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Senators continue tradition of keeping magistrates on short leashes

February 5, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In South Carolina, state senators largely control the selection of more than 300 county magistrates, who handle thousands of relatively minor criminal and civil cases annually. That power is amplified when magistrates finish their terms without being reappointed, a period known as “holdover” status in which they can serve indefinitely – and […]

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SCDOT plan for gas-tax-hike money focused on interstates

January 31, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The state transportation department plans to spend well more than a third of gas-tax-hike revenues on widening and repaving interstates instead of using those funds to repair crumbling community roads and bridges – as promised by lawmakers – according to an agency document obtained by The Nerve. In a PowerPoint presentation to […]

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Big chunk of gas-tax-hike money not going to major road, bridge repairs

January 25, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last June, S.C. Department of Transportation commissioner Robert “Robby” Robbins questioned agency head Christy Hall whether the worst roads in the state were being fixed. “I want a system-wide analysis of which roads are the worst, and I want money to go there first … and I don’t think we are doing […]

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S.C. lawmakers likely to fill PSC seat with one of two insiders

January 23, 2019

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Update: On 2/6/19, the Legislature in a joint session voted 99-1 to elect former longtime PSC attorney Florence Belser to the congressional District 2 PSC seat after incumbent Elliott Elam withdrew from the race. The only lawmaker who voted against Belser was Rep. Jonathon Hill, R-Anderson. By RICK BRUNDRETT After nearly a year and a […]

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S.C. lawmakers treated to out-of-state conferences on taxpayers’ dime

January 19, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT South Carolina taxpayers last fiscal year shelled out more than $50,000 to send 27 lawmakers to “educational” conferences across the country, travel records reviewed by The Nerve show. Most of those lawmakers who took trips in 2017 didn’t specify the reimbursed expenses on their latest annual income-disclosure reports, The Nerve’s review found […]

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Fewer potholes repaired through SCDOT call center, despite ‘blitz’ campaign

January 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last week, the S.C. Department of Transportation announced it was launching a “Pothole Blitz” to repair what it contends is a growing number of potholes statewide brought on by recent heavy rains. “It is expected that these additional efforts will take several weeks before we return to normal patching activities,” Leland Colvin, […]

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S.C. agriculture agency wants millions for ‘build-it-and-they-will-come’ program

January 10, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Agriculture, which for years has been involved with taxpayer-backed economic development projects, now wants millions to construct buildings statewide in hopes of attracting new agribusinesses. In his written budget request for the 2019-20 fiscal year, Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers said the agency needed another $1 million to “continue […]

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Private individuals’ financial records fair game under S.C. House bill

January 8, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Private citizens could be forced to testify before and turn over their financial records to S.C. House or Senate committees under a House bill filed for the new legislative session that starts today. Contacted Monday by The Nerve, former Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, who announced last month he was resigning from office […]

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Happy Holidays, Y’all!

December 24, 2018

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  To Our Readers: The Nerve will not be publishing this week and early next in observance of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Thank you for all your support this year; we are planning many hard-hitting stories for 2019 to hold politicians and other public officials accountable. So stay tuned!

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Bill would divert gas-tax-hike money to interstate widening projects

December 20, 2018

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT A proposal by a longtime S.C. senator would siphon millions from a main source of gas-tax-hike revenues that lawmakers promised would go toward fixing the state’s crumbling roads and bridges, and instead earmark that money for widening interstates. It also could be a way around what the state transportation chief previously […]

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