Post Tagged with: "Jay Lucas"

Fixing the SC Public Retirement System

December 22, 2015 5:27 AM
Curtis M. Loftis Jr., South Carolina’s treasurer, has pushed to learn more about private equity fees. Credit Dale W. Ferrell for The New York Times

It appears the SC General Assembly is finally realizing major work must be done to save the SC public retirement system.

This realization comes in the aftermath of a SC Legislative Audit Council report on the SC Retirement System Investment Commission (SCRSIC). “The LAC’s report reveals that our retirement and pension system’s longevity is in jeopardy and in need of immediate effective adjustments,” said SC House Speaker Jay Lucas.

What is bothersome is Lucas’ next quote attempting to take credit for discovering the deficiencies within the system: “Without the initiation of this report, we might not know the truly delicate state of South Carolina’s pension system. Although its findings reveal significant flaws and deficiencies, it gives the General Assembly a starting point to offer assistance to the RSIC by helping them institute corrective measures that will put South Carolina’s pension plan on a path to solvency,” Lucas said.

The LAC report called the retirement system “significantly underfunded” and that “it underreported risk” of its investments. It called for improvement in controlling conflicts of interest and pointed out the high fees paid and the low rate of return earned on its investments.

These are exactly the same criticisms SC Treasurer Curtis Loftis has leveled at the SCRSIC since taking office in 2011.

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SC General Assembly and School Funding

October 22, 2015 4:44 AM
Travis Bell Photographers

The SC General Assembly is trying to make a constitutional crisis out of last year’s SC Supreme Court ruling on education funding.

SC House Speaker Jay Lucas and SC Senate President pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman filed a motion earlier this week with the SC Supreme Court requesting reconsideration of the Court’s November 2014 finding.

The finding stated the SC General Assembly was not providing enough funding for the poorer school districts in the state for even the ‘minimally adequate education’ called for by the state Constitution.

The main thrust of the motion was revealed in a press release by Speaker Lucas issued Monday:

“Arbitrary deadlines that seek to hijack the legislative process and meaningless approval from an unrealistic super-panel will not reform South Carolina’s education delivery system. Achieving actual improvement requires extensive study and input from those most familiar with the issues.

“The Court’s attempt to overstep its judicial authority further complicates the lawmaking process. More importantly, it negates the significant progress made by the House Education Task Force over the last ten months. Every child in every part of our state deserves access to a 21st century education. Because we must preserve the diligent work already completed by our task force, we think it is imperative that the Supreme Court vacate their most recent order and remove itself from the legislative process,” said Speaker Lucas.

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Confederate Flag Bill Passes House

July 9, 2015 5:15 AM
Confederate Flag Bill Passes House

The SC House passed second and third readings of the bill to take down the Confederate flag from the statehouse grounds early Thursday morning.

The readings were on a clean bill with no amendments, something that was needed to bring the flag down quickly.

The debate was long, emotional, full of passion and often contentious. Debate started before at approximately 11:30 a.m. and continued past midnight with an afternoon break from approximately 2:15 – 4:30 p.m.

In the end, House members worked their way through delaying tactics to pass both readings by votes well above the two-thirds threshold needed to take the flag down.

Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to sign the legislation before the day is done. The bill calls for the flag to come down within 24 hours of the governor’s signature.

There was a lot of talk about the Confederate flag being a symbol that was hijacked by hate groups. If the flag was, in fact, hijacked that hijacking was first done by Southern politicians who opposed the Civil Rights movement.

That point was made over and over through the long day.

One speaker after another from both sides of the aisle said, “that flag needs to come down.”

But, many attempts to slow down the fast track the bill was on came through attempted amendments.

The SC House initially faced the possibility of dealing with over 60 amendments to the bill that passed the SC Senate.

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Two Road Funding Plans Introduced in S.C. House

February 12, 2015 6:30 AM
Two Road Funding Plans Introduced in S.C. House

As expected, two road funding plans were introduced in the S.C. House yesterday.

Rep. Gary Simrill (R-York) and Chairman of the House Ad Hoc Transportation Committee introduced H.3579, a bill crafted around the recommendations of the study committee.

Rep. Tommy Stringer (R-Greenville) introduced H.3580, a bill that mirrors the gas tax/income tax plan outlined by Gov. Nikki Haley in her State of the State address last month.

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Interesting S.C. House Rule Changes

December 18, 2014 6:21 AM
Interesting S.C. House Rule Changes

A recent organizational meeting of the S.C. House unanimously approved rule changes which could lead to interesting changes in the way that body operates.

Foremost among those changes is creation of a new Legislative Oversight Committee. This new committee will conduct oversight of the activities of all executive and Cabinet level agencies.

Newly elected Speaker Jay Lucas said the committee will allow the House to require true accountability from the many state agencies and spot potential problems before they rise to crisis levels. (Watch out DSS)

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Ethics Reform Sounds Good, but Won’t Happen

October 12, 2014 8:00 AM
Ethics Reform Sounds Good, but Won’t Happen

A S.C. House ad hoc committee on ethics reform held its first meeting last week.

Acting S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas has made ethics reform the number one priority for the General Assembly in the upcoming legislative session beginning January 2015.

Lucas wants pre-filed bills on ethics reform ready to go at the beginning of the session.

Should we get excited and think ethics reform, in this historically ethically challenged state, is near?

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S.C. House to Review & Recommend Changes to How it Operates

September 20, 2014 7:00 AM
S.C. House to Review & Recommend Changes to How it Operates

(Columbia, SC) – Today, House Speaker Pro Tempore Jay Lucas – under his authority as Acting House Speaker – announced the formation of a new Ad Hoc Committee to review and recommend changes on how the House currently operates and manages itself. Comprised of 17 House Members, The House Rules & Procedures Review Committee will examine current practices and rules, hold public meetings, seek input from House Members and the public to identify ways the Legislative Body can be more transparent and accountable.

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Behind the Bobby Harrell Indictment

September 15, 2014 7:00 AM
Behind the Bobby Harrell Indictment

Politics abhors a vacuum and moves began immediately to fill the one left by the suspension of S.C. Speaker of the House Bobby Harrell last week.

Hampered with his nine indictments, Harrell’s political career is probably over. He is on the ballot in November and could be re-elected to his House seat while suspended and awaiting the legal process to go forward. But he cannot assume that seat again unless exonerated and the vote for a Speaker to lea the House in the next legislative session will be long past by then.

In the meantime, it appears Speaker Pro Tempore Jay Lucas, the man filling the Speaker’s position until the organization meeting after the November general election, is in the lead to succeed Harrell as the next Speaker.

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