Jim Hodges on Budget & Economy
Former Democratic SC Governor
Budget focus on education, health care and tax relief
A budget is like a road map for our state. It allows us to choose a destination, and then set the best course to reach it.
Weíve crafted a legislative agenda that meets the needs of South Carolinians in education, health care and tax relief.
Source: Remarks on Legislative Initiatives
Jan 8, 2001
More federal funding for FAA and air traffic control.
Hodges adopted a letter to Congressional leaders from 4 Governors:
The nationís Governors urge the Conference Committee on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization to quickly complete action on a multiyear reauthorization of the FAA and Airport Improvement Program (AIP) that invests dedicated airport and airways trust fund revenues for their intended purposes.
Governors support efforts to ensure that dedicated revenues are immediately made available to address key safety and congestion issues. The current lapse in the program has already jeopardized numerous airport improvement projects, and we urge conferees to quickly resolve their differences. The airport and airway trust fund can support significantly higher funding for both AIP and the Air Traffic Control Modernization program. We ask you to increase funding levels for these programs by applying the airport and airways trust fund receipts for their intended purpose.
Governors, along with our partners in the Coalition for TRUST (Transportation Revenues Used Solely for Transportation) - a broad coalition of business, labor, farm, and state and local officials - recognize that insufficient investment in transportation jeopardizes economic growth. Furthermore, the Governors recognize the safety, security, and other broad public benefits provided by the FAA and support a guarantee of continued general funding for FAA operations.
On behalf of the nationís governors and the TRUST Coalition, we ask for your help in completing a conference on this critical legislation to end the current lapse in funding for this crucial program.
Source: National Governor's Association letter to Congress 00-NGA25 on Feb 3, 2000
Bankruptcy reform: limit Chapter 7; protect states' role.
Hodges adopted the National Governors Association policy:
The Governors are particularly concerned that bankruptcy reform legislation address the following issues:
Source: NGA Economic Development Policy EDC-21: Bankruptcy Reform 01-NGA2 on Feb 15, 2001
- Prevent Chapter 7 Use by Those with the Ability to Pay: Present bankruptcy law does not prevent use of Chapter 7 by those with ability to repay, nor does it require that debtors use Chapter 13, which would require them to repay creditors what the debtor can afford. The Governors strongly support federal efforts to prevent debtors from using Chapter 7 when they are financially able to pay some or all of their unsecured debts.
- Encourage Payment of Domestic Support Obligations: Bankruptcy interferes significantly with statesí ability to assist citizens owed domestic support and to collect unpaid domestic support owed them. The Governors strongly encourage Congress to ensure that any federal bankruptcy reform requires that domestic support obligations have the highest possible repayment priority, that all domestic support obligations be nondischargeable,
and that commencement of bankruptcy not prevent the continued collection of child and other support obligations.
- Give State Claims Parity with Federal Claims in Bankruptcy: Today, bankruptcy rightly gives certain preferences in payment to federal claims against the bankruptcy estate, but similar treatment is not always accorded state claims. The Governors strongly support congressional efforts to reform the treatment of state claims in bankruptcy to provide parity of treatment with federal claims.
- Protect the State Role: The Governors oppose efforts to preempt state authority to determine exemptions under state bankruptcy law. Currently, debtors have a right to choose between federal and state exemptions. The Governors support efforts to shape bankruptcy reform policy that protects the rights of states to determine their own standards instead of having uniform federal regulations imposed without regard for individual state needs.
Uphold commitments to states before other spending.
Hodges adopted the National Governors Association position paper:
The Issue The major budget issue will be over the surplus and how big of a surplus there will be. How much will be dedicated to paying down the national debt, how much to tax cuts, how much to increase defense spending, what to do about key discretionary spending programs, and whether and how to change key entitlement programs, such as Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security? How these decisions are made could have significant impacts on the federal-state partnership, especially as they affect vital health and human services programs. What will happen to funding for priority state domestic discretionary programs for the federal fiscal year? When will Congress act?
NGAís Position Before considering new spending initiatives or tax cuts, the federal government must first uphold its current commitments to the states.
Source: National Governors Association "Issues / Positions" 01-NGA8 on Sep 14, 2001
Protect local milk supplies with Southern Dairy Compact.
Hodges signed the Southern Governors' Association resolution:
Source: Resolution of Southern Governor's Assn. on Milk Subsidies 01-SGA8 on Sep 9, 2001
- Whereas, the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia have all enacted the Southern Dairy Compact as state legislation; and,
- Whereas, these states adopted the Southern Dairy Compact in response to the hemorrhaging loss of the regionís milk supply, whereby every state must now import milk from outside the region to supply at least part of its beverage milk needs, with Alabama and South Carolina supplying less than half their fluid needs; and,
- Whereas, establishment of this form of interstate compact is the formal, constitutionally authorized means for a region to address interstate issues of common concern in the public interest; and,
- Whereas, these states each adopted the Southern Dairy Compact because the Compact strikes the appropriate balance among all the
interests involved in the regional dairy marketplace, including those of consumers, processors, retailers and farmers alike; and,
- Whereas, the Northeast Interstate Dairy Compact has operated successfully as a pilot project in the six New England states since 1996, stabilizing that regionís dairy industry in the manner anticipated for the south under the Southern Dairy Compact; and,
- Whereas, southern dairy farmers are experiencing particularly dislocating farm price swings and depressed overall pay prices which are expected to continue throughout 2000 and which will certainly result in an even greater loss of the regionís milk supply without response under the Southern Dairy Compact; now, therefore, be it
- Resolved, That the Southern Governorsí Association formally petitions Congress to approve the Southern Dairy Compact.