Tag Archives: COVID-19

Commerce approves hundreds of large-crowd events amid Covid outbreak

February 12, 2021

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

Health agency slowly spending Covid money

January 27, 2021

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT A state House proposal would send an additional $63 million out of state surplus funds to the Department of Health and Environmental Control to speed up COVID-19 vaccinations and continue testing statewide. But DHEC has spent only about 60% of the $45 million in state surplus funds awarded to the agency last […]

Continue reading...

No shortage of budget pork amid COVID-19 outbreak

December 11, 2020

0 Comments

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 – […]

Continue reading...

How PSC squelched public comment on Dominion rate-hike request

November 17, 2020

0 Comments

Update: 11/18/20 – The S.C. Public Service Commission today voted to hold two additional public hearings in the first week of January on Dominion Energy’s proposed electric rate hike. The hearings will be held from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 5, and from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7. […]

Continue reading...

Commerce wants fed tax dollars for staff time spent on COVID-19

November 13, 2020

0 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Commerce doesn’t employ any medical or infectious disease experts, but the agency is seeking $250,000 in federal funds to reimburse itself for staff time spent on coronavirus-related tasks. The state earlier this year received $1.9 billion in federal “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security” (CARES) funds. Under a […]

Continue reading...

State stonewalls public comment on proposed Dominion rate hike

November 10, 2020

0 Comments

V.C. Summer Nuclear Station

By RICK BRUNDRETT Dominion Energy electric customers in South Carolina are angry. They were promised a rate cut following the 2017 collapse of the $9 billion V.C. Summer nuclear project. But Virginia-based Dominion now wants a significant rate hike. And the state panel that will decide whether to approve the nearly 8% rate hike has […]

Continue reading...

Public agencies spend thousands on lobbyists during COVID-19 outbreak

October 27, 2020

1 Comment

By RICK BRUNDRETT The spread of the coronavirus in South Carolina didn’t stop public agencies’ spending on lobbying lawmakers and other state government officials. From Jan. 1 through May 31, 44 state and local entities, including state-created agencies such as Santee Cooper and local fire and water/sewer districts, collectively spent at least $812,661 on lobbyists, […]

Continue reading...

$20M in COVID-19 funds earmarked for tourism marketing

October 9, 2020

2 Comments

By RICK BRUNDRETT Gov. Henry McMaster plans to spend $20 million in state surplus money in response to the coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina, but it’s not for more testing, treatment or protective gear such as face masks. Instead, those funds will be spent on tourism marketing – most of it going to five tourism […]

Continue reading...

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

August 20, 2020

0 Comments

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 […]

Continue reading...

Governor punts health-related powers to Commerce – again

August 5, 2020

0 Comments

  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 […]

Continue reading...