Tag Archives: COVID-19

Lawmakers approve massive state budget stuffed with pork projects

June 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Lawmakers on Monday sent a strong message in adopting a state budget for the fiscal year that starts next week. Let the spending party begin – with your tax dollars. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved a $32.3 billion total budget for fiscal 2022, which includes state, federal and “other” funds, budget records show. […]

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Feds giving SC more covid money – without clear spending instructions

May 21, 2021

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BY RICK BRUNDRETT Local governments in South Carolina are expected to collectively receive hundreds of millions more in federal COVID-19 relief funding, though what exactly that money can be spent on is unclear. The U.S. Department of Treasury last week adopted an “interim final rule” on the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funding. But local government […]

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Senators pushing plenty of pork projects through taxpayer-funded earmarks

April 28, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. senators want to spend nearly $108 million next fiscal year on dozens of pet projects by funneling the money through state agencies that typically didn’t request the public dollars. More than half of the $107.9 million in labeled earmarks for fiscal year 2022, which starts July 1, would be spent collectively […]

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State spending continues to swell amid pandemic

March 19, 2021

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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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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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Health agency slowly spending Covid money

January 27, 2021

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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 […]

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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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How PSC squelched public comment on Dominion rate-hike request

November 17, 2020

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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. […]

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

November 13, 2020

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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 […]

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State stonewalls public comment on proposed Dominion rate hike

November 10, 2020

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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 […]

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