Post Tagged with: "Tom Davis"

NEWS: Incomes improve in S.C., but prosperity elusive, experts say

NEWS: Incomes improve in S.C., but prosperity elusive, experts say

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  The median household income in South Carolina is on the rise but policy experts say there is more the state can do to help make prosperity more accessible to its residents.  Many are just one paycheck or a medical event away from not being able to pay bills.

“There are lots of folks who are absolutely struggling in the state,” said Sue Berkowitz, director of S.C. Appleseed Legal Justice Center, which advocates for the state’s low-income earners.

According to a new report from the Census Bureau, South Carolina’s 2016 median household income was $49,501, which is about $2,000 more than the previous year.  More than 40 percent of S.C. family households earn less than $49,999 per year, the Census said.  But experts say …

by · 09/22/2017 · News
NEWS: House tax review committee receiving little love

NEWS: House tax review committee receiving little love

News analysis by Bill Davis, senior editor | Few realistically expect much of value or use to emerge from the special bipartisan House Tax Policy Review Committee that state Rep. Tommy Pope (R-York) is leading. But then again, unexpected things have happened in recent years at the Statehouse, which now no longer sports the Confederate flag on its dome or grounds.

Last fall, House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) tapped Pope to lead 11 other House members in an expansive review of how the state taxes its citizens.

Five years ago, Pope served on a House Republican Caucus tax review committee that was led by state Rep. Tommy Stringer (R-Greer). Stringer’s Republicans-only committee looked solely into the state’s massive sales tax exemptions, while Pope’s committee includes Democrats and is looking at sales, property and income tax in South Carolina.

by · 06/09/2017 · News
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
NEWS: Relaxing rules on nurse practitioners could cut health costs, advocates say

NEWS: Relaxing rules on nurse practitioners could cut health costs, advocates say

By Lindsay Street, contributing writer | Giving more autonomy to nurse practitioners will help cut health care costs and improve access to health care, particularly in rural areas, say proponents of a Senate bill pushing for changes. Others say it’s just not that simple.

In South Carolina, nurse practitioners are licensed primary care professionals who operate under the supervision of a medical doctor. The new legislation, S.C. Senate bill 345, would still require a doctor’s supervision of a nurse’s practice, but would allow doctors to supervise more than three nurse practitioners at a time, remove a geographical radius tied to the doctor’s location and allow nurse practitioners to prescribe drugs. The legislation would expand autonomy of certified nurse midwives as well.

by · 03/03/2017 · News
NEWS: New push for medical pot

NEWS: New push for medical pot

By Lindsay Street, contributing writer | The state’s leading Republican proponent for medical marijuana will start the new legislative session Tuesday by introducing a sweeping bill that would allow people to possess or consume the drug when authorized by a South Carolina doctor.

S.C. Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, said his new proposal, which borrows heavily from states with successful medical marijuana programs, has bipartisan support and have a dozen of cosponsors.

Late last year, a Winthrop Poll for The State newspaper found that 78 percent of respondents support legalizing medical marijuana.

“I can’t think of any issue that enjoys that overwhelming support,” Davis told Statehouse Report in an exclusive interview.

by · 01/06/2017 · News
BRACK:  Political cockfighting starts over next year’s budget

BRACK: Political cockfighting starts over next year’s budget

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | Political positioning has already started for next year’s state budget, not that you should be surprised.

The culprits are two big numbers causing some confusion before the debate even begins.

About a week ago, the state Board of Economic Advisors projected South Carolina lawmakers would have about $440 million in new revenues for the 2017-18 budget. It’s not the $1.2 billion they had to craft the current budget, but it’s not small potatoes either. The lower number — which would have been a dream come true during the Great Recession a few years ago — reflects a slowing economy, perhaps. But it’s important to note this: The economy is still growing.

And then earlier this week, Gov. Nikki Haley issued a grand pronouncement that caused head scratching in light of the growth: It’s time to consider budget cuts, she said.

by · 09/02/2016 · Andy Brack, Commentary
NEWS:  Haley’s Pyrrhic senatorial victory

NEWS: Haley’s Pyrrhic senatorial victory

News analysis by Bill Davis | Gov. Nikki Haley may have won the battle getting former state Sen. Wes Hayes (R-Rock Hill) out of the Senate, but now a lame duck, she may have lost the war with that chamber.

But she may have better defined who will run for governor in two years.

In Tuesday’s primary in Rock HIll, 25-year Senate veteran Hayes lost by a scant 4 percent to 32-year-old Wes Climer, a former York County GOP chairman.

Earlier this spring, Haley went on the offensive against the “oldest boys network” in the Senate, endorsing Climer. She also backed unsuccessful Republican primary opponents of Senate President Pro Tempore Hugh Leatherman of Florence and Luke Rankin of Conway.

by · 06/17/2016 · News
The new conventional wisdom on Medicaid expansion: More time needed

The new conventional wisdom on Medicaid expansion: More time needed

By Bill Davis, senior editor | Looks like “conventional wisdom” was wrong, or at least delayed, when it came to health care in South Carolina.

In 2014, conventional wisdom held that when Gov. Nikki Haley led South Carolina to “opt out” of Medicaid expansion funded through Obamacare, it was merely a political move. Some health care advocates hoped that after a few years, the state would buy-in to expansion because of billions of dollars offered by the federal government.

Two years down the line, there has been little movement in state government to expand the state health care program, despite a vexing “coverage” gap between Obamacare and the state’s program that left tens of thousands without the real possibility of health insurance.

by · 04/15/2016 · News