Tag Archives: Gov. Henry McMaster

Local emergency coronavirus orders threatening constitutional rights?

April 2, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When Columbia city leaders imposed a curfew more than two weeks ago in response to the coronavirus outbreak, they required residents in most cases – under the threat of possible jail time – to isolate themselves in their homes between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. In justifying the curfew, mayor Steve Benjamin […]

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S.C. lawmakers pressed to find money for coronavirus response

March 17, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When lawmakers return this week to debate how to pay for the state’s emergency coronavirus response, they will have to decide where exactly to get the money. In a letter Thursday to House and Senate leaders, Gov. Henry McMaster requested that lawmakers provide the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) […]

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Governor, House want SC taxpayers to eat plenty of pork in fiscal ’21

March 6, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Buried in the latest $32.3 billion state spending plan for next fiscal year is a $19 million expenditure for a proposed downtown Greenville convention center, and another $7.5 million to renovate the Sumter Opera House. The total $26.5 million – which is larger than the overall proposed fiscal 2020-21 budgets of at […]

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Santee Cooper’s $100K-plus club doubles in less than 10 years

February 26, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As lawmakers this week consider sale and management proposals involving Santee Cooper, one issue that likely won’t get much attention is the growth in recent years of well-paid workers at the state-owned utility. Of Santee Cooper’s approximately 1,650 full-time employees, 312, or 18.9% of the total, receive a base annual salary of […]

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Lawyer-lawmakers largely control who becomes a judge in SC. Here’s their latest power play

February 21, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Ten S.C. House members who are lawyers are pushing legislation to create two circuit and two family court seats – and several of the bill’s co-sponsors would play large roles in who gets nominated to those positions. The lead sponsor of the bill is House speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, an attorney who […]

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Public agencies in SC spending thousands to influence lawmakers, other state officials

February 14, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last year, local municipalities, fire and other special purpose districts, public colleges and at least three state agencies collectively spent more than $1.4 million on lobbying the S.C. legislative and executive branches, State Ethics Commission records show. The total grows to at least $2.9 million if  other state-created or state-owned agencies, organizations […]

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Concerns about CTC meeting pay acknowledged by bill co-sponsors

February 5, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Allowing Union County Transportation Committee members to make up to $750 a year – paid out of state gas-tax money – is too costly for taxpayers, says a co-sponsor of a bill that would pay those members for attending regular meetings. “It is high,” said Rep. Bill Clyburn, D-Aiken, when contacted Monday […]

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Some lawmakers off to a fast start – looking after their wallets?

January 22, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Although S.C. lawmakers have been back in session only since last week, some of them aren’t waiting to author or co-sponsor bills that could boost their own bottom lines. And a longstanding state ethics law gives them a big legal loophole to push for such legislation. Under a House bill prefiled in […]

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Taxpayer, ratepayer tab totals $9M so far for review of secret Santee Cooper bids

January 17, 2020

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Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT Eight private firms hired by the state to evaluate proposals for the sale or management of state-owned utility Santee Cooper have charged a total of more than $9.2 million – $5 million of it covered by taxpayers – for their work, newly released records show. And the overall bill to ratepayers with […]

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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 […]

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