Tag Archives: Gov. Henry McMaster

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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Public agencies spend thousands on lobbyists during COVID-19 outbreak

October 27, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The spread of the coronavirus in South Carolina didn’t stop public agencies’ spending on lobbying lawmakers and other state government officials. From Jan. 1 through May 31, 44 state and local entities, including state-created agencies such as Santee Cooper and local fire and water/sewer districts, collectively spent at least $812,661 on lobbyists, […]

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Quietly passed laws give legislative delegations more powers

October 16, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT At least one thing didn’t change in the S.C. Legislature during the coronavirus outbreak this year: legislative delegations’ control over local affairs. Two delegations gained even more power. Last month, lawmakers quietly passed a Senate bill, which had stalled after COVID-19 hit the state in the spring, giving the three-member Hampton County […]

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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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Governor punts health-related powers to Commerce – again

August 5, 2020

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT Gov. Henry McMaster has once again granted the S.C. Department of Commerce – which isn’t a public health agency – the power to make health-related decisions in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the state. Last week, McMaster announced that “gatherings,” defined in his executive order as a “planned or spontaneous […]

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Politicians’ promises don’t reflect written incentives deals

July 8, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT       S.C. politicians routinely love to make promises about massive corporate investment and multitudes of new jobs in the Palmetto State. But the secretly crafted written agreements offering taxpayer-backed incentives in exchange for those promised jobs and investment often don’t live up to the official hype. Last month, The Nerve detailed how for […]

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S.C. medical stockpiles big enough for future health emergencies?

June 12, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Whether South Carolina has enough medical supplies to deal with the next possible wave of the coronavirus – or other future health emergencies – is a matter of debate. As of early last month, the federal government had provided nearly 154 million personal protective equipment items – mostly surgical and exam gloves, […]

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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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State agencies issue millions in emergency purchase orders amid covid outbreak

May 29, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Transportation initially wanted more than $1 million worth of hand sanitizer. The state Department of Administration requested 1,500 laptop computers and related equipment totaling nearly $468,000. The Department of Employment and Workforce sought an out-of-state technology firm with a reduced annual “subscription fee” of $74,371 for its services. […]

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