June 20, 2019

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Throwback Thursday: Advisory board should oversee Santee Cooper sale

santee cooper

Yesterday the Santee Cooper Advisory Board (comprised of five statewide-elected officers including the governor) met for the first time in decades – at least – to execute one of their key statutory roles: the selection of an external auditor for the state-owned utility. The advisory board’s role has been forgotten and neglected for years, with […]

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June 17, 2019

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State ethics violations? Video raises questions about senator’s 2017 DUI arrest

By RICK BRUNDRETT A newly released police video is raising questions about whether S.C. Sen. Paul Campbell tried to use his position as a lawmaker to get out of charges of driving under the influence and lying to police in 2017 – which, if true, would violate state ethics law. On the one-hour-25-minute YouTube video […]

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June 13, 2019

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Throwback Thursday: Gas tax dollars originally aimed at STIB debt, not roads

Layer of broken asphalt road at rural areas.

When lawmakers passed the 12-cent gas tax increase two years ago, they promised that every dime would go to repairing existing roads. Today, most of the gas tax revenue sits unspent while roads continue to crumble – so much so that this week, the SC Policy Council launched Project Road Repair to help citizens get […]

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June 12, 2019

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No bad bridges fixed under gas-tax-hike law, slow progress with other funds

By RICK BRUNDRETT The state transportation department hasn’t replaced one bad bridge with gas-tax-hike revenues collected for nearly two years – despite promises by lawmakers that the money would be used to fix South Carolina’s crumbling roads and bridges. And the Department of Transportation has completed relatively few bridge projects in recent years with other […]

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June 7, 2019

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Secrecy surrounds Santee Cooper bid process; $735K spent on study consultant

Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT The taxpayer tab for a global consulting firm hired last year to help a legislatively controlled study committee on the possible sale of state-owned utility Santee Cooper has grown to more than $735,000 – and it’s unclear whether that’s the final bill. Meanwhile, the S.C. Department of Administration is being tight-lipped about […]

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June 6, 2019

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Throwback Thursday: Anything can happen in a special session

South Carolina Senate

This week, legislative leaders called for a special session later this month, ostensibly to address the governor’s budget vetoes. However, it’s important to note that a special session is an opportunity for lawmakers to do practically anything they want. While technically the General Assembly is limited to only a handful of topics, the first of […]

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June 3, 2019

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Big bills heading to Santee Cooper, co-op customers with ecodevo spending?

By RICK BRUNDRETT As Santee Cooper was accumulating billions in debt for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project, the state-owned utility was doling out millions that benefited major corporations, local governments and economic development groups, utility records reviewed by The Nerve show. From August 2010 to April 2018, a total of at least $121 million […]

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May 29, 2019

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Fixing SC’s bad roads, bridges could take longer than a decade

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Transportation wants to fix the state’s bad roads and bridges over a 10-year period, but it might not hit that target at the rate projects are being completed, a review by The Nerve found. From July 1, 2017, when the gas-tax-hike law took effect, through April of this […]

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May 23, 2019

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Throwback Thursday: Keeping the Governor out of Santee Cooper

santee cooper

The S.C. Senate’s verdict on the best way to sell Santee Cooper could be summed up this way: For this to work, the governor has to stay out of it – and if he doesn’t, lawmakers will vote against whatever position he is pushing. Senators during this week’s special session debated a resolution to solicit […]

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May 22, 2019

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Gas-tax-hike road contractors getting paid at same time for other SC projects

By RICK BRUNDRETT Too soon. Too cold. Too rainy. Too few workers. Since the state law went into effect on July 1, 2017, hiking the gas tax 12 cents per gallon over six years and increasing other vehicle taxes and fees, state transportation officials and others have offered various reasons why few of South Carolina’s […]

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