March 26, 2021

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

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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March 24, 2021

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Legislative delegations attempting heavy hand – again – in local matters

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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March 19, 2021

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State spending continues to swell amid pandemic

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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March 17, 2021

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Taxpayer tab for Leatherman Terminal projects could grow much bigger

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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March 12, 2021

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Lawmakers seek to regain control over who heads county VA offices

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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March 10, 2021

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

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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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March 5, 2021

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

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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March 3, 2021

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

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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February 26, 2021

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Legislators quietly moving to repeal longtime budget law they ignore

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Legislature these days is proving that the cover-up is as bad as the crime. Not only have legislators routinely ignored a longstanding state law requiring public hearings on the entire state budget as initially proposed by the governor, they now are moving to get rid of the law itself – […]

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February 24, 2021

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Little-known S.C. public railroad pays its executives well

By RICK BRUNDRETT It’s a railroad that most South Carolinians probably never have heard of. The Charleston-based “Palmetto Railways” is classified as a “short line railroad,” which typically runs shorter distances and connects shippers to larger freight railroads. Officially, Palmetto Railways, which was established in 1969, is a division of the S.C. Department of Commerce, […]

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