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.

5 (Poor) Excuses for Opposing Roll Call Voting Reform

Every lawmaker in South Carolina seems to support roll call voting. And for good reason. Citizens have a fundamental right to know how their representatives are voting. Still, legislators continue to voice objections to roll call voting and the Senate has yet to pass a statutory roll call voting requirement.

Legislative Analysis: Roll Call Voting Bills

As the 119th session of the General Assembly begins, roll call voting remains a hot button issue. Of the 11 bills currently before the General Assembly, we’ve identified five of the most pertinent.

Legislation Passed Without a Roll Call Vote in the Senate

In 2009 and 2010, the House and Senate combined only recorded 25 percent of their votes. Significant laws that didn’t receive a recorded vote in the Senate range from multimillion dollar economic incentives deals to the creation of new state agencies to the imposition of new fees and regulatory burdens. Meanwhile, South Carolina has one of highest unemployment rates in the nation, virtually no economic growth over the past 10 years, and an educational system that is failing our state’s children. You be the judge as to whether these laws were important enough to receive a roll call vote.

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.

A Review of Total State Spending, Part II: An Effective Spending Cap for South Carolina

We have concluded that a formula based on supply (available revenue as measured by economic productivity) rather than demand (the perceived need for governmental services) provides the best measure for limiting spending according to real economic growth. That said, questions remain regarding how a spending cap measured against real GSP would prevent overspending during economic upturns.

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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.

South Carolina Counties Score Low in Transparency

In 2009 the General Assembly passed legislation (H 3352) requiring all school districts to post a transaction register online, as well as a copy of the district’s monthly credit card statement. Initially, school districts had until October 2009 to comply with the new law, but the deadline was extended to June 30, 2010, after some districts asked for more time.

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Which Counties Spend the Most of Your Tax Dollars?

As part of our ongoing review of local spending and taxation trends in South Carolina, this Fact Sheet looks at per capita county spending. Like total state spending, local spending in South Carolina is on the rise. Total state spending has increased every year since FY93-1994 (the latest year available in the current Budget & Control Board historical analysis report). During the same period, local spending has also increased every year, excepting from FY01-2002 to FY02-2003.

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