January 12, 2022

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McMaster’s budget priority: Expanding interstates or fixing pothole-riddled roads?

By RICK BRUNDRETT In unveiling his fiscal 2022-23 state budget this week, Gov. Henry McMaster proposed using $660 million in federal coronavirus-relief money to begin construction of Interstate 73 toward Myrtle Beach and widening I-26 between Columbia and Charleston. McMaster in a letter Monday to lawmakers contended that the federal money combined with nearly $600 […]

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January 7, 2022

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New Senate president’s business paid thousands by local governments

SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT New S.C. Senate president Thomas Alexander reported a total of more than $850,000 in income over a 10-year period from Upstate public agencies through his office supply business, The Nerve found in a review of his annual income-disclosure records. No one has accused the longtime Oconee County Republican of any wrongdoing. But, […]

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January 5, 2022

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$5M in bonuses doled out to Santee Cooper employees

Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT More than 1,300 Santee Cooper workers last year received “incentive” bonuses totaling $5 million, with outgoing president and CEO Mark Bonsall getting a $242,500 bonus on top of his $1.1 million base salary, records show. All but 58 of the 1,383 employees of the state-owned utility who were making an annual salary […]

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December 20, 2021

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Happy Holidays, Y’all!

To Our Readers: The Nerve is not planning to publish new stories this week and next in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Thank you for all your support this year, and we are planning many hard-hitting stories for 2022 to hold politicians and other public officials accountable. So stay tuned!

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December 17, 2021

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SCDOT wants more gas-tax-hike money to spend while surplus grows

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Transportation wants approval to spend about $139 million more in state gas-tax-hike money for next fiscal year, though the agency as of October was sitting on a $955 million cash surplus generated from the revenues. DOT’s annual budget request, submitted by agency head Christy Hall to the state […]

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December 14, 2021

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Senator-lawyers support bill that could fatten their wallets

By RICK BRUNDRETT Four senator-lawyers who, or their law firms, received workers’ compensation fees last year are co-sponsoring a bill that would allow employees to file workers’ compensation claims involving COVID-19 vaccines. Three of the lawmakers sit on a Senate committee that will consider the bill and also screens candidates for the seven-member Workers’ Compensation […]

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December 10, 2021

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Commerce mum on details of massive budget request

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Commerce wants $100 million more in state funding for next fiscal year – which represents nearly 80% of its entire current budget – for an unspecified “infrastructure” program. “South Carolina does not have a funding mechanism to address significant needs that are necessary for the state to continue […]

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December 8, 2021

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Secrecy still part of judicial screening process

south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee that screens judges ruled last week that a longtime circuit court judge was no longer qualified to serve, though the general public wasn’t informed afterward about its decision. When it comes to secrecy surrounding how judges are nominated in South Carolina, it’s business as usual for the six-legislator, […]

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December 3, 2021

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Judicial Department keeping staff salaries secret – again

By RICK BRUNDRETT In a repeat of last year, the S.C. Judicial Department is resisting The Nerve’s request to reveal the current pay of its employees, including dozens of judges making six-figure salaries. Meanwhile, Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty, the administrative head of the state court system, wants nearly $9 million more in general […]

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December 1, 2021

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House member proposes big pay hike for lawmakers

By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. lawmakers would receive an annual $18,000 pay hike under a House proposal, with the bill’s sponsor contending that legislators deserve the raise. “This is not a part-time job,” Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston, a former Charleston City Council member who was first elected to the S.C. House in 2008, told The Nerve […]

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