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Wealthier, more connected counties get big road projects

March 27, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Bank spending in well-worn groove Billions of dollars flow through South Carolina every year, to contractors and others, for roads and other infrastructure projects. The money comes from three pots, essentially: funds sent from the General Assembly through the state Department of Transportation; federal dollars channeled through SCDOT; and money, usually borrowed, […]

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Fresh ammo arrives for gas-tax advocates

March 22, 2017

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road construction ahead

By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ   Construction advocates bring convenient report Another player emerged yesterday in the debate on a gas-tax increase: TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based, nonprofit transportation research organization. The group released a report detailing ways in which South Carolina motorists lose $5.4 billion a year, as much as $1,850 per driver, it maintains, due to roads […]

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When rules become Swiss cheese

March 17, 2017

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By PHILLIP CEASE Only some restrooms need apply There’s another bathroom bill in the legislature this year, but this one only deals with stadiums. H. 3792, which passed the House unanimously by a vote of 101-0, carves out an exemption in the building code for bathrooms in middle and high school stadiums. In an Associated Press […]

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Are the roads really crumbling?

March 16, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Some data say SC’s, like the nation’s, aren’t that bad “The state’s crumbling road system” — that phrase and its variants seem to be uttered almost nonstop in South Carolina as the General Assembly mulls the latest gas-tax increase legislation. South Carolina Department of Transportation Secretary Christy Hall has been outspoken, saying […]

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Did I say that out loud?

March 12, 2017

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South Carolina Senate

By PHILLIP CEASE Conflicts of interest begin to seem standard Last week, as the state Senate discussed the so-called pension reform bill, Senator Sandy Senn stood up to ask a few very specific questions about a proposed amendment and how it would affect law enforcement officers. In looking into why she had a very narrow […]

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They play by house rules

March 3, 2017

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By PHILLIP CEASE On the budget, legislators bid defiance to mere laws The South Carolina House passed a gas-tax increase this week and a bill aimed at fixing the pension system, while the Senate approved a similar pension bill. Both of these issues, the gas tax and pension reform, received a lot of press — […]

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DOT funds flow to roads alliance

March 1, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Some seeking tax hike get hundreds of millions Since 2014, at least eight members of a nonprofit pushing for an increase in the state’s gas tax collectively have received more than $451 million from the state Department of Transportation, records show. The money was paid to contractors who are members of the […]

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When common sense goes dark

February 24, 2017

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By PHILLIP CEASE Lawmakers explain how to not see sun This week the legislature passed a joint resolution that allows school districts to start the next school year Thursday, August 17. Without this resolution, schools could not start before the third Monday of that month, August 21 — the day of a solar eclipse. The […]

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Bill would pierce right-to-work

February 23, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Docs could be made to join advocacy group Manufacturers such as Boeing are said to be drawn to South Carolina because it’s a right-to-work state, something state political leaders tout. It’s spelled out in state law: “The right of persons to work must not be denied or abridged because of membership or non-membership in a labor […]

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State overpaid millions to schools

February 15, 2017

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By ROBERT MEYEROWITZ Superintendent not sure how money can be recovered The Department of Education has been giving schools millions of dollars in excess of what they were supposed to receive. Education Oversight Committee staffer Bunnie Ward was speaking before the full committee in Columbia Monday when she said there were “discrepancies” between enrollment and […]

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