Tag Archives: Department of Parks Recreation and Tourism

Legislative delegations control state grants totaling millions for local rec projects

September 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Since 2017, powerful county legislative delegations have approved a total of more than $8 million in state grants for hundreds of local recreation projects in South Carolina, records show. And as of mid-July, the delegations, made up of state House and Senate members representing a county, collectively had $5 million more available […]

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Earmark secrecy continues as state budget goes into effect

June 30, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In vetoing 226 budget earmarks totaling $152.5 million, Gov. Henry McMaster last week wrote that the “bulk of these earmarked appropriations still lack sufficient context, description, explanation of merit, or justification as to how the recipient intends to spend the funds.” That might be one of the biggest understatements on how lawmakers […]

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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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Millions more proposed by S.C. House for ‘tourism marketing’

March 26, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Nearly $30 million in tax dollars could flow next fiscal year through the state tourism agency to regional tourism organizations for “tourism marketing” – with reduced or no private grant matches in contrast to larger matches required in prior years. The S.C. House version of the state budget for fiscal year 2022 […]

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

October 9, 2020

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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 […]

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As South Carolinians’ income shrinks, state agency surpluses grow

September 3, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Commerce started fiscal 2021 with a $103.1 million general-fund surplus – more than double its reserves from a year ago. The S.C. House of Representatives had a $23.7 million surplus as of July 1 for its 124-member chamber – nearly $1 million more than its entire budget, records […]

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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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Lawmakers continue to push their pet projects – at taxpayer expense

March 10, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In debating next fiscal year’s state budget, House members could decide this week whether to funnel $23 million through the state’s tourism department and nearly $2 million through the S.C. State Museum for projects or programs that neither agency formally requested, records show. Most of those funding requests are included on an […]

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SCPRT secretive about renters at Governor’s Mansion complex

December 20, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Since Henry McMaster became governor in 2017, the state’s tourism agency has received more than $675,000 from renting the historic Lace House at the Governor’s Mansion complex in downtown Columbia, records show. But the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT) – whose director, Duane Parrish, is a member of McMaster’s […]

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