Archive | Investigative Reports RSS feed for this section

Legislative delegations control state grants totaling millions for local rec projects

September 22, 2021

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Since 2017, powerful county legislative delegations have approved a total of more than $8 million in state grants for hundreds of local recreation projects in South Carolina, records show. And as of mid-July, the delegations, made up of state House and Senate members representing a county, collectively had $5 million more available […]

Continue reading...

Legislative infighting: Inside a dysfunctional delegation

September 16, 2021

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT In South Carolina, county legislative delegations – made up of state House and Senate members representing a county – have considerable power on their home turfs. As The Nerve has pointed out, delegations make appointments to various local boards and committees, including school boards in some counties and most county transportation committees, […]

Continue reading...

SC roads get ‘D’ grade as major repair projects remain unfinished

September 10, 2021

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT South Carolina will need almost $43 billion more by 2040 to fix its bad roads and handle increased traffic with projected growth, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, which gave the state’s roads a “D” grade in its annual infrastructure report card. Meanwhile, the S.C. Department of Transportation continues to […]

Continue reading...

The $5 billion surplus officials don’t talk about

September 8, 2021

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Out of this fiscal year’s $32.5 billion state budget, more than a third of it – nearly $12.3 billion – is made up of “other” funds. “Other” funds include such things as fees and fines, college tuition, lottery proceeds, state gasoline taxes, and part of the state sales tax earmarked for K-12 […]

Continue reading...

Millions flow through SCDOT to company with ties to Sen. Leatherman

September 2, 2021

0 Comments

    By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Transportation since 2016 has awarded 56 bridge contracts totaling $8.4 million to a company with ties to Sen. Hugh Leatherman – one of the state’s most powerful lawmakers, records provided to The Nerve show. The contracts with Florence Concrete Products, Inc. ranged from $50,164 for a […]

Continue reading...

Gallo Winery project: No cheap buzz for SC taxpayers

August 27, 2021

0 Comments

  By RICK BRUNDRETT E.&J. Gallo Winery, a multibillion-dollar global corporation, will get at least $25 million in assistance from the state of South Carolina to locate a plant in Chester County – plus could receive tens of millions more in taxpayer-backed incentives over decades, records released to The Nerve show. And the California-based wine […]

Continue reading...

State surpluses keep growing. Taxpayers likely won’t get any of it back

August 25, 2021

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Lawmakers have far more state tax dollars to play with this fiscal year, though there has been no serious interest in returning any of it to taxpayers. In an annual report released earlier this month, S.C. comptroller general Richard Eckstrom – the state’s top accountant – said the state had a $1.024 […]

Continue reading...

State AG hires current, former lawyer-legislators in civil cases

August 20, 2021

0 Comments

Gavel on Money

By RICK BRUNDRETT Since 2017, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson has hired at least six current or former lawyer-legislators to handle certain civil cases, including the chairman of a House committee that first approves the annual state budget, which funds Wilson’s office, records show. The outside lawyers hired to assist the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) […]

Continue reading...

Santee Cooper seeks state OK to dive deeper in debt

August 17, 2021

0 Comments

Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT State-owned utility Santee Cooper’s debt load is projected to grow by more than a half-billion dollars under a proposal that a legislative committee likely will rubber-stamp today. The utility’s board of directors in a special meeting Thursday approved asking the state Joint Bond Review Committee (JBRC) to allow the utility to sell […]

Continue reading...

Santee Cooper deep in debt, still spending millions on ecodevo projects

August 12, 2021

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Santee Cooper’s electric customers are on the hook for billions in debt payments, but that hasn’t stopped the state-owned utility from spending millions in recent years on economic development projects. The Nerve’s review of utility records provided recently under the state’s open-records law found that from May 2018 through May of this […]

Continue reading...