June 22, 2017

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DOT commissioner out

Mike Wooten, commission expired, resigns By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ State Department of Transportation Commissioner Mike Wooten resigned his post today, ending a controversial tenure on the board. John Hardee, the commission’s vice-chairman, confirmed Wooten’s departure. Wooten, who runs an engineering firm in Myrtle Beach, was elected by the state legislature to the commission four years ago. […]

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June 16, 2017

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Another inside job

Judicial selection committee has a new member: a former senator By HANNAH HILL The state’s Judicial Merit Selection Committee screens and nominates judicial candidates. Its members are picked by the House Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tem. State law requires that four of the ten be “selected from the general public” (the other six […]

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June 15, 2017

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How many roads must a car drive down?

South Carolina’s murky world of tomorrow By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ South Carolina, like every other state, is in the business of building roads. It’s a big business: Four of the top 10 vendors for the state in 2016 were roads contractors, accounting for $175 million in spending alone. And that doesn’t reckon the opportunity cost — […]

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June 13, 2017

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Whose university is it anyway?

Higher ed regrets governor’s veto By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ On Monday, Governor Henry McMaster vetoed a welter of items in the budget that was passed by the legislature last week, including a proviso that touched upon the authority of the Commission on Higher Education. Last week, a Nerve opinion piece, “How to hamstring a watchdog,” laid […]

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June 9, 2017

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How to hamstring a watchdog

Legislature cripples higher ed commission By ELISABETH PARKER The state’s higher education sector keeps growing, in no small part by borrowing to expand and taking on debt that ultimately puts every taxpayer on the hook. No matter the merits of funding education, there ought to be oversight and accountability here. That role is vested in the […]

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June 8, 2017

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It pays to work for the state

cash 100s

That goes quintuple for higher ed By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ How big should the public sector be, relative to the private, and how well should it compensate its workers? These are questions that ignite wars among economists and ideologues, but there is some consensus: The average value of pay and benefits in the private sector has […]

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June 2, 2017

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South Carolina is giving away billions, but there’s a catch

You have to manage a hedge fund to get it By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Legislators finalized a budget deal this week that was thought to have patched up the underfunded public employees’ pension plan. While it goes some way to addressing funding, it doesn’t do much to address the fund’s investing and spending. There’s been much […]

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June 2, 2017

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The biggest pension loser

Governments scrap over the taxpayer bone By HANNAH HILL The State published a story two days ago with the headline “SC pension deal will hit cities, counties, schools hard.” It’s referring to the astronomical increase in employer contributions to the state pension fund. The bill, now signed into law, increases the employer contribution by 70 […]

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May 26, 2017

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Is federal funding bad?

It could be hurting our cities By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Talk of cutting federal funding to cities has hung in the American air like burnt gunpowder since the last election — but how much of a threat is it, really? Could it even be a blessing in disguise? That’s some of the gist of a recent piece […]

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May 26, 2017

2 Comments

No excuse for budget delays

legislature

If legislators followed the law, this wouldn’t happen By HANNAH HILL The legislative session and the special extended session have ended, and we still don’t have a budget. Currently the budget sits in conference committee where lawmakers seem to be agonizing over the differences between the House’s $27.41 billion spending plan and the Senate’s $27.42 billion spending […]

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