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

March 6, 2017

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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

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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

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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

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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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Bill would pierce right-to-work

February 23, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Docs could be made to join advocacy group Manufacturers such as Boeing are said to be drawn to South Carolina because it’s a right-to-work state, something state political leaders tout. It’s spelled out in state law: “The right of persons to work must not be denied or abridged because of membership or non-membership in a labor […]

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Reading is fundamental. Listening, too.

February 17, 2017

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By PHILLIP CEASE It shouldn’t be too much to ask that legislators know what they’re approving Last week the House of Representatives adopted, with no objections, a resolution congratulating Governor Henry McMaster on his ascension to the office — and encouraging him to expand Medicaid in South Carolina. This was unexpected, because the House, at least […]

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State overpaid millions to schools

February 15, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Superintendent not sure how money can be recovered The Department of Education has been giving schools millions of dollars in excess of what they were supposed to receive. Education Oversight Committee staffer Bunnie Ward was speaking before the full committee in Columbia Monday when she said there were “discrepancies” between enrollment and […]

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Posterity or product placement?

February 10, 2017

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By PHILLIP CEASE New painting raises timeless concerns On Wednesday, the official portrait of state Senator Hugh Leatherman was unveiled. It will hang in the Senate chamber beside that of former state senator and lieutenant governor Glenn McConnell. It depicts Leatherman standing with a picture of the Leatherman Terminal at the Port of Charleston in […]

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How do they do that?

February 3, 2017

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By PHILLIP CEASE Our legislators must think you don’t care State constitutions and laws aren’t suggestions any more than gravity is a recommendation. And when you break the law, police don’t arrest you for the sole purpose of having judges wag their fingers at you and send you away to do it again. Odds are […]

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Gag me with a bill

January 29, 2017

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By PHILLIP CEASE Our legislators get busy — silencing critics Over the past two weeks, members of both the South Carolina house and senate have introduced legislation that would require much more disclosure. With one member of the General Assembly already indicted for ethics violations, totaling above a million dollars in payments he took improperly, […]

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