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Throwback Thursday: Advisory board should oversee Santee Cooper sale

June 20, 2019

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santee cooper

Yesterday the Santee Cooper Advisory Board (comprised of five statewide-elected officers including the governor) met for the first time in decades – at least – to execute one of their key statutory roles: the selection of an external auditor for the state-owned utility. The advisory board’s role has been forgotten and neglected for years, with […]

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Throwback Thursday: Gas tax dollars originally aimed at STIB debt, not roads

June 13, 2019

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Layer of broken asphalt road at rural areas.

When lawmakers passed the 12-cent gas tax increase two years ago, they promised that every dime would go to repairing existing roads. Today, most of the gas tax revenue sits unspent while roads continue to crumble – so much so that this week, the SC Policy Council launched Project Road Repair to help citizens get […]

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Throwback Thursday: Anything can happen in a special session

June 6, 2019

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South Carolina Senate

This week, legislative leaders called for a special session later this month, ostensibly to address the governor’s budget vetoes. However, it’s important to note that a special session is an opportunity for lawmakers to do practically anything they want. While technically the General Assembly is limited to only a handful of topics, the first of […]

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Throwback Thursday: Keeping the Governor out of Santee Cooper

May 23, 2019

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santee cooper

The S.C. Senate’s verdict on the best way to sell Santee Cooper could be summed up this way: For this to work, the governor has to stay out of it – and if he doesn’t, lawmakers will vote against whatever position he is pushing. Senators during this week’s special session debated a resolution to solicit […]

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Throwback Thursday: Lawmakers often don’t like recording their votes

May 16, 2019

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Last week, the Senate skipped a legally required roll-call vote for one of the most significant bills of the session – the Panthers incentive legislation. The Senate frequently does this, agreeing by “unanimous consent” to push amendments – and the roll-call vote – to third reading. Trouble is, the law doesn’t say that at some […]

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Throwback Thursday: Transparency for higher ed spending

May 2, 2019

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dollars coat of arms

Remember when we told you last year that lawmakers were pulling $3.7 billion off-budget? Those funds were the “Other Funds” (fines and fees) for South Carolina’s public colleges and universities, and included all tuition revenue. This wasn’t a spending cut: the House simply removed those funds from the budget and added a proviso (which the […]

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Throwback Thursday: Calling for incentive transparency reform

April 25, 2019

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incentive transparency

This week, Sen. Dick Harpootlian called for an audit of the past ten years of economic incentive packages – a monumental task given that there is no system of transparency or accountability for these taxpayer-funded incentive packages. This week’s throwback is a pair of stories – one from eight years ago, detailing this very point: […]

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Throwback Thursday: unrealistic assumptions for economic impact analyses

April 11, 2019

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Panthers economic analysis

This week, the Department of Commerce released its cost-benefit analysis of the proposed taxpayer-funded incentives for the Carolina Panthers. The analysis is all of two pages and contains very little truly helpful information – for instance, only four assumptions are listed: the number of jobs, the payroll amount, the direct investment amount, and the percentage […]

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Throwback Thursday: The forgotten Santee Cooper oversight board

April 4, 2019

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Santee Cooper

This week, the House passed two bills dealing with Santee Cooper: one that creates a legislative oversight committee for the state-owned utility, and one that instructs the Santee Cooper joint study committee to oversee the process of selling it. The problem with both bills? That neither oversight nor the selling process is the role of […]

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Throwback Thursday: Personal information shared by government agencies

March 28, 2019

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A WCSC article published yesterday reported that the Department of Motor Vehicles routinely sells personal information (such as driver’s license numbers, addresses, phone numbers, crash reports, traffic tickets and current license statuses) to nearly anyone –  from bulk data companies to lawyers. As disturbing as this is, the DMV is not the only government entity […]

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