Senate Finance Budget: What to Keep an Eye On

LOTS OF PUBLIC MONEY, VERY LITTLE PUBLIC INPUT Budget debate will begin on the Senate floor today. The budget was passed out of committee May 3, and made publicly available May 8. The usual practice in the legislature allows members to have the budget for one week (three legislative days) for review. However, a vote […]

How Much Does the Machine Really Cost?

WHAT IS THAT THING, AND WHY ARE WE PAYING SO MUCH FOR IT? Read Quantifying the Machine, the Policy Council’s report on the costs of economic development, here. For other material on state-driven economic development, click here. In the report, we reveal that state government now spends hundreds of millions of dollars on “economic development” each budget […]

The Economic Development Pyramid

Whatever happened to this? Tune back in next week for an update on the state’s failed economic development machine…

The House Budget’s Five Worst Economic Development Provisos

Next year, the state of South Carolina will receive around $25 million dollars from the National Mortgage Settlement, a joint federal-state lawsuit against loan servicers awarded to parties affected by illegal housing foreclosures. In the House Budget’s Proviso 90.19, state legislators have decided, confusingly, to apportion this entire settlement to economic development. Despite attempts by legislators to introduce provisos that would use the money for its intended purpose, this proviso sends the entire award to the Deal Closing Fund at the Department of Commerce, a yearly appropriation used to “sweeten the pot” for economic incentive deals that ranges from $5 million to $10 million.

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 […]

Matthew Lesko

The Matthew Lesko Approach to Economic Development

The federal government is trying to run the U.S. economy – and South Carolina is helping out by taking federal grants for “economic development.” Why? Because it’s free money from the government! But is that always a good thing?

Stimulus Dollars Not Going to Teachers and Law Enforcement

Last session, legislative leaders argued South Carolina needed every dollar of the state’s $2.8 billion federal stimulus package to save jobs for teachers and law enforcement personnel. Faced with such dire needs, Gov. Mark Sanford’s suggestion to use $694 million in stimulus funds to pay down the state’s $8.2 billion debt sent legislators into a […]

What is the South Carolina Research Authority?

What is the South Carolina Research Authority?

That question was asked at a recent meeting of the House Ways & Means Committee – and not a single lawmaker had an answer. Here are 10 things you should know about our state’s “Research Authority.”

The ‘Incentives Game’ – what else are lawmakers giving away?

Here are just a few of the things legislators are doing right now in the name of ‘economic development.’

Fact Sheet on H 4478: The S.C. Economic Development Competitiveness Act of 2010

Sponsored by House Speaker Bobby Harrell and 108 other representatives, the Economic Development Competitiveness Act is the product of Speaker Harrell’s economic development working group. This 49-page bill combines a few good ideas with several bad ones. Paramount among the good ideas is the elimination of the corporate income tax. But this is clearly the […]