By FITSNews || For those of you who are new to this website, we’ve advanced all sorts of ideas over the years to reduce the size and scope of government in South Carolina. For example, two years ago we rolled out a comprehensive reform agenda called the “95 theses” that addressed a wide range of specific policy ideas – including government restructuring, tax reform, academic accountability and yes … transparency (way before transparency was cool).
You can read that collection of ideas for yourself by clicking here.
Anyway, one idea we admit we never thought of has been introduced by two outgoing lawmakers. It’s a bill that would let Palmetto state voters decide if they wanted to do away with the State Senate and make South Carolina a “unicameral” legislative state.
For those of you educated in South Carolina public schools, “unicameral” is Latin for “one chamber,” and refers to a legislative branch of government that is comprised of just one deliberative body.
First, from the legislation:
PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO SECTION 1, ARTICLE III OF THE CONSTITUTION OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1895, RELATING TO THE LEGISLATIVE POWER OF THIS STATE VESTED IN TWO BRANCHES, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE LEGISLATIVE POWER OF THIS STATE SHALL BE VESTED IN A UNICAMERAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY WITH ONE BRANCH STYLED THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO PROVIDE THAT THE POWERS, DUTIES, AND FUNCTIONS OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AS THE SINGLE BRANCH OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY SHALL BE PROVIDED BY LAW; AND PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO SECTIONS 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 20, 22, 23, AND 25, ARTICLE III, AND SECTION 12, ARTICLE IV, SECTION 26, ARTICLE V, SECTION 13, ARTICLE X, SECTION 4, ARTICLE XIII, SECTION 2, ARTICLE XV, AND SECTION 1, ARTICLE XVI OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THIS STATE, AND TO DELETE SECTIONS 6 AND 15, ARTICLE III, AND SECTIONS 9 AND 10, ARTICLE IV, ALL RELATING TO THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND ITS ORGANIZATION, OPERATION, AND PROCEDURES, SO AS TO REMOVE REFERENCES TO THE “SENATE”, “SENATOR”, OR SIMILAR RELATED TERMS.
In a word? Awesome.
The S.C. Senate is not only the biggest waste of valuable oxygen in the history of democratic governance, it’s also irretrievably liberal – no matter which party is in power. In fact, not only should it be done away with, if there was any justice in the world the vast majority of its members would probably be in prison right now.
Seriously, what better way to reduce government than by sending 46 of its biggest spenders home?*
There is currently only one state in America that has a unicameral legislature in place – Nebraska. How’s that working out for them?
Well, Nebraska’s graduation rate is 87 percent – 21 percent higher than South Carolina’s. Nebraska’s SAT scores are more than 300 points higher than South Carolina’s, too, and their ACT score is 2.3 points higher.
Only 9.5 percent of Nebraskans live in poverty, compared to 15 percent of South Carolinians. Also, median income in Nebraska is $5,300 higher and per capita personal income is $6,000 higher. The state’s income tax rates are comparable, but Nebraska’s top rate kicks in at $27,000. South Carolina’s kicks in at just $13,700.
Meanwhile, government spending as a percentage of gross state product is just 30 percent in Nebraska (tenth best in America) compared to 40 percent in South Carolina (tenth worst nationally).
Yeah … looks like things are working out just fine for the Cornhusker state.
*Actually, as far as we can tell there are eight true fiscal conservative in the State Senate. They are Lee Bright, Kevin Bryant, Tom Davis, Larry Grooms, Mick Mulvaney, Greg Ryberg, Phil Shoopman and Danny Verdin.