Tag: Legislative Reform

Who’s Got The Power? Not you…

SC state government has no balance of power. The legislature MAKES laws, EXECUTES laws and elects the judges who INTERPRET laws. Want proof? The SC Legislature controls more than 420 appointments to the executive branch – more than half the number the governor appoints. The SC Legislature unilaterally elects judges. Four politicians in the State House …

Policy Report: Shorten South Carolina’s Legislative Session

Any way you measure it, South Carolina has one of the longest legislative sessions in the country. Such a lengthy session is not only unnecessary, it bars most citizens from serving in the Legislature. In turn, South Carolina’s long session fosters a political culture that encourages special-interest legislation and high spending.

Policy Report: Reform the South Carolina Legislature

South Carolina’s General Assembly has long enjoyed a virtual monopoly of power over the state’s government and economy. The Legislature overshadows the executive branch and controls judicial branch appointments. Likewise, the Legislature directs South Carolina’s economy by means of numerous boards and regulations, as well as by distributing billions of dollars in economic incentives and tax breaks to special interests.

Fact Sheet: Reform the Legislature, Shorten Session, Record Every Vote

Advocates of good government in South Carolina have long recognized that the state’s governing structure is outdated, inefficient and not transparent. At the root of the problem is a concentration of legislative power that permits the General Assembly to inordinately influence executive and judicial branch functions—in particular, through the Legislature’s power over hundreds of executive and judicial appointments. In addition, the Legislature’s long session facilitates control by the legislative leadership over executive branch duties while a lack of recorded votes frustrates accountability and transparency.

Cut the Budget … By Cutting Length of Session

As the S.C. legislative session finally comes to a close this week, it’s worth asking whether lawmakers are making good use of their time – and taxpayer dollars.

As the chart from the National Conference of State Legislatures indicates below, South Carolina’s legislative session is one of the longest in the country. According to article III, § 9 of the state constitution, the annual session of the General Assembly shall convene “on the second Tuesday of January of each year.” The constitution, however, does not stipulate any limit to the length of the session. Rather, state law (§ 2-1-180) requires that session end by 5 p.m. on the first Thursday in June, unless legislators agree by a two-thirds vote to extend it. Legislation introduced in 2009 would have shortened session by one (H 3405) to two (S 209) months; but none of these bills moved beyond committee.