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Throwback Thursday: How lawmakers camouflage how much they actually spend

March 12, 2020

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SC budget process

Anyone following the progress and coverage of the state budget this week could easily gain the impression that the S.C. House passed a $10 billion budget. That’s because lawmakers debated only one-third of the funds appropriated in the budget bill – the $9.5 billion general fund, generated by taxes. What lawmakers didn’t debate is the […]

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Throwback Thursday: How state lawmakers participate in excessive federal spending

March 5, 2020

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South Carolina budget

In a supreme twist of irony, this week lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee voted for a resolution calling for a U.S. constitutional convention to address the federal government’s excessive spending, and next week they will vote on the largest budget in state history – which includes more than $9 billion in federal dollars. It […]

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Throwback Thursday: Keeping SC lawmakers far, far away from the US Constitution

February 27, 2020

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This week, state House and Senate committees considered legislation calling for an Article V convention to amend the U.S. Constitution. The House Judiciary Committee recalled H.3125 from subcommittee, and a Senate Judiciary subcommittee heard testimony on S.125 before carrying it over to its next meeting. Both of these bills call for a federal constitutional convention […]

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Throwback Thursday: How NOT to sell Santee Cooper

February 20, 2020

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Santee Cooper

Lawmakers have been holding committee meetings all week on the S.C. Department of Administration’s report detailing three different proposals for the future of state-owned utility Santee Cooper: a purchase offer from NextEra, a management offer from Dominion, and an internal reform proposal from Santee Cooper itself. There are serious problems with all three proposals – […]

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Throwback Thursday: Taxpayers’ cost for secret Santee Cooper bids

February 13, 2020

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santee cooper

This week, the S.C. Department of Administration released an official report detailing three different options for the future of state-owned utility Santee Cooper. This report concludes a months-long, closed-door process of collecting and analyzing purchase and management offers, as well as Santee Cooper’s own “reform” proposal. The collection and evaluation of offers were not carried […]

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Throwback Thursday: Why judicial races are usually uncontested

February 6, 2020

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sc supreme court

Yesterday, 17 judges were elected by the Legislature, all of whom were unopposed – at least by the time lawmakers actually held the elections. All but one of these judges were elected by voice votes over audible-but-unrecognized objections, despite the state constitution’s requirement that voice votes can only be used in elections by the Legislature […]

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Throwback Thursday: Charleston airport board’s history of questionable practices

January 30, 2020

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Airplane over runway

This week, the Charleston County Aviation Authority (which oversees the Charleston airport) named a new CEO to replace outgoing CEO Sen. Paul Campbell, who recently announced that he is retiring after his contract ends in June, though he plans to continue in an advisory role through the end of the year. The new CEO, Elliott […]

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Throwback Thursday: Lawmakers ignore legal deadline for joint budget hearings

January 23, 2020

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House-committee-room-e1503690091195

  Monday of this week marked the deadline, as set by state law, for the lawmakers to begin joint, open hearings on the governor’s budget. According to state law, the governor’s draft of the budget is due five days after the beginning of session (the law does not specify whether these are calendar or work […]

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Throwback Thursday: South Carolina’s “Legislative State”

January 16, 2020

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SC Statehouse

As the 2020 legislative session kicks off, it’s important to remember that the General Assembly doesn’t just control the legislative branch of government. Lawmakers also control many of the more important executive functions, and they select the judges who interpret the laws. This structure is often termed “the Legislative State,” though that is not a […]

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Throwback Thursday: Another law or rule won’t stop legislative pork spending

January 9, 2020

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A recent news story reported how lawmakers routinely funnel funding for secret pet projects through the state budget – a nontransparent process where project details are not disclosed in the budget, and instructions for how to spend those dollars are given by legislative staffers only after the budget has passed. As a result, some lawmakers […]

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