YOU’RE A TAXPAYER? SORRY, YOU DIDN’T MAKE THE PRIORITY LIST This year, the General Assembly had more than $1 billion in new revenue to appropriate. The final version of the $23.5 billion spending plan, therefore, should be an excellent gauge of lawmakers’ priorities. Here’s what we know: Lawmakers created 250+ new full-time government employees; gave …
Tag: Budget Reform
Last week, the South Carolina House passed its budget on second reading by a vote of 117 to 0. Then members passed it on third reading by a vote of 113 to 0. If you suspect lawmakers’ enthusiastic unanimity is a bad sign, you’re right.
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.
Section 11-11-20 of the S.C. Code of laws stipulates all state agencies submit their budget requests for fiscal year 2012 – 2013 on or before November 1st. Now that the information is in and posted on the Office of State Budget’s website, a few questions have arisen.
The South Carolina Citizens’ Guide to Following the State Budget
For decades, South Carolina lawmakers have cobbled together the state budget with virtually no input from the governor. The state’s spending priorities were largely dictated by members of the General Assembly – and especially by the chairmen and members of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. The governor’s only formal input into the budget process was limited to (a) general guidelines summed up in the State of the State address, and (b) budget vetoes. Governor Sanford broke with tradition by submitting detailed executive budgets, but these were almost totally ignored.
States use different budget categories to differentiate the sources and purposes of
different revenue streams. South Carolina, like other states, has multiple funding
categories. Broadly speaking, state spending is divided into the following four areas: 1)
the General Fund; 2) Federal Funds; 3) Other Funds; and 4) Proviso/Special Funding
spending not included in any of the previous categories.1
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.
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 . . . .
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.