South Carolina desperately needs a modern, streamlined state government. The structure created by our 1895 Constitution has left us with a system that is ineffective, unaccountable and inefficient. We pay too much for their government and receive too little from it. Study after study has shown that a better structure could lead to improved delivery of services with hundreds of millions of dollars in savings. For far too long lawmakers have selfishly refused to give up personal power for the greater good of us all, and that time should end with our work to implement the following:
* A reduction in the number of Constitutional Officers* by passing a constitutional amendment that would allow voters to decide our structure of government. We believe voters want an Executive Branch they can hold accountable for results. We will allow voters the opportunity to reduce our state’s nine constitutional positions to the national average of four elected in other states.
* A Governor and Lieutenant Governor who run on the same ticket as the President* and Vice President do at the national level. This issue will also ultimately be determined by the voters through a referendum question.
* Creation of the Department of Administration* to give our state’s governor the authority held by Chief Executives in every other state in the country. The day-to-day administrative functions of government should be the responsibility of one elected individual rather than a five-person board. Our current Republican legislative leadership has prevented this structural reform from passing, but it’s time to truly empower future governors with the authority they need to do the jobs they were elected to do.
* Consolidation of our nine separate health and human service agencies* into a smaller number of agencies in the Governor’s Cabinet. The legislature’s own Audit Council recommended this action years ago, showing that it would provide better services at a reduced cost – yet nothing has been done. The fact that these agencies have twice as many secretaries as nurses speaks volumes about the inefficiencies that exist. We cannot continue to waste money while also letting our citizens’ needs fall through the cracks of a bureaucratic patchwork of disorganized entities. Also, we cannot afford to pass a cigarette tax increase for health care without first fixing the system that money would flow into.