Why Our Legislative Session Is Far Too Long

OR, WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THESE GUYS STICK AROUND TOO LONG? We’re sometimes asked: Where’s the harm in the fact that South Carolina has a longer legislative session than most other states have? Sure, the per diem expenses will be a little higher, but will forcing legislators to wrap things up a little more quickly really […]

Too Much Time on Their Hands?

  SC LAWMAKERS SPEND MORE THAN HALF THE YEAR IN COLUMBIA. TIME TO ABBREVIATE. THE BACKGROUND South Carolina has one of the longest legislative sessions in the country. Legislators spend almost half the year in the capitol – that’s far more time than their counterparts in other states spend in their capitols. South Carolina has the […]

What Income Disclosure Would Mean for You

 FOR STARTERS, YOU MIGHT LEARN THE REASONS FOR SOME OF YOUR LAWMAKERS’ VOTES Suppose for a moment that you disapprove of a particular vote cast by your lawmaker. You think the bill is unwise, unfair, and you can’t imagine why your lawmaker would vote for it. Then you wonder if he had financial reasons for […]

Government De-Structuring?

Yesterday the Senate passed what many are calling the most significant restructuring plan this state has seen in decades. By a vote of 44-0, the South Carolina Senate passed H.3066 – a bill creating a Department of Administration and dissolving the anomaly that was the state Budget and Control Board.  Unfortunately – and despite all […]

Government restructuring – Reform or status quo?

  South Carolina elected officials claim to be restructuring government, but is anything changing?  Are we moving toward real separation of powers, or is the status quo being preserved?  Below are the major problems with the current plan, and the solutions that would finally make South Carolina’s government fully accountable to the citizens. Bonding authority Problem:  […]

Getting restructuring right – or wrong?

  The state Senate is currently debating what could turn out to be the most important piece of government restructuring legislation to come along in a quarter-century. Among other things, the bill would create a Department of Administration, putting some executive functions where they belong (under the governor), and eliminate the Budget and Control Board. […]

The Citizen’s Guide to Restructuring

What’s wrong with the structure of South Carolina’s government? All the power
is held by five-member boards, like the State Financial Affairs Authority and Budget
and Control Board. Major functions should belong to either the executive or
legislative branch; these boards have members from both, making it difficult to hold
any single elected official or legislative body accountable for major decisions.

Creating a Department of Administration – An Update

A new amendment to the Department of Administration bill has hit the Senate floor. Although it’s a moving target, here’s an overview of what the bill would do with state government’s most basic functions. Download as pdf by clicking here. Eliminated: Budget & Control Board, State Financial Affairs Authority The Senate’s first shot at eliminating the […]

Restructuring Done Right, Part II – A guide for the perplexed

The Senate is currently debating potentially the most important government restructuring legislation in decades (H.3066). The bill is intended to concentrate accountability by separating executive from legislative functions. But what’s “intended” and what gets signed into law are often two different things, and for that reason it’s worth taking a closer look at what the bill would actually do and whether it can be improved.

Restructuring Done Right: Separate and Diffuse Power, Concentrate Accountability

The Senate is currently considering legislation (H 3066) that would eliminate the Budget & Control Board (BCB), devolving the BCB’s responsibilities to a cabinet-level Department of Administration and a newly created entity called the State Financial Affairs Authority (SFAA). The Budget & Control Board would also continue to manage the state retirement system until July 1, 2013, at which time the BCB would be abolished and the retirement system would come under the purview of a new agency, the Public Employee Benefit Agency.