Local Transparency

Online check registers are an essential tool to make government spending decisions transparent and allow the public to see how their tax dollars are spent by government officials. In February, the Policy Council released a comprehensive transparency reportidentifying needed reforms in South Carolina government. The report found the current practice of forcing citizens to file […]

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Budget and Control Board Billing Should be Transparent, Competitive

As the Budget & Control Board prepares to meet next week to discuss how to respond to the state’s current revenue shortfall of $92 million, they might consider making some cuts closer to home – namely at the BCB itself. In fact, a thorough audit of the Board’s activities and expenditures would uncover several ways […]

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Significant Legislation Passed by Voice Vote in 2009

In spite of a change in rules in January 2009 requiring recorded votes on contested pieces of legislation, the S.C. General Assembly did not record votes on most of the legislation passed during the 2009 session. In fact, 3 out of 4 bills did not receive a recorded vote, leaving taxpayers in the dark over […]

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2009 General Assembly Voted Anonymously 75 Percent of the Time

2009 General Assembly Voted Anonymously 75 Percent of the Time The South Carolina General Assembly recorded its votes on 532 out of 2,116 bills considered during the 2009 legislative session, according to the final vote count tracked by the Policy Council. This total excludes votes on congratulatory resolutions that did not impact actual legislation. 74.9 […]

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State Program Spends Millions Despite Expired Legislative Authorization

The Senior Center Improvement Program was created almost 20 years ago to finance improvements to 74 senior centers through South Carolina, but nearly a decade after the original projects were completed the SCPIP still receives and spends millions of tax dollars. SCPIP was evolved from a limited-scope initiative into a fixed part of the state’s […]

House Rules Change Not Transparency; Most Bills Exempt From Recorded Vote

The South Carolina House of Representatives voted 77-34 today to adopt a House rules change that expands the range of matters subject to a vote on the record, but the rules change exempts most legislation from a recorded vote. In response to today’s rules change, Policy Council President Ashley Landess released the following statement: “We’ve […]

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South Carolina Nation’s Worst at Requiring Recorded Votes

A Policy Council study of the Constitutional and legislative procedural rules in all 50 states finds that South Carolina is one of just five states that do not require lawmakers to record their votes when passing bills. South Carolina has the nation’s most burdensome requirement for requesting a recorded vote among the five states that […]

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Transparency Reforms Needed in SC Government

The General Assembly wants to play an active role in the South Carolina economy – that much is clear. If elected officials insist on tampering with the American free-market model, they should at least do it openly. Five simple, non-partisan transparency reforms would ensure greater accountability. 1. Online Check Registers 2. Taxpayer-Funded Lobbyist Ban 3. […]

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South Carolina General Assembly Should Call Roll

Legislators must be held accountable for their choices, and South Carolinians deserve to know how their elected officials vote. Roll call voting is critical to ensuring open government. Voice votes keep citizens in the dark. In South Carolina, roll call voting in the General Assembly is the exception rather than the rule. [ Download Complete […]

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Online Check Registers

According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, South Carolina?s state government spent over $19.6 billion dollars in 2007, an increase of more than nine percent over the 2006 budget. Nearly twenty cents of each dollar spent went to public K-12 education. In addition to the $3.8 billion in state money, local governments were […]

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