The Palmetto Insider

The blog of the South Carolina Policy Council

Budget and Control Board Puts Its Future in the Hands of the Governor

with one comment

As the General Assembly wrapped up its interminable session yesterday, the final budget included more than $25 million in cuts to the Budget and Control Board (BCB).

Meeting today, the board’s members discussed how to respond. Staff layoffs? Drawdown agency reserves? Poach funds from other sources?

After voting on a variety of issues—from approvals of salaries to bond issues—the agency took up the future of the Budget and Control Board itself.

Minutes ago, the board’s members voted unanimously to give Governor Mark Sanford the authority to identify the core functions of the BCB that should be continued, determine how those activities will be funded, and present his recommendations to the board.

Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom raised concerns over the board’s ability to grant the governor authority to determine core functions and funding sources.  “I don’t think the board can delegate away its responsibility,” said Eckstrom. However, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Hugh Leatherman responded, “I think it can do anything it chooses.”

The decision puts the political heat on the governor for the final impact of BCB budget cuts. During the meeting, Sanford acknowledged the political pressure, but said he welcomed the opportunity. It should be interesting: As a lame duck governor, Sanford could recommend sweeping changes and a drastic reduction in the size and power of the board.

The  South Carolina Budget and Control Board is the only agency of its kind in the United States. It wields immense power over state spending and operations, and it’s one of the least transparent agencies in South Carolina government. (Today’s meeting was live streamed over the internet for the first time.)

To learn more, read the Policy Council’s Fast Facts on the Budget and Control Board.

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Written by Robert Appel

June 30, 2010 at 11:08 am

One Response

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  1. The budget and control board needs to be dismantled.

    Deedee

    July 2, 2010 at 3:32 pm


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