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Politicians’ promises don’t reflect written incentives deals

July 8, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT       S.C. politicians routinely love to make promises about massive corporate investment and multitudes of new jobs in the Palmetto State. But the secretly crafted written agreements offering taxpayer-backed incentives in exchange for those promised jobs and investment often don’t live up to the official hype. Last month, The Nerve detailed how for […]

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Fourth of July in SC: fireworks, barbecues – and potholes

July 1, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As residents and tourists hit South Carolina roads this July 4th holiday weekend, they will contend with plenty of potholes and higher state gasoline taxes. Meanwhile, newly released records show that the S.C. Department of Transportation – the agency tasked with fixing pothole-riddled, state-maintained roads, continues to sit on massive reserves – […]

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Truths about secret incentives deals revealed – 10 years later

June 24, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT All we wanted was the truth. Over the past several decades, South Carolina legislators and governors, as well as local governments, collectively have given away billions in incentives to countless corporations. Cash, land, tax breaks and free job training have been thrown at companies in exchange for the promise of jobs. Taxpayers […]

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S.C. medical stockpiles big enough for future health emergencies?

June 12, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Whether South Carolina has enough medical supplies to deal with the next possible wave of the coronavirus – or other future health emergencies – is a matter of debate. As of early last month, the federal government had provided nearly 154 million personal protective equipment items – mostly surgical and exam gloves, […]

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Tourism advertising funds, manufacturer incentives sought in covid’s wake

June 5, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Spending more tax dollars on tourism advertising and incentives for manufacturers are among proposals to jump-start South Carolina’s economy, which took a severe blow with government-imposed shutdowns following the coronavirus outbreak. The recommendation for increased tourism advertising is contained in a final report released last week by “accelerateSC,” an advisory committee created […]

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State agencies issue millions in emergency purchase orders amid covid outbreak

May 29, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Transportation initially wanted more than $1 million worth of hand sanitizer. The state Department of Administration requested 1,500 laptop computers and related equipment totaling nearly $468,000. The Department of Employment and Workforce sought an out-of-state technology firm with a reduced annual “subscription fee” of $74,371 for its services. […]

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COVID-19 hasn’t infected massive gas-tax-hike surplus

May 22, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Despite reduced traffic in South Carolina over the past two months resulting from government-ordered shutdowns, a state surplus under the 2017 gas-tax-hike law continued to grow while most major paving projects went unfinished, newly released records show. Through April 30, the state collected $1.2 billion under the law, which could cover nearly […]

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State health agency spending relatively little from emergency covid funds

May 15, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Since lawmakers in March approved $45 million in emergency funding for the state health department’s response to the coronavirus, the agency has spent less than 10 percent of the total, records show. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control through April listed a total of about $3.9 million in expenditures, with […]

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State agency can order quarantine of COVID-19 victims

May 6, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Among the provisions in Gov. Henry McMaster’s emergency orders is one allowing the state health department to confine people infected with the coronavirus in their homes or other private or public places. Although the provision hasn’t been enforced to date, it’s part of the 2002 Emergency Health Powers Act (EHPA). Those who […]

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Some SC school board members now have far more power during covid emergency

May 1, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In South Carolina, public school boards have broad powers, such as hiring the district superintendent, setting administrators’ salaries and approving annual budgets. Yet since Gov. Henry McMaster closed public schools statewide in March, school boards in at least five districts have given their board chairpersons under identical emergency resolutions the sole power […]

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