Sen. Vincent Sheheen
Restructuring South Carolina state government will have to wait until next year, say two lawmakers on a committee assigned to work out differences on a key bill.
House and Senate conference committee members who met for the first time Wednesday afternoon on a bill that would restructure state government have significant differences about who should have the authority to purchase goods and services, and allow agency deficits.
An advancing S.C. Senate proposal aimed at expanding the state’s full-day, 4-year-old kindergarten program could cost tens of millions more than what has been publicly disclosed, according to The Nerve’s review of a revised state estimate.
A new government-restructuring bill in the S.C. House Representatives would move state-purchasing control to the new Department of Administration under the governor and abolish the longstanding Budget and Control Board and recently created Public Employee Benefit Authority.
Despite all the talk in the Legislature about giving the governor more control over the executive branch, South Carolina’s newest state agency is largely unaccountable to the Palmetto State’s chief executive.
Despite a Senate bill that would eliminate the controversial S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank as a separate state agency, that idea received no attention in a hearing Wednesday before a House budget-writing subcommittee.
A review by The Nerve found that all five Republican members of the S.C House Ethics Committee, which might be called on to investigate possible campaign-violation allegations involving House Speaker Bobby Harrell, each has accepted campaign contributions from a political action committee associated with Harrell.
From January through November this year, 11 Midlands senators received a total of nearly $98,000 in "subsistence" payments meant to cover hotel and food costs while the Legislature is in session, a review by The Nerve found.
Three state senators have proposed repealing a longstanding law requiring that the Legislature's budget-writing committees hold joint public hearings on the governor's proposed budget.
The S.C. General Assembly once again is tinkering with half-measures to address publicly funded lobbying, rather than driving a stake through the heart of a practice many taxpayers across the political spectrum find offensive.