Legislation is moving through the South Carolina House of Representatives that would shift large parts of the state bureaucracy into a new agency under the governor’s direct control.
Right now, much of the facilities maintenance, human resources, payroll, and other executive jobs in the state are overseen by the Budget and Control Board, a part-executive, part-legislative body.
The new bill would move 14 divisions and offices into a new Department of Administration, including the Division of General Services, Division of Veterans Affairs, and the State Energy Office, among others.
It would also lighten the workload of the actual five-member Budget and Control Board itself. The board, chaired by the governor, consists of the state treasurer, the comptroller general, the House Ways & Means Committee chairman, and the Senate Finance Committee Chairman.
Haley spoke in front of a House subcommittee Tuesday about why the changes are needed.
Right now, we have a CEO of the state. But, we have a meeting once every… two months by five people that slows our state down every time we try to do something. This is a bill that would allow the CEO to work faster.
South Carolina is one of only two states that does not currently have an administrative department of some kind.
It’s similar to a bill that failed to pass last year, but Haley believes the political will exists to restructure the agencies this session.
Haley spoke for about three minutes and none of the committee members asked questions. The bill cleared subcommittee, and now heads to the full Judiciary Committee next week.
There is a similar bill in the Senate sponsored by Sen. Chip Campsen (R-Charleston) that has several differences– notably the creation of an Office of the Inspector General. The House bill would allow the legislature to create investigative committees to look into each executive agency at least once every five years.