One morning last month, I ran into Nikki Setzler at the Cap City Club, and asked him what was happening over in the Senate that day.
One of the things he mentioned in answering me was that they’d be working on “DOA.” I asked what that was, since to me that meant “Dead on Arrival.” He said it was the Department of Administration bill, which would replace the Budget and Control Board with an actual executive agency answering to the governor.
As acronyms go, that one was appropriate, since the proposal has indeed been DOA in the Senate, year after year.
But now, only five years after Vincent Sheheen introduced the proposal in the Senate, and a full 21 years after we started pushing hard to get rid of the B&CB at The State, senators have sent a bill to the House. This is from a release from the Senate GOP caucus:
On Thursday, the Department of Administration bill was passed. The bill will eliminate the powerful state Budget and Control Board and create a Department of Administration answering directly to the governor. The bill will also create a State Fiscal Accountability Authority made up of the Governor, Comptroller General, Treasurer, Ways and Means Chairman, and Senate Finance Chairman. Deficit Recognition will now be handled by the General Assembly, when in session, and a new Legislative Services Agency will now be responsible for all fiscal and revenue impact statements. In addition, the bill will create a Rural Infrastructure Authority, which will assist rural counties and local governments to improve their infrastructure to help attract economic development. Senate Republican Majority Whip Shane Massey, who led GOP efforts on the Senate version of the bill, is urging the House to take it up and pass it as soon as possible…
I’m not sure I like the sound of all of that, but it sounds to me like a step in the right direction. And such steps are rare in the SC Senate.