Palmetto Promise Institute Unveils Economic “Jumpstart” Plan

Jobs & Economy
May 12, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

COLUMBIA, SC (May 12, 2020) – Palmetto Promise Institute, an independent public policy research foundation, released a report today outlining 12 steps to jumpstart South Carolina’s economy.

“These 12 common sense ideas are the spark our state’s economic engine needs,” Palmetto Promise CEO Ellen Weaver said in releasing the list. “Each one has been tried on a temporary basis here in South Carolina or is working as permanent law in another state. With these reforms, South Carolina’s economy will recover more quickly, which means real opportunities for real people across the Palmetto State.”

Palmetto Promise provided the following list of innovations with descriptions:

REMOVE REGULATORY BARRIERS TO JUMPSTART THE ECONOMY

  1. More Licensing Reform. The COVID-19 pandemic and the sweeping temporary licensing reform that followed illustrate how South Carolinians, and those moving into our state, who want and need to work face too many occupational and professional hurdles. SC should consider doing away with unnecessary licenses (for example, “Floor Sanding” should not require certification).
  1. More Regulatory Common Sense. Coronavirus has served as a wake-up call for rolling back the regulatory state. While South Carolina has made several important deregulatory moves, it’s clear from barbering to brewing beer, over-regulation is inhibiting legitimate commerce in our state.
  1. Make Energy Cheaper. The free market needs to come to the sale of electricity at last.

BUDGET TO PROTECT TAXPAYERS AND HONOR GOVERNMENT PROMISES

  1. Return Funds to Taxpayers, Reform Our Tax Code. The legislature will need a new spending plan for 2020-2021. It should include substantive tax reform to get our economy humming, reform business licensing, and letting taxpayers keep more of what they earn.
  1. Freeze Hiring and Incentivize Early Retirements. Colleges and universities are freezing and cutting. The rest of the state government should learn from their example.
  1. Replenish Rainy Day Funds. The state should maintain its commitment to saving.
  1. Renegotiate the Santee Cooper Price and Sell the Agency. We can’t afford a state-owned power company. We have a buyer. Get a better price for Santee Cooper and sell it.
  1. Open Up State Books to Sunlight. Lawmakers must be accountable, now more than ever, for their stewardship of our tax dollars.

REORIENT POLICY AROUND COVID LESSONS-LEARNED

  1. Close the Digital Divide. As we now focus on the importance of providing quality distance learning to our students due to the pandemic, it’s clear that every student should have access to the internet no matter where he or she lives. No more excuses.
  1. Embrace and Expand Online Learning Options. It is possible for every course to be available everywhere. Let’s accelerate equitable learning and ease the burdens on parents and teachers in this stressful time of distance learning.
  1. Make Temporary Health Reforms Permanent. We should remove roadblocks to Telehealth, get rid of Certificate of Need (CON) for new health services, and expand Scopes of Practice to help more medical professionals fill needs in healthcare.
  1.  Require Healthcare to Operate on Market Principles. Patients who are willing to shop around for the best price for a medical procedure should be rewarded. Patients should know a good faith estimate of their medical procedures in advance with no surprises.

View the full details of Jumpstarting SC’s Economic Engine here.

Please contact Oran P. Smith, PhD, at oran@palmettopromise.org for more information.