When writing the state budget: Follow the law

For decades, South Carolina lawmakers have cobbled together the state budget with little input from anyone but lobbyists and bureaucrats. Except for vetoes on the back end, the governor had almost no influence on the budget.

Stimulus Dollars Not Going to Teachers and Law Enforcement

Last session, legislative leaders argued South Carolina needed every dollar of the state’s $2.8 billion federal stimulus package to save jobs for teachers and law enforcement personnel. Faced with such dire needs, Gov. Mark Sanford’s suggestion to use $694 million in stimulus funds to pay down the state’s $8.2 billion debt sent legislators into a […]

Fact Sheet: Restructuring Done Right

The Budget & Control Board is the only agency of its kind in the nation – a legislative/executive hybrid with vast powers and virtually no accountability. After 61 years, lawmakers are finally considering ways to eliminate it. Yet current plans don’t fully resolve the core problem – which is the concentration of power and the diffusing of accountability. Here are the kinds of reforms that would address that problem directly and decisively…

Senate Finance Committee Deletes Some of the House’s Best Budget Ideas

The Senate’s response to fiscal Sanity? Delete. The Senate is wrapping up their budget debates…So far it is $100 million more than the House version. Here’s a quick look at how the Senate Finance Committee has purged some of the House budget’s best ideas.

Games Legislators Play: Tricks, gimmicks, and fuzzy accounting in the 2011-2012 budget

Irresponsible government spending doesn’t always happen in the open. Sometimes it’s hidden by a smokescreen of complicated budgeting practices. Take this year’s Senate Finance Budget . . . .

Investment Fail: “Economic development” deals that flopped

After the headlines, after the press releases and fanfare, where do all these investments go? Some of them go south and take millions of tax dollars with them.

Opening closed doors: Bringing sunlight and fairness to state-driven economic development

For years, the General Assembly has shut the door, cut deals with lobbyists and given away billions of dollars in incentives. Here’s what you can do about it.

Proposed House Budget: Is Total Spending Really Down?

The House budget, as passed by the full Ways & Means Committee, was finally posted yesterday. The budget (H 3700) is expected to go to the floor for a vote on March 14 and will likely be passed by the House before members take a week-long furlough that begins on March 22.

Category: Budget, Self Governance · Tags:

Proposed House Budget Largest in South Carolina History

The budget is expected to hit the House floor on March 15. According to various media outlets, that budget is $5.2 billion. But as the Policy Council has written before, this siloed approach to the state budget only tells part of the story. The $5.2 billion only represents General Fund appropriations – and ignores Other Funds and Federal Funds revenue.

Category: Budget, Self Governance · Tags:

Collaborative-Strategic Budgeting for Cabinet-Level Agencies

For the past few decades, states have experimented with various forms of zero- and performance-based budgeting practices as a means of making state agencies more efficient and accountable. Many states, for instance, employ a limited form of zero-based budgeting that requires agencies to create a budget from a zero base and then justify each program and expenditure. Many states also require agencies to use various performance measures aimed at demonstrating how agency programs and funding are producing desired results. Yet, these reforms have had only limited success in reducing state spending.

Category: Budget, Self Governance · Tags: