Tag Archives: Bobby Hitt

Senator: Lawmakers left out of loop on Leatherman’s $550M bond proposal

April 9, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Claiming that many lawmakers had little or no notice of a $550 million taxpayer-backed bond plan for projects at the Port of Charleston, a senator has proposed expanding the Ports Authority governing board to include the heads of the state Commerce and Transportation departments. Besides making Commerce secretary Bobby Hitt and DOT […]

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

February 24, 2021

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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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Commerce approves hundreds of large-crowd events amid Covid outbreak

February 12, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Since Gov. Henry McMaster in August gave the state Department of Commerce – which isn’t a public health agency – the authority to allow large-crowd events in South Carolina amid the coronavirus outbreak, the agency has approved more than 1,300 applications, records show. Through Thursday morning, Commerce approved 1,345, or 90%, of […]

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No shortage of budget pork amid COVID-19 outbreak

December 11, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When lawmakers return in January for a new legislative session, they likely will claim they will have far less money to spend next fiscal year because of the coronavirus outbreak. But state government is far from poor, at least judging by agencies’ budget requests for fiscal 2021-22, which starts July 1 – […]

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Governor punts health-related powers to Commerce – again

August 5, 2020

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT Gov. Henry McMaster has once again granted the S.C. Department of Commerce – which isn’t a public health agency – the power to make health-related decisions in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the state. Last week, McMaster announced that “gatherings,” defined in his executive order as a “planned or spontaneous […]

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McMaster’s ‘non-essential’ list: A hole-in-one for SC golfers – and others

April 7, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last Tuesday, Gov. Henry McMaster ordered that “non-essential” businesses statewide be closed to the public to combat the spread of the coronavirus, though he included some pretty big loopholes. Take golfing, for example. His “non-essential” list includes various “recreational and athletic facilities,” such as fitness centers, though sports that “involve interaction” of […]

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Trick plays? How job estimates have grown with the Panthers’ planned SC move

December 6, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The Carolina Panthers’ planned move of its headquarters and training facilities to Rock Hill is part of a larger effort to create 7,000 jobs with an average annual salary of $60,000 – as claimed in a state application for a federal grant to build an interstate interchange that would benefit the NFL […]

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Plenty of pork in proposed state agency budgets for 2020-21

November 22, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT With $1.8 billion more in projected general funds in the state budget for next fiscal year, state agencies are hoping to fulfill their growing wish lists. Their taxpayer-funded requests collectively include millions for such things as promoting private sporting events, businesses and products, along with potentially generous handouts to select companies. Consider […]

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Key details in Volvo cost-benefit analyses kept secret by S.C. Commerce

July 12, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT More than four years after officials announced that Volvo would locate in South Carolina, the state Department of Commerce won’t reveal the estimated amounts of certain public costs and benefits identified in analyses of the $1.1 billion project. The Nerve reported last month, based on Commerce records obtained under the state open-records […]

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SCRA getting big Commerce payments while seeking revenue-friendly legislation

February 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Commerce has paid more than $2.9 million since fiscal 2015 to a state-created nonprofit that listed $69 million in net assets as of June 30 and now wants lawmakers to double its main funding source. Asked for specifics on the $2.93 million paid to the Columbia-based South Carolina […]

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