December 22, 2014

House Speaker, Treasurer say DOA bill threatens credit rankings

A restructuring bill long awaited by both houses of the Legislature may be delayed as House and Senate leaders now disagree over eliminating the State Budget and Control Board. An argument, through press releases, pits State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and House Speaker Bobby Harrell against the wishes of Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin and Majority Leader Harvey Peeler.

Harrell and Loftis sent out a joint statement Tuesday saying, the Senate’s version of a bill creating a new South Carolina Department of Administration “made changes that creates concern for the credit rating agencies.”  Those issues need to be addressed to ensure our state’s stellar credit rating and long-term fiscal stability are maintained. ”  Read Treasurer’s assessment.

Senate leaders quickly fired back.  

Judiciary Chair Martin questions why House waited to weigh in

Majority Leader Harvey Peeler said in a statement, “It is disappointing that the House and Treasurer finally spoke up two months after we passed this bill. Using scare tactics to keep a failed status quo system is unacceptable, especially after supporting the elimination of the Budget and Control Board. I urge the House to support the more conservative version of this bill.”

“The House holds itself out to be a conservative body, so it’s really disappointing that it is supporting the failed status quo, and a decidedly less conservative version of this bill,” Senator Martin said.

The bill is now in the House, which returns Tuesday.