South Carolina

  • In The News
  • Background
  • Issues
  • Solutions
  • Pensions
  • Commentary
    • Headlines

      Pace of pension reform ebbs after 49 states change laws

      Hazel Bradford | by Pensions & Investments | April 15, 2014

      While the sense of urgency has diminished, reform attempts have become a legislative staple, as public retirement systems continue to grapple with unfunded liabilities and political pressure to change.

    • Headlines

      State government dependence on federal funding growing at alarming rate

      The Washington Examiner | by David Freddoso | April 15, 2014

      This trend of increased state dependency on Washington reduces state and local control, while threatening the states' long-run autonomy.

    • Headlines

      Rich States, Poor States

      ALEC | by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore and Jonathan Williams | April 15, 2014

      Using years of economic data and empirical evidence from each state, the authors identify which policies can lead a state to economic prosperity. Rich States, Poor States not only identifies these policies but also makes sound research-based conclusions about which states are poised to achieve greater economic prosperity and those that are stuck on the path to a lackluster economy.

    • Headlines

      Rebounding economy fills state coffers with record tax revenues

      Washington Post - GovBeat | by Reid Wilson | April 10, 2014

      State governments collected more than $846 billion in tax revenue in the last fiscal year, the highest amount ever reported, as a rebounding economy boosted coffers hit hard by the recession.

    • Headlines

      Pew's latest pension report understates unfunded liabilities, but still shows growing pension problem

      by Cory Eucalitto | April 4, 2014

      While Pew's report relies directly on state-reported numbers that understate the size of unfunded liabilities, it nonetheless shows tremendous growth in unfunded liabilities since 2008.

    • Budget timeline: Annual 

      Fiscal Year starts: July 1

      The current state budget can be found here.

      Find the legislative session calendar here.

      Find the current legislative leaders here.

      SC Gov. Haley

      Gov. Nikki Haley
      Office of Governor Nikki Haley
      P.O. Box 12267
      Columbia, SC 29211
      Phone: (803) 734-2100
      Fax: (803) 734-5167






      Les Boles, Director
      Office of State Budget
      1122 Lady Street, 12th Floor
      Columbia, South Carolina 29201
      Phone (803) 734-2280
      Fax (803) 734-0645


      Want a more robust, long-term look at your state's fiscal health, beyond the budget? There are two parts: Click here for the FY2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report compiled by the state government, and click here for information on the state's pension liabilities.


      South Carolina is required to pass a "balanced budget." Article 10, Section 7(a) of the 1895 Constitution requires a "budget process to insure that annual expenditures of state government may not exceed annual state revenue." In addition, Section 11-11-345 of the State law requires that if the year-end GAAP audit shows a deficit, any appropriation of surplus funds is suspended, and is used to offset the deficit. Regardless of these requirements, the State reported budget deficits (negative net transactions) on its Budgetary Comparison Schedule for the three years reviewed. South Carolina law forbids the carrying over of a deficit from one year to the next.


      Governmental funds include the General Fund, several (nine plus a tenth aggregated fund) Special Revenue funds, a Capital Projects Fund, and two Permanent funds. State law does not precisely define the State's basis of budgeting. In practice, however, it is the cash basis with some exceptions that are explained in Note 4 to the Required Supplementary Information-Budgetary. As seen in the State's data sheet, budgeted and actual revenues are reasonably in sync. The same cannot be said about expenditures. The State budgets the General Fund and Other Budgeted Funds. The State's CAFR does not reveal what funds are included in "Other Budgeted Funds."  [from the Institute for Truth in Accounting]


      Find the state's bond ratings here.


      SC policy logo

    • Solutions

      How Reality-Based Budgeting Can Permanently Resolve State Budget Gaps

      State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | November 7, 2012

      State Budget Solutions recommends that state legislators take action in 2013 to resolve the serious state financial crises by changing their focus from inputs to outcomes by redesigning budgets from the ground up based on priorities and performance.

    • Solutions

      How to Prevent Future Pension Crises

      by Cory Eucalitto | November 1, 2012

      The time for state and local governments to offer defined contribution retirement plans that protect both taxpayer dollars and public employee retirement security is now.

    • Solutions

      State Lawmakerís Guide to Evaluating Medicaid Expansion Projections

      The Heritage Foundation | by Edmund F. Haislmaier and Drew Gonshorowski | October 17, 2012

      Supporters of Obamacare claim that expanding Medicaid will entail little to no cost to state governments, since the federal government will fund the vast majority of the additional costs. Indeed, some analyses project states achieving savings from adopting the expansion. However, state lawmakers should be wary of accepting such analyses at face value.

    • Solutions

      Medicaid Is BrokenóLet the States Fix It

      The Wall Street Journal | by Paul Howard and Russell Sykes | October 15, 2012

      Block-granting Medicaid is the best way to deliver better, cost-effective care to the most vulnerable Americans.

    • Solutions

      The Case for Reform: Prisons

      Right on Crime | August 1, 2012

      Prisons are supremely important, but they are also a supremely expensive government program, and thus prison systems must be held to the highest standards of accountability.