Tag Archives: featured

SCDOT honored by national group that received over $3M from DOT since FY15

November 16, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. Department of Transportation chief Christy Hall was in a bragging mood at last month’s DOT Commission meeting, announcing that the agency had won three “President’s Transportation Awards” from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. “I’m proud to announce that once again – once again – the South Carolina […]

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More than $338 million in gas-tax-hike funds unspent as of end of September

November 14, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In the first 15 months of the gas-tax-hike law, the S.C. Department of Transportation spent less than 7 percent of the nearly $400 million in collected revenues that lawmakers promised would go toward fixing deteriorating roads and bridges statewide, according to recently released records. As of Sept. 30, about $25.7 million, or […]

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Powerful legislative chairman profits from state-funded groups

November 2, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As chairman of the S.C. House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Brian White exerts considerable control over the multibillion-dollar state budget that affects the lives of all 5 million South Carolinians. And his influence extends far beyond being the House’s chief writer and overseer of the state budget. As the Ways and […]

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SLED won’t release investigative file on former S.C. House speaker

October 31, 2018

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT In requesting this month’s public release of a state grand jury report into legislative corruption, special prosecutor David Pascoe wrote that he “firmly believes that the greatest weapon against corruption and incompetence in government is transparency.” Yet the State Law Enforcement Division, which assisted Pascoe, declined multiple open-records requests this year […]

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Huge shortfalls projected in state fund for gas tax credits

October 25, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT After S.C. income taxpayers can no longer claim tax credits to offset a 75-percent gas tax hike, the state transportation agency expects to have $114 million available annually for a new interstate-widening program – and to help fix crumbling bridges. But newly released records reviewed by The Nerve show that over the […]

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Number of higher-paid S.C. House, Senate staffers increasing

October 19, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The number of higher-paid staffers in the S.C. House and Senate keeps growing along with the annual chamber budgets. The House employs 75 staffers earning at least $50,000 annually, compared to 58 in 2015, chamber records show. The Senate has 68 employees in the $50,000-plus group, up from 60 in 2015. House […]

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S.C. universities paying lobbyists as student tuition, school debt loads rise

October 17, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Since 2015, state colleges and universities have paid a total of more than $1.5 million to lobbyists – mainly to influence S.C. lawmakers – while overall student tuition and school debt loads have steadily increased, a review by The Nerve found. Lobbying reports filed with the State Ethics Commission show that from […]

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$312 million in gas-tax-hike funds unspent through August

October 10, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As of Aug. 31, the state of South Carolina was sitting on nearly $312 million in revenues from the gas-tax-hike law that took effect more than 15 months ago – despite promises from lawmakers that the money would go toward fixing crumbling roads. Newly released records from the S.C. Department of Transportation […]

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Lawmakers easily override governor’s vetoes on pet projects

October 8, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. Senate president pro tempore Hugh Leatherman appeared relaxed and confident before last week’s votes, at one point smiling and giving a thumbs up. Leatherman, R-Florence, didn’t make any long speeches in asking his Senate colleagues to override Gov. Henry McMaster’ vetoes of parts of a state budget proviso directing a total […]

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SCDOT critic sues after banned from agency’s Facebook page

October 3, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Tom Fernandez says he was just trying to make a serious point – in a humorous way – about the S.C. Department of Transportation’s pothole-repair program. On Aug. 29, DOT posted a video on the agency’s Facebook page titled, “How does a pothole get repaired?” About two weeks earlier, Fernandez, a Berkeley […]

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