These House budget provisos need attention

The House this week passed its version of the largest state government budget in South Carolina’s history – a bill that would appropriate $38.2 billion in tax dollars, federal funds, and other fines and fees. Included in the bloated budget are hundreds of temporary laws called “provisos”, which are meant to guide spending but are …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Why the Governor’s Budget Won’t Be Debated

SOUTH CAROLINA’S EXECUTIVE BUDGET GETS IGNORED – AND THAT’S HOW LAWMAKERS LIKE IT On websites and editorial pages across the nation, Americans are debating President Donald Trump’s proposed budget. The president’s budget would, among other things, increase defense spending by over $600 billion; cut $193 billion over ten years from the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, …

How the State Uses Borrowed Money

● State issues bond debt through a murky, complicated process ● Process shields lawmakers from accountability for debt spending ● Real power belongs to two boards few citizens have even heard of ● Two lawmakers (probably not yours) have seats on both boards ● State’s general obligation bond debt now at $326 million and climbing ● State now saddled with …

The Legislature’s $2.2 Billion Debt Bomb

● Bill would raise revenue by creating debt ● Senators seemingly unaware of state’s debt problem ● Plan would expand highways, do little about repair/maintenance of roads So far in this year’s legislative session, lawmakers have been unable to pass a tax increase for roads repair. Rather than giving up on the effort and sending …

Bill Would Send More Subsidies to Farms

FARMERS WERE HIT HARD DURING LAST OCTOBER’S FLOODS. SO WERE MANY OTHERS. BUT ARE MORE GOVERNMENT SUBSIDIES ALWAYS THE ANSWER? [Note: Gov. Haley signed this bill in June, 2016.] Thousands of individuals and businesses have received governmental assistance following South Carolina’s historic rainfall and flooding in October of 2015. However, one industry in particular has …