Tag Archives: Brad Hutto

Legislative delegations attempting heavy hand – again – in local matters

March 24, 2021

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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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Top lawmakers’ campaign spending didn’t stop with re-election

January 29, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the last three months of 2020, the November general election wasn’t the only expense that top S.C. lawmakers covered with campaign funds. The Nerve’s review of the latest campaign-spending reports filed this month by Senate and House leaders found that a number of them spent some of their campaign funds on […]

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Lawmakers continue looking after their own business interests

January 13, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As lawmakers return to Columbia this week to consider big issues such as the ongoing response to the coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina and the possible sale of state-owned utility Santee Cooper, some legislators are introducing bills that ultimately could fatten their own wallets. And state law allows it. Take Sen. Brad […]

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Quietly passed laws give legislative delegations more powers

October 16, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT At least one thing didn’t change in the S.C. Legislature during the coronavirus outbreak this year: legislative delegations’ control over local affairs. Two delegations gained even more power. Last month, lawmakers quietly passed a Senate bill, which had stalled after COVID-19 hit the state in the spring, giving the three-member Hampton County […]

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PURC legislative members took junkets to utility industry-sponsored events

February 19, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT From 2007 through 2016, five longtime legislative members of a panel that nominates candidates to the S.C. Public Service Commission each attended at least two out-of-state events sponsored by utility-industry trade groups, records show. The total taxpayer cost of the trips by the five lawmakers who sit on the six-legislator, 10-member State […]

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State law violated: PURC fails to submit annual reviews of PSC members

January 24, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee violated state law in recent years by not giving the General Assembly annual performance reviews of individual S.C. Public Service Commission members, who set utility rates for residents and businesses statewide, a review by The Nerve found. Timing could be everything. Before the V.C. Summer nuclear project collapsed […]

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How one S.C. senator can control the appointment of county magistrates

July 2, 2019

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SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Senate’s quiet move at the end of last week’s special legislative session to confirm Mike Pitts as a Laurens County magistrate surprised even some senators when the former state House member’s name was quickly read across the desk. That’s likely because, in part, the appointment of the more than 300 […]

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Ecodevo groups get lots of tax dollars, show few landed projects for the money

April 13, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In recent years, state lawmakers annually have earmarked a total of nearly $5 million to eight regional economic development organizations, presumably to help attract new companies to South Carolina. But whether taxpayers are getting significant, verifiable returns on their investment is questionable, The Nerve found in a review of required annual reports […]

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Legislators continue to look out for their own bottom lines

March 27, 2019

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SC budget process

By RICK BRUNDRETT Another year, another round of state lawmakers supporting legislation that could fatten their wallets. Just this month alone, at least two House bills and a Senate bill were introduced, while separate legislation passed the Senate, that pose potential conflicts of interest for lawmakers who authored or co-sponsored the proposals. State ethics law […]

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Senators continue tradition of keeping magistrates on short leashes

February 5, 2019

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT In South Carolina, state senators largely control the selection of more than 300 county magistrates, who handle thousands of relatively minor criminal and civil cases annually. That power is amplified when magistrates finish their terms without being reappointed, a period known as “holdover” status in which they can serve indefinitely – and […]

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