Tag: S.C.General Assembly

New HOA Legislation Needs Passing

It looks like the S.C. General Assembly may actually be serious about passing legislation to rein in at least the worst excesses of HOAs across the state.

For a number of years, Sen. Darrell Jackson (D-Richland) has been a voice in the wilderness calling for stricter rules governing the actions of HOAs.

However, rising complaints from citizens along the coast and in the upstate have finally made lawmakers sit up and take notice.

Legislative Session Opens Amid Disarray in S.C. Government

The legislative session that opens today in Columbia has every opportunity of demonstrating just how weak and ineffective S.C. Government really is.

Several months ago, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled that S.C. government isn’t doing enough to ensure students in poor, rural school districts receive even the “minimally adequate” education required by the state constitution.

South Carolina has reached a critical juncture where a maintenance plan must be developed to fix its crumbling roads and bridges.

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

S.C. House Road Plan Will Accomplish Nothing

A plan being discussed in the S.C. House to transfer state roads to counties will accomplish nothing in the way of improved maintenance.

Put forward by Rep. Gary Simrill who is chairing the House Transportation, Infrastructure, and Management Ad Hoc Committee, the plan would transfer approximately 50 percent of currently state maintained (or unmaintained as the case may be) roads to county responsibility.

Simrill’s proposal has some talk about fully funding the local government fund and increasing “C” funds, which are a small percentage of state gas tax revenues given back to the counties through County Transportation Committees.

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

S.C. Ridiculous Second Amendment Education Act

One of the most ridiculous prefiled bills for this year’s General Assembly legislative session proposes to establish a Second Amendment Education Day in South Carolina schools.

Sponsored by House representatives Alan Clemmons, Richard Yow and Garry Smith, the bill (H3023), if passed, would establish December 15th of each year as Second Amendment Awareness Day.

It also would require three consecutive weeks of instruction on the Second Amendment each grading year from a curriculum developed or adopted by the National Rifle Association.

Ethics Reform – Not So Fast

Ethics Reform Obstacles in S.C. House

It looks like ethics reform during the upcoming session of the S.C. General Assembly will go down the same black hole as the last couple of years’ efforts.

The main reason being South Carolina legislators really don’t want to reform themselves.

During a meeting of the House Ethics and Freedom of Information Study Committee last week, the mentality of what seems to be the majority of legislators came to the fore.

What seemed a ‘no brainer’ provision of possible ethics reform, eliminating the use of campaign funds for legal defense funds against ethics complaints, appears to run counter to a majority of the committee’s wishes.

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

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)

Bureaucracy to prevail at expense of the taxpayer

S.C. Education Lottery Expenditures

A story making its way around the state is that S.C. Education Lottery scholarships are costing taxpayers money from the state’s general fund budget.

This is one way of looking at expenditures on the LIFE and Palmetto Fellows scholarships, but it’s too simplistic.

The LIFE scholarship pays up to $5,000 per year to qualifying students statewide while the Palmetto Scholars scholarship pays $6,700 for the freshman year and $7,500 for the sophomore through senior years of college matriculation to qualifying students.

Budgets - Cuts, Spending and You

S.C. General Assembly and New Taxes

The S.C. General Assembly will be hearing proposals for new taxes in January and they won’t be coming from Democrats.

It looks like Grover Norquist and his pledge will be forgotten when the S.C. General Assembly convenes in January looking for more money for the state’s crumbling roads and inadequate schools.

Need more funding for road maintenance and repair? Raise the gas tax.

Need more money for schools? Pass a new property tax.

More Freedom of Information in South Carolina?

A S.C. House Ethics and Freedom of Information Act Study Committee will recommend legislation that could make government information more open to request.

The committee is proposing to put a time limit on the production of public documents of between 30-35 days after an FOIA request is agreed to.

However, like everything regarding public information in South Carolina, there is a hitch. After two free hours of work on producing the documents, a public agency would be able to charge the citizen requesting the documents up to $100 per hour for the time needed to fulfill the FOIA request.

S.C. Supreme Court Rules for Poor School Districts

In a split 3-2 decision, the S.C. Supreme Court ruled the state was not providing necessary resources for a “minimally adequate” education in poorer school districts.

The ruling, filed November 12, 2014, ended a 21 year odyssey in a lawsuit initially brought November 2, 1993.

However, in ruling the state failed in meeting its constitutional duty to provide a “minimally adequate” education for all public school students, the court left remedies up to the parties of the lawsuit.