Tax relief for hard-working South Carolinians?
Expanded parental choice for kids from all socioeconomic backgrounds?
Not yet …
A cap on government growth that rebates surpluses and savings back to the taxpayers?
Yeah, right …
In lieu of these long-overdue reforms, what is the “Republican”-controlled S.C. General Assembly focusing on this year?
That’s easy: Passing a partisan piece of legislation aimed at enhancing its already-dominant position at the polls …
Of course they can’t even agree on how to do that, with tensions between “GOP” leaders in the S.C. House and Senate reaching a crescendo over a controversial (and yet totally inconsequential) voter ID bill.
This legislation – which aims to put an end to a nonexistent rash of voter fraud in the Palmetto state – would require every South Carolina voter to bring a valid photo ID with them to the polls. The bill would also appropriate nearly $1 million to provide IDs to those who currently do not have them.
Republicans say the bill is necessary. Democrats say it’s discriminatory. Everybody knows it’s all about padding the GOP electoral advantage.
Anyway, the legislation passed the S.C. House on a party line vote in late January. After a marathon debate in late February, the S.C. Senate passed an amended version of the voter ID bill by a 26-15 margin – proving once again that state lawmakers will work overtime if it involves catering to a powerful interest (or their own electoral interests).
“Something happened on the way to heaven,” though … apparently the House didn’t like the Senate’s version of the bill, and so they refused to permit an up-or-down vote on it (which would have sent the legislation to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley’s desk). Instead, they modified the bill again and sent it back across the lobby.
Now, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson’s office has weighed in on the controversy, arguing that one of the provisions of the Senate bill – which exempts voters aged 65 years and over from the photo ID requirement – is unconstitutional.
We’ve been contacted by several lawmakers from both chambers this week urging us to take a position on the “controversy.”
Our position is that both the “Republican”-controlled House and the “Republican”-controlled Senate need to stop dicking around with this silly partisan legislation and get busy on the reforms outlined at the outset of this post.