Author Archives: Eric K. Ward

Restructuring Could Face Filibuster in Senate

The S.C. Senate this week is continuing to debate a restructuring bill that goes a long way toward overhauling state government but – to some informed observers – falls short of true, comprehensive reform. How the Senate got to where … Continue reading

Posted in Budget and Control Board | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

More Lawmakers Supporting Independence for Legislative Ethics

A third bill has been introduced to put the kibosh on ethics self-policing in the S.C. General Assembly, and the effort is now bipartisan. Rep. Boyd Brown, D-Fairfield, introduced the latest bill on Jan. 18. The legislation, H. 4634, would … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, General Assembly | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Provisos: Legislators’ Earmarks – and Why They Love Them

Lots of politicians rail against federal earmarks in Congress, but the S.C. General Assembly has its own version of earmarks and many of them represent the very same kind of special-interest, pork-barrel spending. The Legislature’s version of these little gems … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Budget, General Assembly, Transparency | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Senate Faces Choice on Dept. of Administration: True Change or Fig-Leaf Reform

Although myriad ifs, ands or buts could derail it, a full-on elimination of the Budget and Control Board is in the works in the S.C. General Assembly. On Tuesday, the Senate plans to resume debating a bill that would abolish … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Budget and Control Board, General Assembly, State Agencies | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Legislature Flouts Law Requiring Joint Public Hearings on Budget

It looks like the S.C. General Assembly’s two appropriations committees once again are flouting a provision of state law requiring the panels to hold joint public hearings on the state budget. Under Title 11, Chapter 11 of the S.C. Code … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, General Assembly | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

State Loses Money on Film Incentives, Study Says

A new study confirms an old conclusion about state incentives for the film and TV industry: The subsidies are a bad deal for South Carolina taxpayers. “For every $100 spent on (such) rebates, $31 came back in the form of … Continue reading

Posted in Incentives | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

S.C. House Stands Alone in Shadow of Ethics Secrecy

It’s a dubious distinction, to be sure: Members of the S.C. House are the only state or local elected officials in South Carolina who remain wrapped in a cloak of ethics secrecy as this year’s legislative session begins. Last year, … Continue reading

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Signs Point to Legislature Ignoring Law on Budget

South Carolina law requires the governor to submit a recommended state budget to the General Assembly within five days of the legislative session starting, and Gov. Nikki Haley says she will do so. But will the Legislature also follow the … Continue reading

Posted in Budget, General Assembly | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Effort Grows to End Legislative Fox Guarding Ethics Henhouse

Legislation to end the practice of state lawmakers policing themselves in ethics matters is now pending in both chambers of the S.C. General Assembly. Freshman Rep. Kevin Ryan – R-Georgetown and, at 23, perhaps the youngest member of the Legislature … Continue reading

Posted in Ethics, General Assembly | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Senate Panel Considers Nixing, Scaling Back Occupational Regulations

A state Senate panel has been considering deregulating aspects of cosmetology and certain other licensed industries in South Carolina. But if the idea is going to move beyond the deliberation phase, it’s going to take legislative action – and not … Continue reading

Posted in General Assembly, Regulations, State Agencies | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments