June 8, 2021

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House poised to spend millions more on pork projects

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. House this week could pass a revised version of the fiscal 2022 state budget, which includes $1.8 billion in “new” state funding. But the total $32.1 billion budget version passed last week by the House Ways and Means Committee doesn’t authorize any refunds to state taxpayers. Budget writers, however, designated […]

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June 4, 2021

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U.S. Rep. Mace among those owing S.C. House ethics fines

House members only sign

  By RICK BRUNDRETT Ex-S.C. House member Nancy Mace, who was elected last year to Congress, owes a $5,100 civil fine imposed by the state House Ethics Committee for a campaign reporting violation related to her former position, according to an updated fines list released this week after The Nerve’s inquiry. The list, updated Tuesday […]

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May 27, 2021

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SCDOT says it will fix nearly 1,000 more miles of bad roads. More empty promises?

By RICK BRUNDRETT Motorists likely will feel plenty of bumps this Memorial Day weekend as they drive over South Carolina’s seemingly endless pothole-riddled roads. Since the state gas-tax-hike law took effect nearly four years ago, The Nerve has repeatedly pointed out the S.C. Department of Transportation’s relatively slow pace of completing paving projects while sitting […]

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May 21, 2021

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Feds giving SC more covid money – without clear spending instructions

BY RICK BRUNDRETT Local governments in South Carolina are expected to collectively receive hundreds of millions more in federal COVID-19 relief funding, though what exactly that money can be spent on is unclear. The U.S. Department of Treasury last week adopted an “interim final rule” on the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding. But local government […]

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May 19, 2021

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Two lawmakers rack up thousands in unpaid ethics fines

BY RICK BRUNDRETT Since 2015, two sitting House members have owed thousands in civil fines after receiving public reprimands for campaign reporting violations, records reviewed by The Nerve show. Rep. Cezar McKnight, D-Williamsburg, who is an attorney, owes $59,150.88 to the Senate Ethics Committee, committee lawyer J.J. Gentry said in an initial written response in […]

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May 14, 2021

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Taxpayers on hook for road- and bridge-naming legislation

SC Statehouse

BY RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. lawmakers routinely approve naming road sections and bridges for living or deceased persons, including ex-legislators and other former public officials. Not only does it take up a lot of collective time that could be spent working on larger, more pressing issues, but it also comes with a cost to taxpayers – […]

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May 12, 2021

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Millions more proposed for Senate, House chambers under state spending plan

SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT The Senate’s version of the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes more than $1.2 billion in surplus money, though none of it would be refunded to taxpayers. Instead, senators would spend $4.2 million of the windfall on its own chamber and give another $2.2 million from the surplus to the […]

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May 7, 2021

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Attorney with ties to SC senator wins judgeship

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By RICK BRUNDRETT An attorney who works in a state senator’s law firm is Spartanburg County’s new master-in-equity judge – less than three months after the county’s legislative delegation, of which the senator is a member, quietly nominated her. The Senate and House this week confirmed Shannon Phillips, an attorney in Sen. Scott Talley’s law […]

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May 5, 2021

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Big government grows with new state agencies

By RICK BRUNDRETT No matter who’s in charge, state government in South Carolina just keeps getting bigger. Three stand-alone state agencies created since Republican Henry McMaster became governor in 2017 – the departments of Veterans’ Affairs and Children’s Advocacy, and the newest agency, the Office of Resilience – would have combined total budgets of $173 […]

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April 30, 2021

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Gas-tax-hike piggy bank keeps growing fatter

By RICK BRUNDRETT Through March, a special fund created with the state gas-tax-hike law had a cash balance of nearly $824 million and racked up more than $26 million in investment earnings on surpluses since July 2017, records show. The $823.8 million surplus in the “Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund” as of March 31 represented nearly […]

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