During 2019-2020, LWVSC advocated for H.4203 and H.3045 – These bills required disclosure of donors to organizations that engage in electioneering. In 2019 these bills received a subcommittee hearing and testimony was given. Unfortunately, these bills died and were never debated in full House Judiciary Committee.
Regulatory Reform re Utiliies
The need for reform of utility regulation became apparent with the failure of the V. C. Summer Nuclear Plant, which had been overseen with a blind eye through regulatory capture at the legislative and agency (Public Service Commission, Office of Regulatory Staff, Public Service Authority) levels. South Carolina’s government regulation of utilities was neither accountable or transparent, as called for by League positions. Years of intensive lobbying by utility interests as well as poor mission definition and lack of accountability measures for oversight agencies led to passage of the catastrophic Base Load Review Act, which gave ORS and the PSC no recourse but to approve repeated rate hikes for a failed project.
LWVSC supports positions that ensure accountability of public officials through:
1. Appointments by the executive and legislative branches of state government that:
a. Are based on qualifications for the specific appointment.
b. Ensure representative government by including people of different races, sexes, and ages.
c. Are free from financial or professional conflicts of interest.
2. Stronger lobbying rules to prevent former legislators from lobbying on the floor.
3. Prohibiting former legislators from serving as paid lobbyists in the legislature for a period of two years after they leave office.
4. Restricting legislators from practicing before boards and commissions which are appointed and/or funded and/or regulated by the General Assembly.
5. Full disclosure of retainers by legislators.
6. An audit process that includes the following:
a. An independent state agency that audits state government programs.
b. Retaining the Legislative Audit Council under the jurisdiction of the General Assembly.
c. Audit of state government programs by request of the legislature, randomly and periodically, and/or in response to special need in order to determine efficiency/cost effectiveness, compliance with state and federal statutes and regulations, how programs compare to similar programs in other states, customer/citizen satisfaction/politeness, equity (treating all citizens equally), and results.
d. Compliance review for audited agencies and programs by the Governor’s Office since restructuring has placed more agency accountability under executive control.
7. The use of qualified administrative law judges, selected by the Legislature, to review agency decisions.