Rhetoric vs. Reality in the State Budget

WHAT WAS ALL THE FUSS ABOUT? (HINT: NOT MUCH) The battle over the state budget is over. The state’s spending plan for fiscal year 2012-2013 is a done deal. As expected, both the governor and most members of the General Assembly are declaring a victory. But how much of all this self-congratulation is rhetoric, and […]

Budget Vetoes: Were lawmakers even there?

THE BUDGET VETO “DEBATE” INVOLVED PRECIOUS LITTLE DEBATE If you followed the coverage of the governor’s budget vetoes – rallies outside the State House, op-eds denouncing specific vetoes – you might had the impression that the debate was contentious inside the legislative chambers. It wasn’t. Both House and Senate ran through 81 budget vetoes in […]

Veto Recap

LAWMAKERS REDUCED THE STATE BUDGET BY A TINY FRACTION OF A TINY FRACTION Lawmakers began public meetings on the state’s 2012-13 budget January 10 of this year – the first day of the legislative session. Yet the state didn’t have an operational budget until yesterday, July 18th. Indeed, they took so long to pass the […]

What Did – and Didn’t – Gov. Haley Veto?

$57.1  MILLION SOUNDS LIKE A LOT. BUT IS IT? The release of the Governor Nikki Haley’s vetoes for the 2012-2013 budget has predictably been met with cries that the governor is a proponent of unnecessary austerity and wants to destroy or at least severely reduce vital state programs. Do the governor’s critics have a point? […]

Budget quiz!

  THINK YOU KNOW THE SOUTH CAROLINA STATE BUDGET?  1) Including state, federal, and “other” funds, the budget totals approximately a. $6.6 Billion b. $8.6 Billion c. $17.3 Billion d. $23.6 Billion 2) Approximately what % of appropriations in the budget are federally funded? a. 12.9% b. 23.1% c. 36.4% d. 75.3% 3) Compared to […]

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The State Budget: Your priorities – or theirs?

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 […]

Senate Budget Priorities: The Un-funded Tax Relief Reserve Fund

The Senate has passed their version of the budget, and it is now headed to the House for a final vote there. The budget includes an un-funded tax relief reserve fund in addition to other concerning expenditures. Lawmakers ignored the fund, and instead their priorities lie with questionable state agency budget increases, pork spending on […]

The Great Pork Debate

Tucked away at the tail end of part 1B of the budget bill is proviso 90.20, which deals with state non-recurring revenue: that is, revenue that’s only available for one year. Lawmakers have roughly $515 million dollars to appropriate in whatever way they see fit.  Yesterday senators debated an amendment that would take some of […]

Ask Not, and Ye Shall Receive Anyway

Most state agencies submitted their budget requests back in November. (State law requires them to submit requests, but a few just never get around to it.) When an agency submits a request, it is saying, in effect: This is what we need to fulfill our mission. There is, of course, always the possibility that the […]

Ways and Means Budget Largest in State History – Yet Again

The House is currently debating the budget recommended by the Ways and Means committee after months of hearings. With just over $535 million in “new” recurring revenue[1], lawmakers justify spending as “filling the holes” caused by the recession. However, as we pointed out in our analysis of the executive budget, since 2002 the state budget […]