House Receives Signed Budget Conference Report
Lawmakers & public given time to scrutinize spending compromise
(Columbia, SC) – Today, the joint House/Senate Budget Conference Committee delivered signed Conference Reports to both legislative bodies. Under the current House rules, this proposed compromise on next year’s spending plan is available for immediate action. However, House Members have agreed to abide by a rule proposed – but not yet adopted – by Rep. Dan Hamilton (District 20 – Greenville) that allows for a more transparent budgeting process.
A key provision of this proposed transparency rule is a 24-hour hold on any action or debate upon the House receiving a signed Budget Conference Report. During this time, the complete Conference Report will be made available to the public online. Therefore, the House will wait until Wednesday before acting on the spending compromise. A majority vote by both bodies is necessary to send the finalized budget to the Governor’s desk.
House Speaker Bobby Harrell issued the following statement about the more transparent budget process:
“This year’s budget debate has produced one of the most open and transparent budgets in our state’s history.
“Making on-the-record votes for each section of the budget state law and allowing more time to study changes made to this year’s plan has helped us craft a more fiscally conservative and responsible budget during these difficult economic times. These newly added transparency measures have increased accountability and given lawmakers – and the public – the time and tools necessary to scrutinize each spending decision so that every taxpayer dollar is spent wisely.
“I commend the entire body – House Republicans, House Democrats and the members of the Black Caucus – for all voluntarily agreeing to this more transparent budget process. Next year, I expect the House to take up Rep. Hamilton’s rule change and make all future budgets much more accountable to the people.”
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****Note: Rep. Dan Hamilton’s proposed budget transparency rule will:
- Require updated budget documents to be made available to the public by being posted online
- Require a 2-day hold on any action or debate when the budget is returned to the House from the Senate
- Require a 1-day hold on any action or debate when a signed Conference Report is delivered to the House
****Note: Other budget transparency measures already in place:
- Require the budget passed by the full W&M Committee to sit on Members desks’ for one legislative week
- Require an on-the-record vote for each section of the budget and final passage of the budget