Tag Archives: House

Legislators continue to look out for their own bottom lines

March 27, 2019

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SC budget process

By RICK BRUNDRETT Another year, another round of state lawmakers supporting legislation that could fatten their wallets. Just this month alone, at least two House bills and a Senate bill were introduced, while separate legislation passed the Senate, that pose potential conflicts of interest for lawmakers who authored or co-sponsored the proposals. State ethics law […]

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House, Senate chambers sitting on huge reserves while seeking more tax dollars

March 22, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. House and Senate know how to take care of each other – with taxpayer money. As The Nerve reported in September, the 124-member House carried over $25 million in general funds in its chamber budget for this fiscal year, which started July 1 – nearly $2.9 million more than its […]

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House members push pet projects through taxpayer-funded earmarks

March 13, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. Reps. Bruce Bannister and Dwight Loftis want $5 million in state funding to help build a convention center in downtown Greenville that Bannister says would house a large art collection that had been displayed at the private Bob Jones University. Rep. Leon Stavrinakis, who has donated to the nonprofit South Carolina […]

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Ex-lawmakers continue to cash in on their legislative time

March 2, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the years, lawmakers have legally made it easy for themselves to continue making money after leaving office through their connections in the Legislature and elsewhere in state and local government. Under state law, for example, legislators can become lobbyists just a year after leaving office. In recent years, at least four […]

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High-paid lobbyists pushing SCRA legislation

February 21, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In 2016, Senate Finance Committee chairman Hugh Leatherman introduced a bill that would have allowed the South Carolina Research Authority – a state-created, multimillion-dollar nonprofit whose governing board included Leatherman – to double its main funding source. The legislation never made it out of the Florence County Republican’s committee. A year later, […]

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Taxpayer cost grows for high-priced consultants in wake of V.C. Summer fiasco

February 12, 2019

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT Since the 2017 collapse of the V.C. Summer nuclear project – which the Legislature made possible through a quietly passed law 10 years earlier – lawmakers and state utility regulators collectively have spent at least $729,000 on consultants hired to give them advice or issue reports. The total includes $379,203 this […]

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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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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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Powerful legislative chairman profits from state-funded groups

November 2, 2018

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Update: S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, on 12/4/18 informed White that he would be removed from the Ways and Means Committee, according to a prepared statement from White on 12/5/18. White was transferred to the House Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee. Rep. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, was appointed to replace White 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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