Project Conflict Watch: The SEI Response

WHY STATEMENTS OF ECONOMIC INTERESTS DON’T MATTER Earlier this year, the Policy Council launched Project Conflict Watch, an initiative asking state elected officials to disclose their sources of private income voluntarily. Many have done so, including three of the state’s nine constitutional officers. Others have yet to do so. A few have responded by saying […]

Common Core in South Carolina: FAQs

 WHAT IS IT? HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT? Over the past several weeks, a great deal of controversy and discussions have arisen on the topic of Common Core Curriculum. We asked our policy analysts to explain exactly what the program is, whether South Carolina has opted in to […]

Why Ethics Reform?

 2013 WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THE ‘YEAR OF ETHICS REFORM.’ IT WASN’T. SO DOES ANYONE CARE? At the conclusion of the 2013 legislative session, as the Senate prepared to vote on the legislature’s only attempt to reform the state’s ethics code – the bill was killed – Senator Luke Rankin (R-Horry) made the claim that […]

Income Disclosure—Why It Matters

  THIS ISN’T JUST A THEORETICAL DEBATE With the launch of SCPC’s Project Conflict Watch – and now with the release by Senator Vincent Sheheen of his tax returns and challenge to Gov. Nikki Haley to do the same – the issue of income disclosure is gaining some well-deserved attention. The principle behind it is […]

The State Budget Shouldn’t Take This Long

WHY THE BUDGET TAKES HALF A YEAR TO PASS, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT It has become an almost yearly tradition for the South Carolina General Assembly to use its time so inefficiently that important legislation – including the state budget – doesn’t pass before session concludes on the first Thursday in June. With […]

The Ethics Reform That Isn’t

  CLEARLY, LAWMAKERS HAD GOOD REASONS TO KEEP H.3945 SECRET The talk this week has been mainly about the ill-named ethics reform bill being debated in the South Carolina House. It’s ill-named because, despite a strong provision requiring income disclosure, the bill actually weakens ethics laws in several areas. The most obvious problem with it, […]

An “Enterprise Division” for Clemson?

  IT’S ALL ABOUT POWER (A LOT OF IT) AND ACCOUNTABILITY (NONE OF IT) Last week, we posted a brief analysis of S.535, legislation that would create a murky new government entity called an “Enterprise Division” at Clemson University. The bill, in short, is a grossly misguided attempt to give vast powers to a government […]

ObamaCare Light?

  THE HOUSE GOP ‘ALTERNATIVE’ TO OBAMACARE AND THE WINNERS & LOSERS OF SOUTH CAROLINA’S HEALTH CARE DEBATE  We recently reported that House Republicans introduced an alternative plan to ObamaCare in a Ways and Means budget hearing. Our initial analysis concluded the alternative was little more than a reactionary spending plan that benefited hospitals much more than people. Some […]

Testimony before Commission on Ethics Reform

    LANDESS ASKS GOVERNOR’S COMMISSION ON ETHICS REFORM TO CONSIDER DEPTH OF PROBLEM [Note: the following is testimony by SCPC President Ashley Landess before Gov. Nikki Haley’s Commission on Ethics Reform, on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. Video available here.] Thank you for this second opportunity to speak to you today. We at the SCPC […]

Abolishing the Ethics Committees

  CAN SOMETHING SO SIMPLE REALLY BE SO DIFFICULT? Among the state’s commentators and editorialists, ethics reform is expected to be the issue of the 2013 legislative session. What exactly “ethics reform” means depends on whom you ask. The Policy Council does not take the view that reforming our ethics laws should require a lot […]