SC General Assembly

Budget Process Remains Secretive

THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO ACHIEVE BUDGET TRANSPARENCY, AND THAT’S TO FOLLOW THE LAW  The budget debate this session was one of the most bizarre we’ve seen yet. It wasn’t that many years ago that the state’s Budget and Control Board was making across-the-board budget cuts owing to the recession and the state’s inability to meet its […]

Another Useless Attempt to Cap Spending

IT WON’T CAP SPENDING IF GOVERNMENT GETS TO KEEP THE MONEY Yet another legislative session is about to pass in which there was some talk about controlling state spending, but nothing done. Back in February, House members introduced a bill that aimed to limit state spending by capping General Fund (GF) appropriations. Specifically the bill […]

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 […]

Why the State Budget Grows … No Matter What

FINES AND FEES GO UP WHEN TAX REVENUES ARE DOWN … AND WHEN THEY’RE UP, TOO For the last decade, the majority party in both chambers of the legislature has frequently claimed to espouse the principles of limited government and spending restraint. It’s striking, then, that in no sense has government been limited during these […]

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 […]

Budget Transparency: How to Get There

STEP NO. 1: ELIMINATE THE HALF THAT ALMOST NOBODY CAN READ Each fiscal year, the South Carolina state budget is split into two major pieces: Part 1A and Part 1B. While both parts are excruciatingly boring to read, the first part – 1A – is at least understandable. Part 1B, on the other hand, is […]

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 […]

Why the State’s Open Budget Law Matters

LAWMAKERS SHOULD QUIT MAKING EXCUSES AND FOLLOW THE LAW   Two years ago, the Policy Council discovered a provision in state law requiring House and Senate appropriations committees to meet in joint open sessions on the governor’s proposed spending plan. This would be a break with all known past tradition. For decades, South Carolina lawmakers […]

They Admit It!

 LAWMAKERS: LET’S DELETE THE LAW WE’VE BEEN IGNORING For over a year, the Policy Council has been pointing out an important provision in state law that lawmakers conveniently ignore every year. The law requires House and Senate budget committees to meet in “joint open hearings” to consider the governor’s budget (see section 11-11-90 here). As far […]

Citizens’ Guide to the 2012 State Budget

State law prescribes a detailed and transparent process for how elected officials are to introduce, debate, and pass the state budget. Unfortunately, lawmakers have a bad habit of ignoring that law. Whether they choose to ignore it in 2013 or not, here’s what the law requires:   Guide to State Budget

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