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South Carolina Government

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The Constitution of South Carolina is the guardian of the Government of South Carolina. It establishes and structures the state government. It was the first state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. It ratifies the U.S. Constitution as the eighth state. South Carolina was admitted to the Union on May 23, 1788 [1]. The State Constitution divides the powers of the government into three distinct departments— the legislative, the executive and the judicial.

Executive Branch of South Carolina

The Executive Branch is a well functioning body of the state government of South Carolina. Several state government departments work under the executive branch for the smooth functioning of the government. The Governor leads the executive branch of the government as the supreme executive head.

Governor of South Carolina

The Governor of South Carolina is the supreme executive head of the government. It is the duty of the Governor to see that laws are executed faithfully. The Governor is also the commander in chief of the army and navy of the State, and of the militia. The Governor is elected by the qualified electors and holds office for 4 years.

Secretary of State

The Secretary of State is chosen biennially at the first session of the Legislature, by Representatives in convention and joint ballot of the Senators. The records of the State are kept in the office of the Secretary. The Secretary of State keeps and preserves the records of all the official acts and proceedings of the Governor, House of Representatives and Senate and lays the same before either branch of the Legislature when required.

State Treasurer

The Treasurer is chosen biennially by joint ballot of the Senators, and Representatives in convention, at the first session of the Legislature. The office provides state agencies with efficient banking and financial services, including revenue collection, reconciliation, payment issuance and trust management.

Legislative Branch of South Carolina

The Legislature is the law making and supervising body of the state government of South Carolina. The Legislative power is vested in the legislature consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

House of Representatives

The House of Representatives is the lower house of the South Carolina Legislature. The House of Representatives consists of 124 members, elected by the qualified electors and hold their office for 2 years. The qualified member of the House of Representatives shall be 5 years a citizen of the United States, shall be 21 years, and shall be a resident of the State. The House of Representatives choose the speaker who presides over the House of Representatives.

Read more on House of Representatives

Senate

The South Carolina Senate is the upper house of the Legislature. The Senate consists 46 members who are elected for a two year term. A qualified Senator should be 25 years of age and in all other respects their qualifications is same as those of the Representatives. The Senate chooses President who presides over the Senate workings.

Judicial Branch of South Carolina

The Judiciary is the department that employs and directs law and settles any disputes ensuring justice in the state. The Judiciary has the power to review the legislative and the executive actions. The judicial power of the state is vested in the Supreme Judicial Court and such other courts.

South Carolina Supreme Court

The Supreme Judicial Court is the highest court and the court of final appeal. The Supreme Court has 4 associate justices, led by the Chief Justice. The Court decides appeals on questions of law that arise in civil actions and criminal trials. The court is the procedural rule making authority for all of the state's courts.

South Carolina Court of Appeals

It is the intermediate appellate. All family court and circuit court appeals are heard by the Court of Appeals. The General Assembly selects the judges for six-year terms who can reside in any county.

South Carolina Circuit Court

The Circuit Court is the state's trail court of general jurisdiction. The court is divided into a civil division and a criminal division. It has limited appellate jurisdiction and takes care of appeals from the lower Magistrate's Court, Probate Court and Municipal Court as well as from that of the Administrative Law Judge Division.

Taxation in South Carolina

The South Carolina Revenue Services maintains and administers a standard tax laws in South Carolina. The department's goal is to ensure efficient administration of tax laws and provide quality taxpayer assistance. Tax laws include entire laws and taxes on income, sales, property, excise and estate. On taxable income of $13,351 and above, the state implies a maximum marginal tax rate of 7 %. Also the state levies 6% sales tax. They are:

  • Fuel Tax Rates
  • Corporate Income Tax
  • Estate Tax
  • Individual Income Tax
  • Property Tax
  • Excise Tax
  • Telecommunications Excise Tax
  • Sales Tax
  • Use Tax
  • Service Provider Tax
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South Carolina State Departments

The state encompasses various state departments that work  with the executive branch of the state government. The departments render their services in various sectors for the proper and smooth functioning of the state as a whole. Some of the important state departments in South Carolina are:

South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services


The South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services provides health care and social service support to the citizens of the state. The Department protects the lives of the people, strives to control and prevent disease and oversees all hospitals, nursing homes and other health care entities in the state.

South Carolina Department of Education

The South Carolina Department of Education supervises and manages the workings of all schools, and higher education systems in the state. The department’s mission is to provide world class education and best values to the students to ensure overall progress and success. The department provides technical assistance, resources and guidance for school districts to implement proficiency-based education to promote student learning.

South Carolina Department of Transportation

The South Carolina Department of Transportation manages the entire transportation network of SC and ensure safe and easy transit of people and goods. The DOT provides safe and secure mobility and travel options for the residents of the state and provide for a transportation system and services that are well maintained, reliable and efficient. The department is focused to achieve transportation growth in SC and develops plans and activities that relate to the system of highways, roads, railways and airways and waterways in South Carolina.

Office of the State Treasurer

The Office of the State Treasurer provides state agencies with efficient banking and financial services, including revenue collection, reconciliation, payment issuance and trust management.

South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is the State's support center for natural resource, land-based interests and manages the state's agriculture, outdoor recreation forests, and public-access.




References:


  1. South Carolina Statehood
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