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Lawsuit Challenges SC “Roads Bill”




A government watchdog based out of Greenville, S.C. is asking the Palmetto State’s Supreme Court to overturn a massive $2.2 billion borrowing bill passed by the S.C. General Assembly earlier this year.

Ned Sloan – who has been a thorn in the side of unaccountable state leaders for decades – filed his latest action before the court earlier this week.

It challenges the constitutionality of the so-called “Roads Bill” – which was passed by the GOP-controlled legislature this spring in lieu of a massive tax hike on gasoline.

According to the suit, the legislation (dubbed “Act 275”) violates the constitutional requirement that “every act … relate to but one subject, and that  shall be expressed in the title.”

Sloan’s suit petitions the court to accept the case in its original jurisdiction and declare the act “null and void” because it pertains to more than one subject.  Specifically, the suit alleges that the law contains structural changes to the S.C. Department of Transportation (SCDOT) that the court has previously ruled are “not reasonably and inherently related to the raising and spending of tax monies.”

Is that true?  Check and check, baby.

Here is a copy of Sloan’s suit …

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(Via S.C. Supreme Court)

This website has previously questioned the constitutionality of this bill – although we argued it violated South Carolina’s constitutional prohibition against incurring debt.

Specifically, according to Article X, Section 12, Subsection 9 of the state constitution (.pdf here), lawmakers can only incur indebtedness for public purposes if such debt “does not involve revenues from any tax.”

This requirement is habitually ignored by lawmakers, though – along with the requirement that the state operate on a balanced budget.

Sloan has been exceedingly successful in the various cases he’s brought against state government over the years – and our guess is the fact that he has initiated a challenge against this law will scare the crap out of state lawmakers.  Also, the court’s history of striking down violations of the “one subject” rule should also provide lawmakers with cause for concern.

(Banner via Sic)