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McMaster receives gifts totaling tens of thousands of dollars

April 7, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the past four years as South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster received a total of more than $87,000 in gifts, The Nerve found in a review of his annual income-disclosure reports. Of the $87,695 in freebies, $24,679, or 28%, came from the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Governors Association (RGA), mainly for flights, hotel […]

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Pothole palooza: SCDOT claims it patches hundreds of thousands of holes

April 2, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In its latest annual report, the S.C. Department of Transportation claimed it patched about 679,300 potholes statewide during fiscal year 2020. Based on those numbers, an average of 14,767 potholes were filled from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, in each of the state’s 46 counties, though the annual report, provided […]

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Millions more proposed by S.C. House for ‘tourism marketing’

March 26, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Nearly $30 million in tax dollars could flow next fiscal year through the state tourism agency to regional tourism organizations for “tourism marketing” – with reduced or no private grant matches in contrast to larger matches required in prior years. The S.C. House version of the state budget for fiscal year 2022 […]

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Legislative delegations attempting heavy hand – again – in local matters

March 24, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Like spring flowers, bills showcasing the powers of county legislative delegations are blooming at the State House these days. The Legislature last week passed a bill, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Johnson, D-Clarendon, and introduced just eight days earlier, that would consolidate Clarendon County School District 2 and the recently created District 4 […]

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State spending continues to swell amid pandemic

March 19, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When the full S.C. House meets next week to debate the fiscal 2022 state budget, it will consider a plan that’s at least $1 billion bigger than the budget in effect when the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Carolina. And that doesn’t include billions more in recently awarded federal Covid-relief funding for the […]

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Taxpayer tab for Leatherman Terminal projects could grow much bigger

March 17, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A new Port of Charleston terminal – named after powerful S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman – already comes with a related, massive state taxpayer bill that could skyrocket under a new proposal pushed by the longtime lawmaker. The “Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal,” a state Ports Authority facility in North Charleston that is scheduled […]

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Lawmakers seek to regain control over who heads county VA offices

March 12, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Two years ago, lawmakers created the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, a stand-alone state agency aimed at helping to provide services to the thousands of veterans in South Carolina. With the creation of the new agency, county legislative delegations lost their sole power to fire the county veterans’ affairs officer (CVAO) in their […]

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Secrecy still order of the day in S.C. court system

March 10, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT If an ethics complaint is filed against a South Carolina judge, in most cases the public will never learn the details. That’s because court rules adopted by the five-member S.C. Supreme Court – the state’s top court – largely ensure secrecy in the process. For example, under court rules, misconduct proceedings against […]

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House targets budget law for repeal; other old laws remain untouched

March 5, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In South Carolina, it’s still illegal to challenge someone to a duel with a sword, pistol or other deadly weapon. Other laws on the books that date to the last century or earlier ban such things as, for example: Robbing a train after stopping it; Swindling in card or dice games; Committing […]

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Gas-tax-hike surplus expands by $250M in one year while road projects lag

March 3, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In just one year, the surplus from state gas-tax-hike revenues grew by more than a quarter of a billion dollars, or 50%, to $752 million as of Jan. 31, records show. The Nerve repeatedly has pointed out the growing reserve that the S.C. Department of Transportation has been sitting on since the […]

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