At least one legislator wants his peers to re-examine the role of one of the state’s most powerful agencies.
The Board decision two weeks ago imposed the ban on any new projects at state colleges that raised tuition by more than seven percent this year.
Martin said, while he doesn’t necessarily disagree with the halt, only the Legislature should make that decision:
That is not their role to play. They are not a super-executive committee authorized by the Legislature to engage in such policies to begin with.
The Budget & Control Board consists of Governor Mark Sanford, Treasurer Converse Chellis, Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, and two legislators – Senator Hugh Leatherman (R-Florence) and Representative Daniel Cooper (R-Anderson). Martin said he does not know why Leatherman and Cooper used the Board to cap tuition, instead of introducing it in their respective houses.
Martin says the state Supreme Court has ruled that only the Legislature can create new policies, such as the seven percent mark. He added the Supreme Court has even ruled public referendums on laws violate that authority. The exception is for constitutional amendments.
Martin says he would vote to break up the Board, should it become an issue this legislative session. Martin has previously proposed a bill that would have moved most of the Budget and Control Board’s responsibilities into a new Department of Administration under the governor. He says he’d support the idea again.
I’m prepared to vote to devolve the administrative responsibility to the governor’s office and the policymaking decisions that need to be made in the State Capitol building (to) be made there.
The Budget and Control Board’s duties include making decisions on the state budget and authorizing any land deals. It also approves the sale of any bonds offered by the state.