Post Tagged with: "Holley Ulbrich"

BRACK: New federalism could cause real pain in South Carolina

BRACK: New federalism could cause real pain in South Carolina

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | If you think Washington is a mess these days, consider what could happen in South Carolina if Washington leaders pushed some of their turmoil onto the General Assembly. Can you imagine a scenario in which the mess would be better if Columbia got involved?

For years, conservatives have been pushing a new federalism – a shift of authority from the “big” national government to states. President Donald Trump’s newly-proposed $4 trillion budget is an exercise in new federalism. It calls for drastic cuts in federal programs and shifts of responsibility to states.

by · 05/26/2017 · Andy Brack, Commentary
ULBRICH:  Whatever happened to Home Rule?

ULBRICH: Whatever happened to Home Rule?

By Holley Ulbrich, special to Statehouse Report | Lurking in the shadows of the big issues, pension reform and roads, is a nagging continuing question that arose again in the context of a school district bill for Pickens County.

About six years ago at the request of a group of angry citizens, legislators stripped the Pickens County School Board of its three at-large seats, leaving it with six numbered seats. After numerous citizen protests of this arbitrary action, this year’s General Assembly passed a bill to restore one seat as a numbered seat, making it seven and providing a tie breaker.

ULBRICH: Every vote should matter!

ULBRICH: Every vote should matter!

By Holley Ulbrich, special to Statehouse Report | One lesson from last year’s primary and general election that shouldn’t be lost is that we all would like our vote to matter. So what are the obstacles?

The Electoral College is one, where votes in small states count more than votes in large states enabling a fairly convincing popular vote win to translate into an Electoral College loss. The interminable primary season is another, with a mix of caucuses and primaries with different rules for different parties and different states, even though the winner is supposed to serve the whole country.

by · 01/20/2017 · Commentary, My Turn
NEWS: House grapples to reshape S.C.’s tax pie

NEWS: House grapples to reshape S.C.’s tax pie

By Bill Davis, senior editor | Ideas are percolating on how to reform the South Carolina’s “Frankenstein” tax code within a specially-called bipartisan House committee.

That’s according to chair of the House Tax Policy Review Committee, state Rep. Tommy Pope (R-York), who Speaker Jay Lucas tabbed earlier this year to run a series of off-session meetings to look into how to reform and improve the state’s complicated tax system.

“Our outdated tax code needs a dramatic transformation in order to promote economic competitiveness and increase the size of our citizens’ paychecks,” Lucas said in August. “Achieving this difficult task is long overdue, but necessary to ensure our tax code is fair for our taxpayers.

by · 12/09/2016 · News
ULBRICH:  No ID?  Vote a provisional ballot on June 14

ULBRICH: No ID? Vote a provisional ballot on June 14

By Holley Hewitt Ulbrich | If you have a reasonable impediment to obtaining a photo ID, you may vote a paper provisional ballot after showing your non-photo voter registration card. A reasonable impediment is any valid reason, beyond your control, which created an obstacle to obtaining photo ID. Examples include religious objection to being photographed, disability or illness, work schedule, lack of transportation, lack of birth certificate, family responsibilities or any other obstacle that you find reasonable

by · 06/10/2016 · Commentary, My Turn
MY TURN:  On minimum wages, jobs and productivity

MY TURN: On minimum wages, jobs and productivity

By Holley Ulbrich, contributor | States and cities around the country are raising the minimum wage above the federal level of $7.25, set in 2009. Twenty-nine states already have a minimum wage greater than the federal minimum. Some states and cities are phasing in increases up to $15 an hour over the next few years. Congress has shown no interest, but the issue has come in up in the presidential campaign.

by · 05/13/2016 · Commentary, My Turn
MY TURN:  How to raise the state gas tax

MY TURN: How to raise the state gas tax

By Holley Ulbrich | Gov. Nikki Haley got it two-thirds right this time.

We need to raise the gas tax (her proposed 10 cents is fine), and we need to reform how we set priorities for maintaining and improving our roads and bridges. We may even need to offer a tax break in some other way to offset the burden on individuals who are paying more gasoline tax, although it doesn’t seem to be too pressing at the moment with historically low gas prices. What we don’t need to do is use it as a pretext for a tax break that is slanted toward higher-income families.

by · 01/29/2016 · Commentary, My Turn
BRACK: State’s tax structure needs work, not praise

BRACK: State’s tax structure needs work, not praise

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | The sad thing about a new study of state tax systems is that people are going to believe it when, in fact, it is pretty misleading and relatively pointless.

WalletHub, a website that offers consumer information and tools geared toward personal finance, frequently runs rating studies on everything from credit card debt to financial literacy for states. But some of their work gets a little squishy with studies like on best- and worst-run cities, school systems and active lifestyle communities or reports on happy states and the most and least energy-efficient states.

by · 09/25/2015 · Andy Brack, Commentary