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Is there pork on your fork?

March 24, 2017


By ELISABETH PARKER Sneaky provisos come out, come out Each year the legislature passes provisos within the appropriations bill: one-year laws that sunset with each year’s budget and may not go against a law. They give legislators an easy way to pass pork or ill-advised public policy without much scrutiny. One proviso that has reappeared […]

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Fresh ammo arrives for gas-tax advocates

March 22, 2017


road construction ahead

By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ   Construction advocates bring convenient report Another player emerged yesterday in the debate on a gas-tax increase: TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit transportation research organization. The group released a report detailing ways in which South Carolina motorists lose $5.4 billion a year, as much as $1,850 per driver, it maintains, due to roads […]

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When rules become Swiss cheese

March 17, 2017


By PHILLIP CEASE Only some restrooms need apply There’s another bathroom bill in the legislature this year, but this one only deals with stadiums. H. 3792, which passed the House unanimously by a vote of 101-0, carves out an exemption in the building code for bathrooms in middle and high school stadiums. In an Associated Press […]

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Are the roads really crumbling?

March 16, 2017


By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Some data say SC’s, like the nation’s, aren’t that bad “The state’s crumbling road system” — that phrase and its variants seem to be uttered almost nonstop in South Carolina as the General Assembly mulls the latest gas-tax increase legislation. South Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Christy Hall has been outspoken, saying […]

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Did I say that out loud?

March 12, 2017


South Carolina Senate

By PHILLIP CEASE Conflicts of interest begin to seem standard Last week, as the state Senate discussed the so-called pension reform bill, Senator Sandy Senn stood up to ask a few very specific questions about a proposed amendment and how it would affect law enforcement officers. In looking into why she had a very narrow […]

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Defunct program to be revived?

March 9, 2017


Here comes the pork. On Wednesday we learned from the policy team at the South Carolina Policy Council (The Nerve’s parent organization) that budget-writers in the House have resuscitated the Competitive Grants program. That program, you may remember, was relentlessly derided by Gov. Mark Sanford as the legislature’s “slush fund.” We don’t endorse that sobriquet, […]

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A fifth of all state money goes to vendors – here are the top 10

March 6, 2017


By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ $57 million spent on Bank of America cards Vendors made billions of dollars selling goods and services to the state of South Carolina last year, according to data compiled by the comptroller general’s office — about $5 billion in all. That’s roughly one-fifth of all state appropriations. Leading the list: Blue Cross […]

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They play by house rules

March 3, 2017


By PHILLIP CEASE On the budget, legislators bid defiance to mere laws The South Carolina House passed a gas-tax increase this week and a bill aimed at fixing the pension system, while the Senate approved a similar pension bill. Both of these issues, the gas tax and pension reform, received a lot of press — […]

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DOT funds flow to roads alliance

March 1, 2017


By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Some seeking tax hike get hundreds of millions Since 2014, at least eight members of a nonprofit pushing for an increase in the state’s gas tax collectively have received more than $451 million from the state Department of Transportation, records show. The money was paid to contractors who are members of the […]

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When common sense goes dark

February 24, 2017


By PHILLIP CEASE Lawmakers explain how to not see sun This week the legislature passed a joint resolution that allows school districts to start the next school year Thursday, August 17. Without this resolution, schools could not start before the third Monday of that month, August 21 — the day of a solar eclipse. The […]

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