September 12, 2019

0 Comments

Throwback Thursday: Fake numbers to support I-73 construction

i-73

Earlier this week, The Nerve reported that the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank board, which includes Sen. Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence, discussed expanding interstates through the STIB. This week’s throwback deals with a multibillion-dollar interstate construction project that lawmakers (including Leatherman, the longtime Senate Finance Committee chairman) have pushed for years – the South Carolina portion of […]

Continue reading...

September 11, 2019

0 Comments

State agencies sitting on big reserves; lawmakers returning little to taxpayers

By RICK BRUNDRETT If the S.C. House of Representatives decided to forgo its entire $22.7 million budget this fiscal year, it could still pay all of its expected bills – with more than $650,000 left over. That’s because the 124-member chamber carried over nearly $23.4 million in general funds into this fiscal year for its […]

Continue reading...

September 9, 2019

0 Comments

More debt for more interstates: Takeaways from the latest STIB meeting

road construction ahead

Members of the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) board recently discussed their desire to explore expanding South Carolina’s interstates through the STIB. While nothing was voted on or confirmed, the ideas floated included finding additional funding streams, “encouraging” the state Department of Transportation to partner with STIB to build interstates, and expanding the STIB’s charter […]

Continue reading...

September 6, 2019

0 Comments

Payouts in pothole claims against SCDOT total hundreds of thousands

By RICK BRUNDRETT In January 2016, a driver swerved around a pothole on Bate Harvey Road in York County, crossed the center line and hit an oncoming vehicle, court records show. The S.C. Department of Transportation last year paid, through the state Insurance Reserve Fund (IRF), $150,000 in damages and $26,592 in legal expenses to […]

Continue reading...

September 4, 2019

0 Comments

Public agencies in SC spend more than $1 million total on state lobbyists

  By RICK BRUNDRETT For the first half of this year, North Myrtle Beach agreed to pay a total of $120,000 to a lobbying firm to “work with” the Legislature and Governor’s Office on the city’s behalf, including a push for a law allowing a local sales tax for infrastructure projects, according to a retainer […]

Continue reading...

August 30, 2019

0 Comments

Southern 500 in Darlington racing with plenty of tax dollars

By RICK BRUNDRETT The thousands of fans who are expected to attend the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway on Sunday aren’t the only folks supporting the annual NASCAR race. For years, taxpayers have subsidized the private stock-car racetrack dubbed “The Track Too Tough to Tame.” State comptroller general records, for example, show that the […]

Continue reading...

August 29, 2019

0 Comments

Throwback Thursday: State surplus – spending vs. saving

dollars coat of arms

The Comptroller General’s Office announced a $350 million surplus when the books were closed this month. The comptroller – the state’s accountant – advised lawmakers to “forgo the ‘spending spree’ temptation,” recommending instead that at least some of the surplus go toward paying down the pension system’s unfunded liability. The pension deficit amount, it should […]

Continue reading...

August 28, 2019

0 Comments

Lots of hands in S.C. pension and health insurance cookie jars

By RICK BRUNDRETT When it comes to receiving taxpayer-funded state retirement and health insurance benefits, lots of folks have their hands out – and it’s not just government employees. Certain nonprofit organizations and quasi-government groups participate in the state pension and health insurance systems, which mainly cover state, county and local government agencies, as well […]

Continue reading...

August 23, 2019

0 Comments

County legislative delegation tightens grip on Clarendon 2 school board

By RICK BRUNDRETT For many years, S.C. lawmakers have exerted considerable control over local matters through county legislative delegations. Take the Clarendon County legislative delegation, for example. In April, Democratic Sen. Kevin Johnson of Manning introduced a bill to give the three-member delegation, of which he is the chairman, direct control over appointing the nine-member […]

Continue reading...

August 22, 2019

0 Comments

Throwback Thursday: Lawmakers talking about “being creative” to find more STIB funding

Repaving road

During a State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) board meeting this week, Sen. Hugh Leatherman directed his staff to explore the STIB’s options for building/expanding interstates. In response, fellow board member and ex-Rep. Chip Limehouse remarked that if the STIB plans to tackle interstates, it will need more revenue and should be “creative” in locating new […]

Continue reading...