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Throwback Thursday: How NOT to sell Santee Cooper

February 20, 2020

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Santee Cooper

Lawmakers have been holding committee meetings all week on the S.C. Department of Administration’s report detailing three different proposals for the future of state-owned utility Santee Cooper: a purchase offer from NextEra, a management offer from Dominion, and an internal reform proposal from Santee Cooper itself. There are serious problems with all three proposals – […]

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Throwback Thursday: Taxpayers’ cost for secret Santee Cooper bids

February 13, 2020

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santee cooper

This week, the S.C. Department of Administration released an official report detailing three different options for the future of state-owned utility Santee Cooper. This report concludes a months-long, closed-door process of collecting and analyzing purchase and management offers, as well as Santee Cooper’s own “reform” proposal. The collection and evaluation of offers were not carried […]

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Throwback Thursday: Why judicial races are usually uncontested

February 6, 2020

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sc supreme court

Yesterday, 17 judges were elected by the Legislature, all of whom were unopposed – at least by the time lawmakers actually held the elections. All but one of these judges were elected by voice votes over audible-but-unrecognized objections, despite the state constitution’s requirement that voice votes can only be used in elections by the Legislature […]

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Throwback Thursday: Charleston airport board’s history of questionable practices

January 30, 2020

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Airplane over runway

This week, the Charleston County Aviation Authority (which oversees the Charleston airport) named a new CEO to replace outgoing CEO Sen. Paul Campbell, who recently announced that he is retiring after his contract ends in June, though he plans to continue in an advisory role through the end of the year. The new CEO, Elliott […]

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Throwback Thursday: Lawmakers ignore legal deadline for joint budget hearings

January 23, 2020

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House-committee-room-e1503690091195

  Monday of this week marked the deadline, as set by state law, for the lawmakers to begin joint, open hearings on the governor’s budget. According to state law, the governor’s draft of the budget is due five days after the beginning of session (the law does not specify whether these are calendar or work […]

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Throwback Thursday: South Carolina’s “Legislative State”

January 16, 2020

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SC Statehouse

As the 2020 legislative session kicks off, it’s important to remember that the General Assembly doesn’t just control the legislative branch of government. Lawmakers also control many of the more important executive functions, and they select the judges who interpret the laws. This structure is often termed “the Legislative State,” though that is not a […]

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Throwback Thursday: Another law or rule won’t stop legislative pork spending

January 9, 2020

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A recent news story reported how lawmakers routinely funnel funding for secret pet projects through the state budget – a nontransparent process where project details are not disclosed in the budget, and instructions for how to spend those dollars are given by legislative staffers only after the budget has passed. As a result, some lawmakers […]

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Throwback Thursday: Judicial Reform – a simple solution to a complex problem

December 19, 2019

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sc supreme court

For years, The Nerve has reported on the legislature’s control of the judiciary – specifically regarding the selection of local magistrates. In 2012, The Nerve revealed a loophole in the law which allows magistrates to stay in office indefinitely after their terms expire, giving their county Senate delegations – which could remove the magistrate at […]

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Throwback Thursday: The Most Powerful Lawmakers in South Carolina

December 12, 2019

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sc senate seats

With the start of the legislative session right around the corner, it’s a good time to review who’s actually in charge of state government (hint: It’s not the governor). In South Carolina, most of the essential functions of state government are controlled by a handful of lawmakers, who enjoy powerful board and commission positions and […]

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Throwback Thursday: Poor transparency for federal funds in the state budget

December 5, 2019

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Federal Spending South Carolina

A recent Pew Research Center report showed that federal dollars comprised roughly a third of states’ overall revenue in fiscal year 2017. This is precisely what the South Carolina Policy Council, The Nerve’s parent organization, has shown in budget reports year after year, but federal funds receive almost zero attention in the budget process, are […]

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