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Santee Cooper board still has expired, vacant seats despite ‘reform’ law

June 18, 2021

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Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT Of the 12 seats on the board governing state-owned utility Santee Cooper, two are vacant while seven members are serving past their expired terms. A new law that purportedly will reform Santee Cooper – pushed by lawmakers after they couldn’t decide to sell the debt-burdened utility – doesn’t change the selection process […]

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Lawmakers bypassing normal budget process to spend $600M settlement

June 16, 2021

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Gavel on Money

By RICK BRUNDRETT Proceeds from a $600 million settlement with the federal government over plutonium storage in South Carolina weren’t included in any state budget versions crafted by lawmakers for the upcoming fiscal year. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t planning to spend the massive windfall. Last month, a joint resolution was quietly introduced in […]

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Holes still exist in DOT’s pothole numbers

June 11, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The number of potholes that the S.C. Department of Transportation claims it patched statewide jumped by more than 300,000 over the last four fiscal years, according to agency annual reports. The Nerve has reported that DOT’s annual numbers in recent years were merely estimates. But DOT now says the 678,984 potholes it […]

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House poised to spend millions more on pork projects

June 8, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. House this week could pass a revised version of the fiscal 2022 state budget, which includes $1.8 billion in “new” state funding. But the total $32.1 billion budget version passed last week by the House Ways and Means Committee doesn’t authorize any refunds to state taxpayers. Budget writers, however, designated […]

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U.S. Rep. Mace among those owing S.C. House ethics fines

June 4, 2021

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House members only sign

  By RICK BRUNDRETT Ex-S.C. House member Nancy Mace, who was elected last year to Congress, owes a $5,100 civil fine imposed by the state House Ethics Committee for a campaign reporting violation related to her former position, according to an updated fines list released this week after The Nerve’s inquiry. The list, updated Tuesday […]

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SCDOT says it will fix nearly 1,000 more miles of bad roads. More empty promises?

May 27, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Motorists likely will feel plenty of bumps this Memorial Day weekend as they drive over South Carolina’s seemingly endless pothole-riddled roads. Since the state gas-tax-hike law took effect nearly four years ago, The Nerve has repeatedly pointed out the S.C. Department of Transportation’s relatively slow pace of completing paving projects while sitting […]

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Feds giving SC more covid money – without clear spending instructions

May 21, 2021

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BY RICK BRUNDRETT Local governments in South Carolina are expected to collectively receive hundreds of millions more in federal COVID-19 relief funding, though what exactly that money can be spent on is unclear. The U.S. Department of Treasury last week adopted an “interim final rule” on the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding. But local government […]

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Two lawmakers rack up thousands in unpaid ethics fines

May 19, 2021

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BY RICK BRUNDRETT Since 2015, two sitting House members have owed thousands in civil fines after receiving public reprimands for campaign reporting violations, records reviewed by The Nerve show. Rep. Cezar McKnight, D-Williamsburg, who is an attorney, owes $59,150.88 to the Senate Ethics Committee, committee lawyer J.J. Gentry said in an initial written response in […]

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Taxpayers on hook for road- and bridge-naming legislation

May 14, 2021

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SC Statehouse

BY RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. lawmakers routinely approve naming road sections and bridges for living or deceased persons, including ex-legislators and other former public officials. Not only does it take up a lot of collective time that could be spent working on larger, more pressing issues, but it also comes with a cost to taxpayers – […]

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Millions more proposed for Senate, House chambers under state spending plan

May 12, 2021

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SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT The Senate’s version of the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year includes more than $1.2 billion in surplus money, though none of it would be refunded to taxpayers. Instead, senators would spend $4.2 million of the windfall on its own chamber and give another $2.2 million from the surplus to the […]

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