Feb 18 2012
I personally agree with many of the positions submitted by the SC Policy Council, and we got some, but not all. The Department of Administration bill now goes back to the SC House for either amendments, non-concur with the Senate (sending it to conference committee), or concur (sending it to Gov. Haley’s desk). My guess would be for the House to further amend the bill, hopefully, in a positive direction.
Yesterday the Senate passed what many are calling the most significant restructuring plan this state has seen in decades. By a vote of 44-0, the South Carolina Senate passed H.3066 – a bill creating a Department of Administration and dissolving the anomaly that was the state Budget and Control Board.
Unfortunately – and despite all the claims of victory from elected officials – very little has changed. So, what happened?
Earlier this month, senators adopted a comprehensive amendment full of diffused accountability and legislative power grabs. Subsequently, scores of amendments were introduced – some of which would have improved the legislation, but some that would have made things worse.
SCPC analyzed the original amendment and concluded it did little more than maintain the status quo. Citizens made it clear they didn’t want half-measures, and several amendments were introduced that would have implemented SCPC’s recommendations to fully divide power and bring real reform to South Carolina’s government. However, the President Pro Tempore raised a point of order on these amendments that had not been raised on two previous amendments violating the same rule the real reform amendments were said to be violating. Those amendments passed and still stand in the legislation today.
Ultimately, lawmakers chose not to restore power to the citizens of South Carolina, but to diffuse accountability, shuffle a few agencies around, and preserve – or expand – their power. Here’s what months of debate and legislative decision-making delivered in place of real reform. read on