OVERVIEW: What Gov. Haley May Sign or Veto

haley sign bill


In the final hours of the 2016 legislative session, lawmakers passed a dizzying array of bills – some of them sound and well reasoned, many of them less so. Here are a few important ones that the governor has yet to sign or veto.

H.5001 & 5002 – Budget and capital reserve fund bills

The General Fund spending alone in this year’s budget is over $8 billion. Budget documents released by the RFA have total spending at a massive $26.68 billion – a $1.76 billion increase from the 2015-2016 budget. Last year the governor only vetoed a microscopic fraction of what was by far the largest budget in state history. This year’s budget deserves a closer look.

[Gov. Haley vetoed a total of $41.1 million, most of which was overridden by the legislature. ]
S.1258 – Roads/bond bill

This bill started out as a $2.2 billion debt bomb, two-thirds of which would go to expand interstates instead of fixing potholes. By the time it landed on the governor’s desk, one of the worst forms of DOT restructuring devised this year had been added. If Gov. Haley signs this bill, the General Assembly will have succeeded in making her appear responsible for the DOT while actually having diffused accountability for the agency even further.

[Update: Gov. Haley signed the bill, calling it “incomplete reform” and “far less than what the people of South Carolina both expect and deserve from us.”]
H.4145 – Coordinating Council for Workforce Development

This bill takes central planning to a new height in South Carolina. It was promoted as an innocent effort to “coordinate” all the state’s workforce training programs, but it goes far beyond that, forming a “council” comprised of agency heads and education leaders “to prepare the state’s current and emerging workforce to meet the needs of the state’s economy.” This new council of bureaucrats will make workforce development recommendations to the General Assembly.

[Gov. Haley signed this legislation June 8, 2016.]
H.4327 – Hospice regulations

This bill prohibits hospice organizations from opening multiple locations in the same county and requires each additional location to have its own license and approved by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Like hundreds of similar regulations, this one may be great for existing practitioners in the industry, but that’s because it will limit competition, which in turn will raise prices for everyone.

[Gov. Haley vetoed this bill June 10, 2016.]
S.1065 – Petroleum pipeline study committee

Although the work of most “study committees” usually turns into a dead end, this bill would allow the petroleum pipeline study committee to look at “whether other states permit petroleum pipeline companies to exercise eminent domain, and if so, under what circumstances.” This provision could open the door to justifying the expansion of eminent domain. Government’s power to take property is dangerous enough; giving nongovernmental entities that power could, in time, turn into a nightmare.

[Gov. Haley signed this bill June 9, 2016.]
S.427 – More special tax favors for certain industries

S.427 is a plethora of tax favors for agriculture, plus one for the aviation industry. If the latter seems a bit odd for an agriculture tax favor bill, that’s because it is. The aviation tax favor started out as a completely separate bill, but was added to S.427 by Ways and Means Chairman Brian White – a clear violation of the requirement, reiterated time and time again by the Supreme Court, that each bill deal with only one topic.

The legislation is an excellent example of how business-unfriendly our current system is. The state’s sales tax is comparatively very high precisely because lawmakers have carved out exemptions for their favorite industries and companies for years: When fewer people pay the tax, the tax must stay high.

[Gov. Haley signed this bill June 8, 2016.]
H.4387 – Banning citation quotas for police officers

This bill would ban citation quotas for police officers, a reform that would protect citizens’ wallets, lessen the likelihood of unjust tickets, and likely lead to greater safety in the long run, since law enforcement officers would be required to focus on fighting crimes instead of filling quotas.

[Gov. Haley signed this bill June 9, 2016.]
H.3440 – Moped and motorcycle regulations

This bill creates stringent regulations on who can operate mopeds (and motorcycles) and under what conditions. Mopeds have been largely unregulated up till now. This bill would make owning and driving a moped much more complicated and difficult.

[Gov. Haley vetoed this bill June 10, 2016.]

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