Tag Archives: coronavirus

COVID-19 not threatening high S.C. university salaries

August 20, 2020

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University of South Carolina

By RICK BRUNDRETT As University of South Carolina and Clemson University students return to in-person or online classes amid the coronavirus spread, what remains constant at the state’s two largest colleges is the growing number of well-paid employees. As of July 7, the 48,000-student USC, which has eight campuses statewide, had 1,193 employees earning at […]

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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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Covid fallout: Taxpayer-funded SC nonprofits get forgivable fed loans

July 23, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Some nonprofit organizations in South Carolina that already receive significant public funding have been awarded forgivable federal loans of at least $150,000 in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, records show. The intent of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is to help small businesses pay […]

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S.C. medical stockpiles big enough for future health emergencies?

June 12, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Whether South Carolina has enough medical supplies to deal with the next possible wave of the coronavirus – or other future health emergencies – is a matter of debate. As of early last month, the federal government had provided nearly 154 million personal protective equipment items – mostly surgical and exam gloves, […]

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Tourism advertising funds, manufacturer incentives sought in covid’s wake

June 5, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Spending more tax dollars on tourism advertising and incentives for manufacturers are among proposals to jump-start South Carolina’s economy, which took a severe blow with government-imposed shutdowns following the coronavirus outbreak. The recommendation for increased tourism advertising is contained in a final report released last week by “accelerateSC,” an advisory committee created […]

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State agencies issue millions in emergency purchase orders amid covid outbreak

May 29, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Transportation initially wanted more than $1 million worth of hand sanitizer. The state Department of Administration requested 1,500 laptop computers and related equipment totaling nearly $468,000. The Department of Employment and Workforce sought an out-of-state technology firm with a reduced annual “subscription fee” of $74,371 for its services. […]

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COVID-19 hasn’t infected massive gas-tax-hike surplus

May 22, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Despite reduced traffic in South Carolina over the past two months resulting from government-ordered shutdowns, a state surplus under the 2017 gas-tax-hike law continued to grow while most major paving projects went unfinished, newly released records show. Through April 30, the state collected $1.2 billion under the law, which could cover nearly […]

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State health agency spending relatively little from emergency covid funds

May 15, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Since lawmakers in March approved $45 million in emergency funding for the state health department’s response to the coronavirus, the agency has spent less than 10 percent of the total, records show. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control through April listed a total of about $3.9 million in expenditures, with […]

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State agency can order quarantine of COVID-19 victims

May 6, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Among the provisions in Gov. Henry McMaster’s emergency orders is one allowing the state health department to confine people infected with the coronavirus in their homes or other private or public places. Although the provision hasn’t been enforced to date, it’s part of the 2002 Emergency Health Powers Act (EHPA). Those who […]

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Some SC school board members now have far more power during covid emergency

May 1, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In South Carolina, public school boards have broad powers, such as hiring the district superintendent, setting administrators’ salaries and approving annual budgets. Yet since Gov. Henry McMaster closed public schools statewide in March, school boards in at least five districts have given their board chairpersons under identical emergency resolutions the sole power […]

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