2009 SC Legislative Wrap-up (BUDGET & SPENDING)

South Carolina Expectation Advisory

In December and January the Voice posted summaries of legislation introduced in the South Carolina State Legislature.

Here, seven months later, is an overview of the status of those and other bills relating to the budget and state spending practices.

(Also look for upcoming reviews of K-12 Education bills, Charter School bills, and Tax bills):

S. 2 Remove and replace state spending cap

This legislation revises this limit by imposing an annual limit on the appropriation of state general fund revenues by adjusting such revenues by a rolling ten-year average in annual changes in general fund revenues and the creation of a separate budget stabilization fund in the state treasury to which must be credited all general fund revenues in excess of the annual limit. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 72 State agencies and institutions justify dollars from any source

This legislation provides that all state agencies, departments, colleges, universities, institutions, and entities shall report to the general assembly and to the governor on January 15th and July 15th of each year the justification of the dollars from any source that are received by them, and how these dollars are used to provide services to the citizens of the state, and to provide for the administration of and exceptions to this provision. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 130 Requires budget to have narrative

This legislation requires the Governor’s annual budget recommendation and the reports of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on the annual General Appropriations Act to be in a programmatic format by providing a narrative description of each separate program administered by a state agency and providing the elements that must be included in the narrative. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 138 Office of the State Inspector General

This legislation creates the Office of the State Inspector General and authorizes the position to address fraud, waste, abuse and wrongdoing within the SC executive government agencies and provides for the removal of the State Inspector General by the Governor. The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 147 SC General Obligation Bond Fiscal Responsibility Act

This legislation details the limitation and authorization of State capital improvement bonds and provides for their enactment. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 171 Local Economic Stimulus Grants Program

This legislation abolishes competitive grants program within the Budget and Control Board and creates the Local Economic Stimulus Grants Program and provides the program is governed by the Grants Review Committee and provides for its membership. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 219 Revises BEA forecasting requirements

This legislation provides that the final revenue forecast produced by the Board of Economic Advisors is limited to a three percent increase over the previous year’s final forecast and that half of any revenue collected in excess of the final forecast must be credited to the State Budget Surplus Tax Relief Fund (created by this legislation) and half of the revenue collected in excess of the final forecast must be credited to the Department of Transportation State Nonfederal Aid Highway Fund. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 221 Truth In Spending Act

This legislation enacts the SC Truth In Spending Act and requires agencies to keep on-line transaction register and post on-line credit card statements. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 229 Truth In Spending Act

This legislation enacts the SC Truth In Spending Act and requires agencies to keep on-line transaction register and post on-line credit card statements. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 239 Earmark Disclosure Act

This legislation enacts the Appropriations Bill Earmark Disclosure Act, to provide requirements for the disclosure of information surrounding earmarks requested by members of the General Assembly for inclusion in an appropriations bill. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 335 Public funds to pay for lobbyist

This legislation prohibits the use of public funds to employ or contract with a person whose activities include those related to lobbying and provides for exceptions. The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee and did not receive any further action.

S. 431 South Carolina Economic Development Research Committee

This Joint Resolution creates a study committee to be known as the SC Economic Development Research Committee to examine and develop innovative solutions to the economic crisis faced by this State. The bill was referred to the Senate L.C.I. Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 577 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

This Concurrent Resolution provides that pursuant to HR-1 of 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the General Assembly accepts the use of federal stimulus funds provided to SC in this act if the Governor of SC, within the required 45 day period, fails to certify that he will request and use these funds for this State and the agencies and entities thereof in the manner provided in the federal act, and to provide for the manner of distribution of these funds. The bill was adopted by both the Senate and the House.

S. 658 South Carolina Fiscal Accountability Act

This legislation enacts the SC Fiscal Accountability Act which creates a division within the Legislative Audit Council to conduct evaluations of programs of certain State agencies and departments to determine if these program have outlived their usefulness or must be changed to address the priorities and needs of the citizens they affect and to apply “zero-based” budgeting principles to the appropriations bill. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

S. 663 State fiscal stabilization funds

This Concurrent Resolution expresses the belief of the General Assembly that should the State accept the Stimulus Fund then the conditions imposed by Congress only last during the period those funds are expended. The bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3037 Constitutional amendment – Budget Stabilization Fund

This Joint Resolution proposes to amend of the SC Constitution by eliminating the existing state spending limitations and replacing them with new limitations which provide that the State General Fund appropriations for a fiscal year may not exceed such appropriations for the prior year increased by the average annual growth rate in state general fund revenues over the preceding ten years. The legislation establishes the Budget Stabilization Fund to receive general fund revenues in excess of the annual general fund appropriations limit. Revenues in the fund must be used for budget stabilization and for declared emergencies. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3043 Ban agency lobbyists

This legislation prohibits the use of public funds to employ or contract with a person whose activities include those related to lobbying. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3045 Ban state agency lobbyists

This legislation prohibits the use of appropriated funds to employ or contract with a person whose activities include those related to lobbying. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3057 Ban state agency lobbyists with exceptions

This legislation provides that it is unlawful for a State agency, authority, or department to directly or indirectly hire or retain an independent contractor as a lobbyist. These provisions do not include foundations established by State-sponsored universities or institutions of higher education which do not receive appropriated funds on an annual basis. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3077 Ban state agency lobbyists

This legislation prohibits the use of public funds to employ or contract with a person whose activities include those related to lobbying. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3192 SC Sunset Commission

This bill establishes the SC Sunset Commission and a Sunset Review Division of the Legislative Audit Council. The bill outlines procedures by in which the programs of certain agencies and departments of State government must be evaluated to determine if they should be continued in existence, modified, or terminated. The bill was referred to the House Judiciary Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3312 Termination of the SC Community Economic Development Act

This legislation authorizes an extension of the South Carolina Community Economic Development Act by providing that the provisions of the act terminate on June 30, 2015, instead of June 30, 2010. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3396 Increase in Reserve Fund requirement

This Joint Resolution proposes to amend the SC Constitution by increasing from three to five percent the amount of state general fund revenue in the latest completed fiscal year required to be held in the General Reserve Fund. The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3397 General Fund growth cap

This legislation provides that the limit on general fund appropriations for a fiscal year is the total amount of the general fund revenue estimate as of February fifteenth for fiscal year 2009-2010, increased annually and cumulatively by the lesser of six percent or a percentage determined by population increases and increases in the Consumer Price Index. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3533 Spending limits

This legislation reenacts provisions of the “Carnell-Felder” spending limit, limiting annual general fund appropriations by the General Assembly to the lesser of general fund revenues for the upcoming fiscal year as estimated by the Board of Economic Advisors or actual general fund revenues for the current fiscal year increased by an amount equal to seventy-five percent of the amount that the estimate for the upcoming fiscal year exceeds current year general fund revenues. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3540 South Carolina Truth In Spending Act

This bill enacts the South Carolina Truth in Spending Act and provides that each agency, department, and institution of state government and each local governmental entity must maintain a detailed transaction register of all funds expended each month and post that register online. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3560 2009-2010 Budget bill

This legislation is the General Appropriations Bill for Fiscal Year 2009-2010. The Governor’s vetoes have been taken up by the General Assembly and now the Governor has accepted the funds.

H. 3561 2009-2010 Supplemental budget bill

This legislation is the supplemental appropriations bill for fiscal year 2009-2010. Debate was adjourned on this bill by the House.

H. 3610 Budget spending cap

This legislation provides that beginning July 1, 2010, State General Fund appropriations as contained in the annual general appropriations act combined with any other general fund appropriations in supplemental or other appropriations acts for the fiscal year may not exceed, in the aggregate, the state general fund revenue collections from the previous fiscal year. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

H. 3963 Local match to be calculated in owner-occupied property

This legislation establishes a twenty-first century foundation program to provide for comprehensive revisions to the state’s funding of public education. The bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee and did not receive any further action.

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