Jun
3

SC Sen. Shane Martin – Bi – Weekly Update #9

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Shane Martin2013-2014 Budget Bill

We have completed work on the 2013-2014 budget for South Carolina, and once again I faced the choice of taking the easy path of voting for the budget once it became a done deal or sticking with my principles and saying no to politics as usual. I had to say no. For most of my adult life I have heard about the underfunding of public education. During my time in the Senate, I have heard other senators who, each year during the budget debate, make lengthy floor speeches about it. This year the Education Finance Act (EFA) was scheduled to be about $500 million below the statutory requirement, but we also have nearly $700 million in new money for the year. I authored an amendment to fully fund the EFA (which most refer to as Base Student Cost). I also put up amendments to fully fund local government and the school bus replacement cycle. I quickly discovered that when given the chance to vote for education funding, school buses and local governments, my colleagues really didn’t want too. They complained “we can’t do that”, and one actually told me that the permanent South Carolina Code (in the nice blue books) really isn’t the law at all but that the real law is what we pass in the budget every year. The $700 million of new money will be spent in other ways and we will still have to hear about the underfunding of public education and no doubt this will continue to be an excuse to raise taxes.  As long as these games continue to be played with taxpayer money, I will have to continue to vote “no” on our budgets.

 

Funds to Repair & Maintain Roads

 

Another primary reason for my “no” vote came in the resolution of the road funding debate. I and other conservative senators tried very hard to spend money that we have on hand and NOT BORROW to pave our roads. Instead of putting $50m in recurring dollars into non-highway roads and bridges with the amendment that I offered, we again ran into a RINOcrat roadblock which passed a perfecting amendment to send my $50 million in road funding to the State Infrastructure Bank instead.  This bank can then bond the money and put us and our children and grandchildren into more debt. The hidebound determination to borrow, regardless of the chance to do otherwise, just continues as though our children will never face consequences over this.  There was plenty of new money this year – why not use it to fix our roads and bridges!

“Obamacare”

One bright spot in the budget was the final death of this year’s efforts to adopt full Obamacare in South Carolina by stopping Medicaid expansion. I say “this year’s” efforts because I’m sure that we’ll have to fight this battle again next year. We suffered only a couple of defections by so-called Republicans and defeated the amendment that would have added hundreds of thousands of people to taxpayer-funded insurance rolls. On a very bright note, we have managed to, by special motion, to both pull the Nullification of Obamacare out of committee and then get it set as a Special Order on the calendar. That means that we will take it up for debate. I and other conservatives will fight to get it passed.  It is our last chance to stop the devastating tax increases that come with it!

 

More on the 2013-2014 Budget Bill

 

One final word about the budget bill. I will say that the budget debate did come a little bit our way. My constant push for funding roads did get the Senate to agree to establish a line item for road funding, even though they directed it to cover borrowing.  We did get a little more money for school buses & local government, and we did convince squishy Republicans to hold the line on stopping Medicaid expansion. We also served notice that the hypocrisy of criticizing conservatives for “underfunding” priorities no longer will be tolerated. I could not vote for the final budget for the reasons that I listed above and, quite simply, because it did nothing to shrink government or send money back to the taxpayer. Many freshman conservatives got some good experience, and we’ll be ready for what we hope will be a large set of conservative vetoes by our governor. We are in a good position to drive the debate next year to fund core services first in establishing a reasonable, conservative state budget.  We didn’t get a total win this year during the budget process, but have become more effective in changing the way things are done.

 


 

Senator Shane Martin P.O. Box 575 • Pauline, SC 29374 • 864-804-8499 shane@senatormartin.comsenatormartin.com

Thank you Sen. Martin, for keeping the concerned citizens of South Carolina informed!!!недорогие путевки в египетпроценти по депозитахcharacturistphonetic translation english

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