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Governor Must Veto S. 1143

June 9, 2008

by Jeffrey Sewell

It’s time, yet again, to pull out the constitutional rule book for writing legislation and have a review session. It seems that some member s of the legislature have forgotten what the rules actually say.

Case in point is S. 1143, entitled:

“TO AMEND SECTION 12-36-2120, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO EXEMPTIONS FROM THE STATE SALES TAX, SO AS TO INCLUDE THE GROSS PROCEEDS OF SALES OR THE SALES PRICE OF ENERGY EFFICIENT APPLIANCES”

The bill was introduced by Senate Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell in his efforts to encourage South Carolinians to go green. The Senate passed the bill extending a special sales-tax exemption on energy-efficient appliances. A great idea; nothing wrong there.

The House took the bill and amended it to extend sales tax exemptions for handguns, shotgun and rifles during the sales tax holiday weekend. The title of the bill actually does state “Relating to Exemptions from the Sales Tax”, so I’ll give a constitutional wink-and-nod to the folks in the House on that one, even though it is a bit of a stretch.

But when the bill returned to the Senate, an amendment was added that requires oil companies to offer ethanol-free gasoline to gas marketers in the state. This doesn’t sound like a sales tax exemption to me. Nor does it have anything to do with energy efficient appliances. For a little background, this particular amendment stems from a heated debate between oil companies and gas stations over which group gets to blend ethanol with gasoline.

I must say this is exactly the type of amendment that the SC Supreme Court dubbed “bobtailing” and declared unconstitutional. That could very easily be the reason that Sen. McConnell voted against an amendment to his own bill.

S. 1143 now sits on Governor Sanford’s desk where, by Wednesday, June 11, he must sign it, veto it or let it become law without his signature.

From a constitutional standpoint, there is only one option for the Governor to take – veto the bill. Otherwise, the state could end up in litigation that would cost a lot more money than we’re paying at the pump.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Darrell Wallace permalink
    June 9, 2008 9:23 PM

    I hope the Governor will veto this bill. Those little add-ons to a specific bill should be stopped unless the add-on is in cocert with the original bill.
    I personally would like to see a bill in the legislature that would prohibit any foreign add-ons.The bill should entertain only one subject.
    Case in point, a good bill with a foreign add-on would receive a no vote from me even if I agreed with the original bill.

  2. Elizabeth Moultrie permalink
    June 9, 2008 11:26 PM

    As if it will matter. How many did he veteo (for VERY good reason) that the legislature just overrode. Sometimes I wonder why we even have a governor with this legislature in power. We need to replace all of them and keep the governor we’ve got!

  3. Robert M Condon permalink
    June 10, 2008 2:25 AM

    I can’t believe that I am so frustrated with SC congress as well as the US congress. We vote in a Governor and a President that we expect the rest of congress to support and they fight him after the people have voted him in. I will be voting against every congressman who has been in office and not supported the Governor and existing President. Tax payers are tired of the gridlock and failure to get any thing done. I am truely ashamed of congress. Our Governor is the finest man in office and is trying to do what is best for South Carolina, not special interest groups or special areas of the state. Thank God we have him.

  4. Steven permalink
    June 10, 2008 4:29 PM

    You people really have no idea do you. We elected him Governor, not Emperor or King. I have seen the SC legislature try to work with our Governor, and when he doesn’t get excatly what he wants he cries foul and then goes on the attack. I agree a lot with what the Governor wants to do, but there is a way to go about compromising and expressing ideas. In everyday life we have to compromise and give a little to get a little…our Governor won’t do that, it is his way or the highway. Governor Campbell who had a totally democratic legislature managed to get things done and both bodies liked him, Beasley the same (R house and D Senate), and Jim Hodges gets a lottery passed with a Republican house, and soon to be Republican Senate. They did so by not getting everything they asked for…they compromised, took stands where needed, and worked to make SC a better place, not a bunch of hot air to promote his or her personal agenda to Wall St.

Trackbacks

  1. Hotline: Bobtailed Bill Centers On Ethanol Dispute | FITSNews For Now
  2. Welcome To South Carolina | FITSNews For Now
  3. S.C. Supreme Court Blocks Ethanol Add-On | FITSNews For Now

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