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$20M in COVID-19 funds earmarked for tourism marketing

October 9, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Gov. Henry McMaster plans to spend $20 million in state surplus money in response to the coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina, but it’s not for more testing, treatment or protective gear such as face masks. Instead, those funds will be spent on tourism marketing – most of it going to five tourism […]

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State AG seeking millions for his own agency from $600M plutonium deal

October 7, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In touting a $600 million settlement with the federal government over plutonium storage in the state, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson publicly described the deal as the “single largest settlement in South Carolina’s history.” But what Wilson, the state’s chief lawyer since 2011, didn’t mention in his Aug. 31 announcement was that […]

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State health benefits offered to another part-time governing board

October 2, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Another governing board of a state-created agency is under scrutiny over whether some board members are receiving state health-insurance benefits in violation of the law, The Nerve has learned. Two members of the S.C. Ports Authority Board of Directors participate in the state health plan, authority spokeswoman Liz Crumley said Tuesday when […]

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Gas-tax-hike projects: Main contractors doing other SC jobs

September 30, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The slow pace of fixing South Carolina’s bad roads and bridges since the state gas tax was hiked more than three years ago could be tied in part to who’s doing the work and what other projects those companies are handling, records show. The 10 highest-paid road contractors with gas-tax-hike revenues from […]

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State health insurance benefits offered in violation of state law

September 25, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last month, the agency in charge of managing the state health plan informed state-owned utility Santee Cooper that members of the utility’s governing board were offered insurance benefits under the plan, though they weren’t eligible, records show. Santee Cooper communications director Mollie Gore told The Nerve that utility officials haven’t been able to […]

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S.C. lawmakers continue tight grip on PSC elections

September 23, 2020

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Update: The Legislature on Sept. 23, 2020, elected four newcomers to the S.C. Public Service Commission: Carolyn “Carolee” Williams, District 1; Stephen “Mike” Caston, District 3; Headen Thomas, District 5; and Delton Powers, District 7. By RICK BRUNDRETT For many South Carolinians, the size of their utility bills ultimately rests with state lawmakers. Not only […]

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The $4 billion state officials are keeping secret

September 18, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Many politicians and other government officials don’t want to publicly acknowledge the huge surpluses that state agencies accumulate year after year. Even amid the coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina, 101 state agencies and two major state accounts collectively ended the fiscal year on June 30 with at least $4.3 billion in “other” […]

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SC motorists paying more taxes at the pump, still seeing slow results

September 9, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Motorists in South Carolina are now paying 8 cents more per gallon since the state gas-tax-hike law took effect in July 2017 – and will face another collective 4-cent increase over the next two years. But repairs to the state’s pothole-riddled roads still have been moving at a slow pace. Newly released […]

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As South Carolinians’ income shrinks, state agency surpluses grow

September 3, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Commerce started fiscal 2021 with a $103.1 million general-fund surplus – more than double its reserves from a year ago. The S.C. House of Representatives had a $23.7 million surplus as of July 1 for its 124-member chamber – nearly $1 million more than its entire budget, records […]

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Lawmakers routinely tap campaign funds for ‘other’ expenses

August 27, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Politicians typically spend campaign funds on things like signs, billboards, TV, radio or internet advertising. But S.C. lawmakers often use their campaign money for other expenses, including out-of-state trips, donations to their favorite charities, membership dues, or gifts to their staffs and constituents. And it’s all legal – at least according to […]

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