Shhhhh! South Carolina lawmakers like to keep budget hearings a secret

By Dillon Jones | The Nerve

It’s no secret that South Carolina lawmakers like to, well, keep things secret. They’ve long resisted attempts to require the disclosure of their private income; they’ve fought hard to maintain their power to police their own conduct; and they’ve steadfastly resisted any attempt to delete their exemption from the Freedom of Information Act.

They just like keeping things in the dark.

But the most blatant example of keeping the public in the dark is their annual refusal to follow the state law requiring joint open hearings on the governor’s budget. Each year, South Carolina legislators ignore the state law requiring them to hold joint open hearings on the budget. The law is intended to give the public some idea of what the total state budget looks like when lawmakers begin debating it in January. What lawmakers follow instead is a fractured process that keeps the budget, for all practical purposes, a secret.

at The Nerve.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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