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 […]

Why Tax Reform Can’t Happen (Yet)

  THINK THERE ARE GREAT ARGUMENTS FOR ELIMINATING THE CORPORATE INCOME TAX? SO DOES ALMOST EVERYONE ELSE. AND YET . . .  In a red, “conservative” state like South Carolina, one would assume that our state would be among the leaders in promoting free-market policies on the state government level.  But with some of the […]

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 […]

Restructuring Update: déjà vu all over again?

S.22 ISN’T ABOUT SEPARATING POWERS. AND IT NEVER HAS BEEN On government restructuring, it’s déjà vu all over again. As happened last year, the Senate passed a weak restructuring bill, S.22, that would eliminate the Budget and Control Board (BCB) and replace it with an agency overseen by the same five politicians and with the same powers […]

Boeing Bond Deal Needs Explanation

WHY THE RUSH TO PUT FUTURE TAXPAYERS 120,000,000 MORE DOLLARS INTO DEBT? The news broke this week that Boeing plans to expand its existing North Charleston campus to include an information technology “center of excellence.” The expansion, according to a company spokesman, will create 2,000 jobs. State lawmakers quickly announced plans to issue $120 million […]

Half Time Ethics Report

It’s the beginning of April and lawmakers‘ two-week furlough is almost up, leaving us at roughly the half-way point of the 2013 legislative session. This was supposed to be the Year of Ethics Reform, but is it? Below is a “half-time report” detailing what’s been done already and what’s yet to be done. While some […]

What’s in the S.C. State Budget?

  . . . A LOT THAT YOU’LL NEVER KNOW ABOUT. HERE’S WHY. Over the last two years, the Policy Council has repeatedly stressed the importance of a law that legislators routinely and casually ignore. When told about the state’s open budget law and/or asked why it’s not followed, lawmakers have had one of several […]

Dept. of Administration Bill Gets Worse

  CURRENT DOA BILL WOULD FURTHER FLOUT CONSTITUTIONAL PRINCIPLES [UPDATE: Late yesterday the full Senate passed S.22 by a vote of 35 to 10. The version passed by the Senate did not differ substantially from the bill as amended by the Senate Finance Committee, discussed here.] Several weeks ago, Senator Shane Massey remarked on the […]