three different options – to sell, to outsource the internal management to a third party, and to keep-but-reform. In theory, lawmakers will review […]

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Project Road Repair

Getting answers on your roads, tracking answers across the state It’s year three of the gas tax hike, and most of the $615.2 million of gas tax revenues they’ve collected so far has not been spent. In fact, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is saying that it might be ten years before your roads are fixed. However, the DOT commissioners don’t […]

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What’s in the final 2019-2020 budget?

Last month, the General Assembly passed a budget spending nearly $30 billion – the largest appropriations bill in state history. By contrast, the governor vetoed only 0.1% of legislative spending. Below is an overview of how lawmakers are spending taxpayer dollars and what the governor vetoed. Legislative leaders have called a special session beginning June […]

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Project Road Repair

Your roads aren’t getting fixed. Here’s what you can do about it.   THE PROBLEM: YOUR ROADS AREN’T FIXED It’s year three of the gas tax hike. Under the 2017 law, the gas tax rises by two cents every year through 2022. Lawmakers promised that every penny would go toward repairing roads and bridges, but […]

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2019 Legislative Session Wrap-Up

Nearly 2,500 bills and resolutions were filed during the 2019 legislative session. While many of the most concerning bills did not pass, this year was the first half of the two-year session and anything that did not pass this year could become law next year. Below is an overview of the most consequential bills that […]

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What’s really in the Panthers deal

In the final days of the legislative session, the House and Senate both passed legislation to give big tax breaks and other incentives for the NFL team the Carolina Panthers. In one of several procedural twists, the SC Senate skipped one of the roll call votes specifically required by state law. The bill was sent […]

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State oversight for electric cooperatives

A bill passed by the House (H.3145) would subject electric cooperatives to state oversight, increase transparency requirements, and impose basic ethics guidelines for board members. This would create a major shift in state utility policy, as cooperatives are not currently subject to state oversight. Under this legislation, the Office of Regulatory Staff (ORS) would audit […]

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