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Throwback Thursday: Commerce’s long history of incentives secrecy

October 10, 2019

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Transparency

This week, state Sen. Dick Harpootlian filed a lawsuit against the S.C. Department of Commerce to force the disclosure of Commerce records on two corporate incentives deals, one of which included a nearly $36 million state grant for the Giti Tire plant in Chester County, written about by The Nerve here and here. This is […]

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Throwback Thursday: Performance reviews for the Public Service Commission

October 3, 2019

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Good job

Next Tuesday, the legislatively controlled Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC) will perform the annual performance review of the Public Service Commission (PSC) – the board that regulates public utilities. State law requires the PURC – which also screens and nominates PSC members – to evaluate each PSC member to help lawmakers judge whether the energy […]

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Throwback Thursday: Fake numbers to support I-73 construction

September 12, 2019

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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 […]

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

September 9, 2019

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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 […]

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Throwback Thursday: State surplus – spending vs. saving

August 29, 2019

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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 […]

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

August 22, 2019

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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 […]

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Throwback Thursday: Unanswered questions about Hardee

August 15, 2019

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Former S.C. Department of Transportation commissioner John Hardee (son-in-law of state Sen. Hugh Leatherman) has been in the news lately related to allegations in a federal case that he received payments from an unidentified businessman in exchange for DOT contract awards – not to mention his arrest on a prostitution charge the day after he […]

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Throwback Thursday: Who controls the Public Service Commission?

August 8, 2019

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This week, the Public Service Commission terminated a contract with consultants hired to help set the price for solar energy purchased from small solar companies by large utilities. This decision followed the revelation that the consulting company in question had deep ties to investor-owned utilities – prompting public outcry and legislative disapproval. While public trust […]

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Throwback Thursday: Lawmakers, higher ed institutions violate state oversight law

August 1, 2019

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University of South Carolina

At a Joint Bond Review Committee (JBRC) meeting this week, several universities and one tech school openly violated a state law requiring colleges and universities to get the Commission on Higher Education’s (CHE) approval for proposed permanent improvement projects before going before the JBRC with their requests. Lawmakers overlooked that legal requirement for two of […]

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Throwback Thursday: Lawmakers not addressing real lack of educational accountability

July 25, 2019

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This month the Senate Education Committee resumed hearings on its version of the education omnibus bill that passed the House earlier this year, with the primary topic being governance reform. However, the “reforms” under discussion are focused solely on state intervention into local schools – to the point of suspending local school boards under certain […]

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