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SC: The Legislative (Meddling) State

State lawmakers are looking to expand their “Mo Money, Mo Problems” approach to governing …

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SOUTH CAROLINA’S GENERAL ASSEMBLY CAN’T KEEP ITS TENTACLES OUT OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR, LOCAL DISPUTES

It’s going to be an interesting day in the South Carolina General Assembly …

In the S.C. House of Representatives, lawmakers will decide whether to concur with a State Senate bill that sets utility rates for much of the Palmetto State.  That battle – which we chronicled extensively in this post – is the latest move by legislators to try and undo the damage done the last time they set utility rates.

You know, #NukeGate.

Will there be any education in the second kick of this particular mule?  Doubtful … especially if lawmakers are successful at killing off a proposed $14.6 billion private sector transaction that could (partially anyway) extricate our state from this morass.

Meanwhile in the Senate, lawmakers will debate legislation aimed at short-circuiting a lawsuit over the Greenville Health System (GHS) – which is currently attempting to deprive taxpayers of money they have invested in it over the years.

A private sector transaction.  A lawsuit involving county taxpayers and a hospital system they’ve funded to the tune of millions of dollars.

What does the state legislature have to do with either of these things?

Ideally, nothing …

Neither of these issues should have a damn thing to do with state government.

But this is South Carolina.

And in South Carolina, the state legislature is omnipotent.

Except it’s not so much the S.C. General Assembly that’s omnipotent as it is a handful of legislative leaders – S.C. Senate president (and finance committee chairman) Hugh Leatherman, S.C. speaker of the House Jay Lucas, House ways and means committee chairman Brian White, Senate judiciary committee chairman Luke Rankin, House judiciary committee chairman Greg Delleney, Senate majority leader Shane Massey, House majority leader Gary Simrill, Senate minority leader Nikki Setzler and House minority leader Todd Rutherford.

These nine leaders – and another dozen or so influential legislators – essentially control the state.

That’s right … less than two dozen people run South Carolina.

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Now … if these two dozen or so individuals were running the state effectively and efficiently, that would be one thing.  But they’re not.

They’re not even coming close …

As we’ve pointed out on innumerable prior occasions, South Carolina is notorious for spending more of your tax money on steadily worsening outcomes.  We call it the “Mo Money, Mo Problems” approach to governing – and it’s been the law of the land here in the Palmetto State ever since the end of the War Between the States.

First it was the hallmark of Democratic control of the state, now it’s the hallmark of “Republican” rule as well.

And it’s been ramped up considerably over the last few years (see here and here).

With #NukeGate, though, it’s getting worse.  Same with the Greenville Health fiasco.

By extending its tentacles into private sector transactions and legal disputes between local citizens and municipal government entities, the legislature (i.e. its dozen or so leaders) is expanding its ability to screw up our state.

The more it touches, the more it messes up … and the less taxpayers will have left in their pockets when it’s all said and done with.

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WANNA SOUND OFF?

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