GRANITEVILLE, S.C. — A bipartisan group of six state senators has an important job.
“Primarily on good budgeting, sound budgeting practices for the state. Hopefully, we can propose some good reform measures, and we can get it out to the full Senate to have a debate on early in the session,” said Republican Senator Shane Massey (R – Edgefield).
He’s been chosen to serve on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Fiscal Fitness Subcommittee. He says Governor Nikki Haley promised belts would be tightened across state government, but he says last session was a bit of a fluke from that policy.
“Governor’s budgets can low-ball it and look like they’re saving money, and then they turn around and back the trucks up at the Budget and Control Board and get the hand-outs on the deficit to balance their books. It is an irresponsible way, and I think it is unconstitutional,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell (R – Charleston).
He hopes he, Massey, and the other senators will help send multiple pieces of legislation to the full committee and then the General Assembly floor.
“We’re going to move forward with permanent legislation to stop the practice of the deficit,” he told News 12.
He says even though South Carolina has to balance its budget each year by law, there are plenty of loopholes. Just last year, he says the Department of Health and Human Services ran a quarter of a billion dollar deficit.
“That was a quarter of a billion dollars we didn’t have to put into education or to put into the highway patrol,” said Senator Massey.
But now, the six senators hope to be the ‘highway patrol’ of bad fiscal policy. They say reforming the Budget and Control Board will be one step. They believe any increase in state spending constitutionally should come from the General Assembly, not the BCB.
Governor Haley is one of the five members on that board. Besides a deficit prevention act, the subcommittee also wants spending caps, a taxpayer fairness act, spending and fiscal reform, a trust fund protection act, and regulatory reform.
Courtesy of WRDW-TV