Tag Archives: featured

Lawmakers to spend millions on incumbency-protection maps

July 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. House and Senate plan to spend millions creating new legislative and congressional district maps based on the latest U.S. Census – a convoluted process that lawmakers undertake every 10 years. Historically, the “reapportionment” or “redistricting” process has been aimed at keeping incumbent legislators in office, though it’s not the official […]

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State, county websites offer scant information on legislative delegations

July 16, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT If you want to learn what your county legislative delegation is up to, you likely won’t find much – if any – information on county government websites or the state Legislature’s website. The state Supreme Court in 1996 ruled that legislative delegations, made up of senators and House members representing a county, […]

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Legislative delegations skirting state open-meetings law

July 14, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT One day last month, state lawmakers representing Greenville County held separate meetings in a legislative building on the State House grounds in downtown Columbia – about 103 miles from Greenville – to discuss certain county board appointments that they control, as well as rules governing their delegation meetings. In the smaller Darlington […]

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Few S.C. bridges fixed with gas-tax-hike money

July 9, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Only three bridge projects have been completed in South Carolina with the nearly $2 billion in revenues collected under the 2017 state gas-tax-hike law, recently released transportation department records show. And although the S.C. Department of Transportation has identified 465 out of 750 “structurally deficient” bridges statewide to be replaced, other agency […]

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Some state agency heads start new fiscal year with big pay raises

July 7, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee has given five-figure pay hikes to a group of state agency heads, and a new law empowers the panel to recommend raises next fiscal year for certain statewide elected officials. The Agency Head Salary Commission (AHSC) on Thursday– the start of the new fiscal year – approved the […]

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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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State agencies claim taxpayers’ refunds to collect debts

June 25, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the last five years, state agencies, including public colleges and a university hospital system, collected a total of nearly $95 million in past-due payments through deductions from state income-tax refunds, records reviewed by The Nerve show. A little-known state law, titled the “Setoff Debt Collection Act” (SDCA), allows state and local […]

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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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Santee Cooper board still has expired, vacant seats despite ‘reform’ law

June 18, 2021

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Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT Of the 12 seats on the board governing state-owned utility Santee Cooper, two are vacant while seven members are serving past their expired terms. A new law that purportedly will reform Santee Cooper – pushed by lawmakers after they couldn’t decide to sell the debt-burdened utility – doesn’t change the selection process […]

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Lawmakers bypassing normal budget process to spend $600M settlement

June 16, 2021

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Gavel on Money

By RICK BRUNDRETT Proceeds from a $600 million settlement with the federal government over plutonium storage in South Carolina weren’t included in any state budget versions crafted by lawmakers for the upcoming fiscal year. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t planning to spend the massive windfall. Last month, a joint resolution was quietly introduced in […]

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