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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November 23, 2020

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Judicial Department reverses course, releases staff salaries after Nerve story

  By RICK BRUNDRETT Less than three hours after The Nerve revealed Friday that the S.C. Judicial Department was keeping secret the salaries of department employees making at least $50,000 annually, the agency released a list of 300 staffers in that group, including judges. Department public information director Ginny Jones provided the list without explanation […]

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November 20, 2020

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State court system keeps staff salaries secret from the public

south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Judicial Department – the third branch of state government – is refusing to publicly reveal salaries of its own employees, contending it isn’t legally required to do so. The Nerve on Oct. 18 submitted a request to the department under the state Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) asking for the […]

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November 17, 2020

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How PSC squelched public comment on Dominion rate-hike request

Update: 11/18/20 – The S.C. Public Service Commission today voted to hold two additional public hearings in the first week of January on Dominion Energy’s proposed electric rate hike. The hearings will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7. […]

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November 13, 2020

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Commerce wants fed tax dollars for staff time spent on COVID-19

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Commerce doesn’t employ any medical or infectious disease experts, but the agency is seeking $250,000 in federal funds to reimburse itself for staff time spent on coronavirus-related tasks. The state earlier this year received $1.9 billion in federal “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” (CARES) funds. Under a […]

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November 10, 2020

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State stonewalls public comment on proposed Dominion rate hike

V.C. Summer Nuclear Station

By RICK BRUNDRETT Dominion Energy electric customers in South Carolina are angry. They were promised a rate cut following the 2017 collapse of the $9 billion V.C. Summer nuclear project. But Virginia-based Dominion now wants a significant rate hike. And the state panel that will decide whether to approve the nearly 8% rate hike has […]

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November 6, 2020

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S.C. Senate staffers quietly receive pay raises

SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT Since last December, 15 S.C. Senate staffers, including the chamber’s top administrator, received pay hikes of up to nearly 34%, The Nerve found in a review of chamber records. The top-paid staffer is Jeff Gossett, who, as the Senate clerk, manages the $16.3 million, 46-member chamber. He makes $225,000 annually, an increase […]

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October 27, 2020

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Public agencies spend thousands on lobbyists during COVID-19 outbreak

By RICK BRUNDRETT The spread of the coronavirus in South Carolina didn’t stop public agencies’ spending on lobbying lawmakers and other state government officials. From Jan. 1 through May 31, 44 state and local entities, including state-created agencies such as Santee Cooper and local fire and water/sewer districts, collectively spent at least $812,661 on lobbyists, […]

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October 20, 2020

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No big gains over the summer in fixing SC’s bad roads

By RICK BRUNDRETT In theory, the pace of fixing South Carolina’s pothole-riddled roads should have increased over the hot summer months. The reality, however, was different. The Nerve’s review of newly released S.C. Department of Transportation records found that through September, the total dollar value of completed “pavements” projects statewide was less than half of […]

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October 16, 2020

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Quietly passed laws give legislative delegations more powers

By RICK BRUNDRETT At least one thing didn’t change in the S.C. Legislature during the coronavirus outbreak this year: legislative delegations’ control over local affairs. Two delegations gained even more power. Last month, lawmakers quietly passed a Senate bill, which had stalled after COVID-19 hit the state in the spring, giving the three-member Hampton County […]

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