Post Tagged with: "S.C. House"

S.C. Senate Committee Hearing on Roads

March 24, 2015 5:00 AM
S.C. Senate Committee Hearing on Roads

The S.C. Senate Finance Committee will hold a meeting March 24th on a roads bill sponsored by committee member Sen. Ray Cleary.

The bill, S.523, proposes increase a number of taxes and fees to pay for the road maintenance while also proposing to force counties to take control of approximately 50 percent of the roads currently maintained by SCDOT.

As with a bill currently making its way through the S.C. House, Cleary’s bill proposes to disband current County Transportation Committees and re-establish them with a new procedure for appointing members.

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S.C. General Assembly Continues Funding Attacks

March 22, 2015 5:00 AM
S.C. General Assembly Continues Funding Attacks

The S.C. General Assembly continues to move forward with impunity on bills that will cause funding problems for local governments around the state.

H.3374, which deals with the local government fund, has already passed the House and lies in the Senate Finance Committee awaiting action.

The local government fund, now proposed to be renamed the Local Government Revenue Sharing Fund, ostensibly returns a portion of state revenue to counties to help pay for state mandated offices. These include courts, solicitors, magistrates, public defenders, election commission, DSS, county health departments and the like.

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Punishing Citizens for FOIA Requests

March 18, 2015 6:00 AM
Punishing Citizens for FOIA Requests

The S.C. House has possibly outdone even itself with a bill that would punish citizens for making FOIA requests.

H.3191 is this beauty and it has already passed from the House to the Senate in its progress to becoming law.

Provisions in the law would allow public agencies to take legal action against citizens who make “overly broad” or “unduly burdensome” requests for public records.

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S.C. General Assembly Continues Assault on Local Governments

March 8, 2015 8:00 AM
S.C. General Assembly Continues Assault on Local Governments

This legislative session could go down in history as the one during which the S.C. General Assembly broke the banks of local governments.

The S.C. House passed H.3374 last week, permanently cutting the local government fund and removing any formula for its calculation in the future.

The LGF, or Local Government Revenue Sharing Fund as it will be called in the future, will be funded over the next two years at the same level it is funded in the current fiscal year budget, or approximately 30% below the level of funding required by state statute.

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S.C. House to Vote on Local Government Fund

March 3, 2015 8:00 AM
S.C. House to Vote on Local Government Fund

The S.C. House will vote on H.3374 this week, a bill that would severely restrict revenue for the local government fund.

State law, passed in 1991, requires the S.C. General Assembly to return 4.5% of last year’s state general fund revenue to local governments.

However, in many budget years, the S.C. General Assembly has passed a one-year exception to the law allowing it to send back to local governments less than the mandated 4.5%.

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S.C. House Ethics Reform Bill Discourages Ethics Complaints

February 26, 2015 8:00 AM
S.C. House Ethics Reform Bill Discourages Ethics Complaints

An Ethics Reform Bill, which flew through the S.C. House with only one dissenting vote in three readings, appears designed to discourage the filing of ethics complaints.

H. 3184 could put citizens at substantial risk, possibly facing both criminal and civil charges, depending on the whim of a newly constituted State Ethics Commission.

Called the Ethics Reform Act, the devil is again in the details of the legislation. The bill creates a new State Ethics Commission and ultimately grants investigation of ethics complaints against House or Senate members to that new body.

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S.C. House Intent on Road Transfer to Counties

February 24, 2015 7:00 AM
S.C. House Intent on Road Transfer to Counties

It appears the S.C. House is fully intent on dumping approximately 50% of the current state road network onto the backs of the counties.

Reading into H.3579, the bill that has the most support among S.C. House members, the intent becomes quite apparent.

While it has been said repeatedly in the media that counties would have the option to accept the roads from the state, this isn’t quite true.

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S.C. Senate Effectively Kills Ethics Reform

February 16, 2015 9:00 AM
S.C. Senate Effectively Kills Ethics Reform

Ethics reform took a big hit in the S.C. Senate last week when senators voted to essentially keep ethics investigations in-house.

A bill (S.1) that would have allowed investigations of ethics complaints against members of the S.C. General Assembly to be investigated by a reconstituted S.C. Ethics Commission failed to get enough support to move forward.

Sen. Luke Rankin, Chairman of the Senate Ethics Committee, offered an amendment that would have established a panel consisting of a majority of legislators and a few members of the public (for window dressing) instead of the independent panel advocated in the bill’s original language.

After a long debate, senators voted down the ethics reform bill authored by Sen. Larry Martin, R-Pickens. In a touch of irony, Martin voted against his much changed bill in the final vote.

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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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Road Funding Plans Due in S.C. General Assembly Today

February 11, 2015 8:00 AM
Road Funding Plans Due in S.C. General Assembly Today

Competing road funding plans are expected to be introduced in the S.C. General Assembly today.

The plans, authored by a S.C. House ad hoc committee and by Gov. Nikki Haley, respectively, each attempt to address fixes for South Carolina’s crumbling road infrastructure.

The main difference in the plans is funding mechanisms. Haley’s plan calls for a 10 cent rise in the state gas tax spread over three years, while calling for a 2 percent reduction in state income tax over 10 years.

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