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Bills to watch in 2021

Before convening the 2021 legislative session (which began earlier this month) lawmakers filed roughly one thousand bills in advance of the New Year, known as “prefiles”. These bills can offer a look into what the legislative priorities will be over the next few months. Below is a look at some of the most substantial bills […]

Lawmakers double down on Second Amendment attacks

MULTIPLE BILLS ATTACK SOUTH CAROLINIANS’ RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS A growing number of bills filed by lawmakers would erode South Carolinians’ Second Amendment rights. In recent weeks, five bills were introduced that push for gun confiscation powers, banning certain firearms, and severely limiting their access – all of which would violate the rights […]

General Assembly to Censor Video Games and Movies?

Lawmakers often wait until the closing weeks of session to drop their most controversial bills. This year was no exception, with H.5218 and H.5219 aiming to censor gun violence in digital entertainment. The former would make it illegal to sell video games depicting gun violence, and the latter would prohibit theaters or other streaming services […]

What the General Assembly did on Last Year’s Budget Vetoes

Last year the legislative session ended before the governor’s line-item vetoes of the 2017-18 budget were issued, and lawmakers opted to wait until session reconvened the following January to sustain or override them. The budget vetoes were accordingly the first order of business in the first two of weeks of session. It takes a two-thirds […]

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Senate Energy Solutions: An Analysis

In mid-November, the House prefiled and fast-tracked through committee six bills developed by the special energy investigatory committee, appointed by the House speaker (you can read our analysis of those bills here). Last week, the Senate prefiled its own version of legislative energy “solutions” – and like the House bills, it fails to truly reform the […]

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House Legislative Energy Solutions: An Analysis

THE HOUSE ENERGY COMMITTEE DRAFTED SIX BILLS TO “FIX” THE SYSTEM. HERE’S WHAT THOSE BILLS WOULD DO. UPDATE: The House passed H.4379 (ORS) and H.4378 (PURC) this week with no substantial changes. Those bills will now go to the Senate for debate. The rest of the bills remain on the House calendar for debate next week. […]

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University Enterprise Divisions: Vehicles for Dodging Accountability

A pair of bills filed last year would allow the creation of powerful mini-governments within public colleges and universities. These entities would function similarly to shell corporations by allowing universities to bypass state oversight for bonding, construction and even the exercise of eminent domain. This legislation – H.4182 (and its Senate companion, S.542)– is specifically designed […]

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Friday Follies: A Tax Exemption for … Huh?

A TAX BREAK FOR FOOD AND CLOTHING IN THE PREPARATION OF PERISHABLE FOOD. THAT MAKES PERFECT SENSE. It’s often the case, and South Carolina is no exception. Lawmakers tend to view the sales tax provisions in state law, not as a means of raising revenue to carry out the necessary functions of government, but rather […]

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Wrap-Up of the 2017 Legislative Session

WHAT PASSED, WHAT DIDN’T, WHAT’S STILL TO COME On May 11, the legislative session ended for this year. Lawmakers will return next week to finish and pass the budget and vote on gubernatorial vetoes, but legislators are otherwise finished. Below is an overview of the important bills from the 2017 session. Some passed, some didn’t, […]

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Gas Tax Bill a Windfall for Infrastructure Bank

PROPONENTS CLAIM THE BILL WOULD FIX SOUTH CAROLINA’S ROADS. THAT’S NOT WHAT THE BILL SAYS. [NB: The bill discussed in this report is now law, the state senate having overridden the governor’s veto.] The legislature is poised raise the gas tax, along with sales tax on vehicles and several registration fees. Proponents claim the 72 […]