The SC Supreme Court agreed recently to grant two petitions or original jurisdiction that could have broad ranging consequences for the way the SC General Assembly does business.
Both petitions were filed by upstate activist Ned Sloane and his government watchdog organization South Carolina Public Interest Foundation.
One petition deals with a budget proviso for the current fiscal year. The proviso suspended for one year a sunset clause in a 2007 law that takes away the governor’s authority to appoint the Department of Transportation secretary.
The petition claims the proviso is unconstitutional because it violates Article III, Section 17 of the state constitution which requires that every law shall relate to only one subject. The petition alleges the proviso has nothing to do with the raising and spending of tax revenue.
In 2009, the SC Supreme Court ruled that in the future, a law successfully challenged under the one subject rule would see the entire law ruled unconstitutional.
Therefore, if this proviso is determined by the SC Supreme Court to be unconstitutional, the entire state budget for the current fiscal year could be declared unconstitutional.