January 13, 2021

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Lawmakers continue looking after their own business interests

By RICK BRUNDRETT As lawmakers return to Columbia this week to consider big issues such as the ongoing response to the coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina and the possible sale of state-owned utility Santee Cooper, some legislators are introducing bills that ultimately could fatten their own wallets. And state law allows it. Take Sen. Brad […]

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January 8, 2021

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New year, same road problems persist in SC

By RICK BRUNDRETT If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to drive over pothole-free roads in South Carolina, you probably should choose a different goal. The Nerve’s review of recently released state Department of Transportation records found that since the gas-tax-hike law took effect July 1, 2017, through Nov. 30 of last year, the […]

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January 6, 2021

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Lawmaker-controlled panel violates state law – again

By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee has once again violated a state law requiring that it provide the General Assembly with written individual evaluations of S.C. Public Service Commission members. The seven-member PSC’s authority includes setting utility rates for investor-owned gas and electric utilities. The PSC is holding additional public hearings this week on […]

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December 21, 2020

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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 2021 to hold politicians and other public officials accountable. So stay tuned! 

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December 18, 2020

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‘Exempt’ state agencies staffed with $100K+ workers

By RICK BRUNDRETT Two months ago, The Nerve asked the state-created South Carolina Research Authority for a list of its employees making at least $50,000 annually. In one-sentence written response, the SCRA – which has a state mandate to “advance the general welfare” of South Carolinians – said only that it “does not have taxpayer […]

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December 16, 2020

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Attorney who works in SC senator’s law firm one step closer to judgeship

By RICK BRUNDRETT With 2021 nearly here, S.C. lawmakers likely won’t be making any New Year’s resolutions to loosen their tight grip on the state court system. Legislative leaders have shown little interest in giving up power over the judicial selection process – which often favors friends and business associates of lawmakers. Sen. Scott Talley, […]

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December 11, 2020

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No shortage of budget pork amid COVID-19 outbreak

By RICK BRUNDRETT When lawmakers return in January for a new legislative session, they likely will claim they will have far less money to spend next fiscal year because of the coronavirus outbreak. But state government is far from poor, at least judging by agencies’ budget requests for fiscal 2021-22, which starts July 1 – […]

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December 9, 2020

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Plenty of Ports Authority employees in six-figure salary club

By RICK BRUNDRETT More than 200 S.C. Ports Authority employees received at least $100,000 in total wages last fiscal year, with agency president and CEO Jim Newsome making $546,236, records show. The total number of workers at the state-created agency who made $50,000 or more in fiscal 2020, which ended June 30, was 608, according […]

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December 4, 2020

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Hundreds of Santee Cooper employees receive ‘incentive’ bonuses

By RICK BRUNDRETT “Incentive” bonuses totaling more than $5 million were doled out this year to 1,463 Santee Cooper employees, with individual cash rewards averaging about $3,500 and topping out at $165,000 for a high-level executive, The Nerve found in a review of utility records. The records, provided by the state-created utility under the S.C. […]

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December 2, 2020

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Bad bridges still not fixed with gas-tax-hike money

By RICK BRUNDRETT Despite lawmakers’ promises more than three years ago that part of the state gas tax hike would be used to fix South Carolina’s bad bridges, only one bridge project has been completed with that money, newly released records show. The Nerve’s review of S.C. Department of Transportation records found that through Oct. […]

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