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Millions from civil settlements paid to S.C. AG’s Office, outside law firms

November 6, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the past four fiscal years, the state Attorney General’s Office settled 33 civil cases against various companies for a total of nearly $210 million, though agency records show that the proceeds typically didn’t go directly to affected South Carolina consumers. Instead, most of the money was used by lawmakers to help […]

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Thousands of state employees in the $100K-plus club

October 25, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In 2018, University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp received a new six-year deal that paid him $4.2 million in the first year and is worth a total of more than $28 million over the life of the contract. His total compensation includes $1.1 million in state salary – the […]

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The $4 billion piggy bank hidden from South Carolinians

October 23, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As state agencies prepare their proposed fiscal 2020-21 budgets, what they likely won’t reveal is the amount of “other” fund surpluses carried over year after year – collectively billions of dollars. As of June 30 – the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year – state agencies and divisions, plus several major state […]

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SC handing out incentives to companies that lay off workers, close plants

October 18, 2019

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Payoff

By RICK BRUNDRETT In announcing in April that DHL Supply Chain, a global logistics company, would locate a $100 million distribution and warehouse park in Dorchester County, Gov. Henry McMaster in a prepared statement said he couldn’t “wait to see what the future holds for this great company here.” In exchange for the planned investment, […]

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Long legislative tradition of putting ex-colleagues, relatives in high-paying public jobs

October 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The possibility that two more ex-lawmakers could join the state Public Service Commission – with six-figure salaries – highlights a longstanding tradition of legislators giving well-paying jobs to their former colleagues, relatives and friends. On Friday, the six-legislator, 10-member State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC), which nominates PSC candidates for […]

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Millions in S.C. tax dollars shelled out for second ‘phantom’ interstate

October 9, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Interstate 73 isn’t the only nonexistent South Carolina highway that has been heavily subsidized with state tax dollars. From fiscal 2006 through fiscal 2013, S.C. lawmakers quietly appropriated a total of $4 million for the “routing, planning, and construction” of Interstate 74, which runs through parts of North Carolina. The annual $500,000 […]

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Gov. McMaster using federal lobbyists to help get I-73 funding, records show

October 4, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A lobbying firm hired by Gov. Henry McMaster at $15,000 a month to help get federal disaster funding also has been working on the controversial Interstate 73 project in the state – including a proposed meeting with President Donald Trump, newly released records from the Governor’s Office show. The open-ended contract, however, […]

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Filling one crack at a time: key part of DOT’s plan to ‘fix’ SC’s bad roads

October 2, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Although state transportation officials claim they are making serious progress in fixing South Carolina’s bad roads and bridges with gas-tax-hike money, their own numbers continue to tell a different story. Newly released S.C. Department of Transportation records show that of the $311.3 million in total vendor payments through August under the gas-tax-hike […]

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Right to attorney not assured for all low-income criminal defendants in SC

September 26, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Under a new city of Columbia ordinance, “extreme risk” residents who are poor might get a court-appointed lawyer – despite not facing any criminal charges – before they could be ordered by a municipal judge to turn over their guns. But in South Carolina, the appointment of a public defender even in […]

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Road-naming legislation cuts into road repair funds

September 21, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When in session, S.C. lawmakers routinely introduce legislation dedicating an existing road section, bridge or intersection to a living or deceased person – including ex-legislators. Their road- and bridge-naming proposals are made through concurrent resolutions, which unlike general bills, can’t be reviewed by the governor. Since 2017, legislators have approved 57 such […]

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