Richard Winger over at Ballot Access News today -- in describing the introduction of a bill in Oklahoma to have the state parties pay for presidential primaries* -- mentioned that South Carolina remained the only state where the state parties still picked up the tab for presidential primary elections. That did used to be the case. However, in 2007 the South Carolina legislature passed S 99 (text and history of the bill below) which gave the funding power to the state while keeping the date-setting control in the hands of the state party committees. The bill passed and was later vetoed by Governor Mark Sanford. But that veto was overridden by the legislature. At no point during the remainder of that 2007-2008 session nor during the subsequent 2009-2010 session did the legislature act to reverse what it had accomplished in S 99.
Should Oklahoma pass HB 1057, it would become the only state where the parties pay for their own presidential primaries.
...just like South Carolina used to.
Text of S 99:
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 7-11-20 AND 7-13-15, BOTH AS AMENDED, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO PARTY CONVENTIONS AND PARTY PRIMARY ELECTIONS CONDUCTED BY THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION AND COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSIONS, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION CONDUCT PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARIES, THAT THE STATE COMMITTEE OF THE PARTY SET THE DATE, FILING REQUIREMENTS AND CERTIFICATION FEE FOR THE PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARIES, TO PROVIDE A PROCEDURE FOR VERIFICATION OF THE QUALIFICATION OF CANDIDATES, TO CLARIFY CERTAIN EXISTING PROVISIONS CONCERNING PRIMARIES, AND TO SPECIFY WHICH PRIMARIES MUST BE CONDUCTED BY THE STATE ELECTION COMMISSION AND COUNTY ELECTION COMMISSION; TO DESIGNATE SECTION 14 OF ACT 253 OF 1992 AS SECTION 7-11-25, RELATING TO POLITICAL PARTIES NOT PROHIBITED FROM CONDUCTING PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE OR ADVISORY PRIMARIES, SO AS TO DELETE THE REFERENCES TO PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARIES; AND BY ADDING SECTION 7-9-110 SO AS TO AUTHORIZE A POLITICAL PARTY OR STATE ELECTION COMMISSION TO CONDUCT A PRIMARY OR ELECTION, WITHOUT CHARGE, IN A FACILITY THAT RECEIVES STATE FUNDS FOR SUPPORT OR OPERATION.
*Note that this is a similar bill to the one introduced in Oklahoma two years ago that would have done the same thing. HB 1340 got bottled up and died in committee when the legislature adjourned for the year in 2009. The spirit of that bill lives on in HB 1057.