Executive Branch Reforms for 2011

The concentration of power in South Carolina’s legislature is such that the executive branch is generally unable to institute major reforms without the cooperation of the Legislature, whether stemming from good will or public pressure. Still, the executive branch could implement several initiatives – especially as related to good budgeting practices, health care and job creation – that would, not only complement a reform agenda in the Legislature, but make South Carolina more free and prosperous in concrete ways.

7 for ’11: 7 Ways Lawmakers Can Make South Carolina Better – Now

Each year we review the best and worst ideas taken up during the legislative session, focusing on those bills that will either make South Carolina more free and more prosperous or less free and less prosperous. In the spirit of offering some constructive advice to the General Assembly, here are 7 good ideas for reform in 2011.

25 Ways to Unleash Capitalism in South Carolina

Want to know 25 ways we can unleash opportunity, freedom and hope in South Carolina? Here are 25 ideas taken from the pages of the Policy Council’s new blueprint for economic prosperity, Unleashing Capitalism.   1)      Cut the property tax on manufacturing equipment: At 3.73 percent, South Carolina has the highest effective manufacturing property tax […]

10 Reforms for the S.C. Retirement System

According to a recent actuarial valuation analysis performed for the state Budget & Control Board, South Carolina’s retirement system is carrying a$12 billion unfunded liability. These conclusions are similar to those found by an April 2009 SCPC study ($11 billion in unfunded liabilities as of July 2008), as well as a recent report by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. Official projections, based on an 8 percent rate of return, show the S.C. Retirement System (SCRS) is 31 percent underfunded. The Manhattan Institute, using the more conservative projections required of private retirement fund managers, found that the SCRS is 59 percent underfunded.

Who’s Got The Power? Not you…

SC state government has no balance of power. The legislature MAKES laws, EXECUTES laws and elects the judges who INTERPRET laws. Want proof? The SC Legislature controls more than 420 appointments to the executive branch – more than half the number the governor appoints. The SC Legislature unilaterally elects judges. Four politicians in the State House […]

Policy Report: Shorten South Carolina’s Legislative Session

Any way you measure it, South Carolina has one of the longest legislative sessions in the country. Such a lengthy session is not only unnecessary, it bars most citizens from serving in the Legislature. In turn, South Carolina’s long session fosters a political culture that encourages special-interest legislation and high spending.

Policy Report: Reform the South Carolina Legislature

South Carolina’s General Assembly has long enjoyed a virtual monopoly of power over the state’s government and economy. The Legislature overshadows the executive branch and controls judicial branch appointments. Likewise, the Legislature directs South Carolina’s economy by means of numerous boards and regulations, as well as by distributing billions of dollars in economic incentives and tax breaks to special interests.

Fact Sheet: Reform the Legislature, Shorten Session, Record Every Vote

Advocates of good government in South Carolina have long recognized that the state’s governing structure is outdated, inefficient and not transparent. At the root of the problem is a concentration of legislative power that permits the General Assembly to inordinately influence executive and judicial branch functions—in particular, through the Legislature’s power over hundreds of executive and judicial appointments. In addition, the Legislature’s long session facilitates control by the legislative leadership over executive branch duties while a lack of recorded votes frustrates accountability and transparency.

The Best and Worst to Come: A Review of Restructuring Legislation for 2009-2010

As we review thebest and worst restructuring legislation of 2009,it’s also time to begin to consider what ideas are likely to resurface during the 2010 session.   “Restructuring” generally refers to reforms designed to bring about a more equitable balance of power between the executive and legislative branches of state government. In South Carolina, the […]

25 Ways to Unleash Capitalism in South Carolina

25 Ways to Unleash Capitalism in South Carolina Want to know 25 ways we can unleash opportunity, freedom and hope in South Carolina? Here are 25 ideas taken from the pages of the Policy Council’s new blueprint for economic prosperity, Unleashing Capitalism.   1)      Cut the property tax on manufacturing equipment: At 3.73 percent, South […]