Tag Archives: Hugh Leatherman

SC motorists paying more taxes at the pump, still seeing slow results

September 9, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Motorists in South Carolina are now paying 8 cents more per gallon since the state gas-tax-hike law took effect in July 2017 – and will face another collective 4-cent increase over the next two years. But repairs to the state’s pothole-riddled roads still have been moving at a slow pace. Newly released […]

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Lawmakers routinely tap campaign funds for ‘other’ expenses

August 27, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Politicians typically spend campaign funds on things like signs, billboards, TV, radio or internet advertising. But S.C. lawmakers often use their campaign money for other expenses, including out-of-state trips, donations to their favorite charities, membership dues, or gifts to their staffs and constituents. And it’s all legal – at least according to […]

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Gas-tax-hike law at 3 years: Completed jobs still lag way behind collections

August 13, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In the first three years of the gas-tax-hike law, the state collected more than $1.3 billion in revenues – enough to pay for almost all of the identified road and bridge projects statewide – yet is sitting on nearly half of the money, newly released records show. As of June 30, the […]

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Fourth of July in SC: fireworks, barbecues – and potholes

July 1, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As residents and tourists hit South Carolina roads this July 4th holiday weekend, they will contend with plenty of potholes and higher state gasoline taxes. Meanwhile, newly released records show that the S.C. Department of Transportation – the agency tasked with fixing pothole-riddled, state-maintained roads, continues to sit on massive reserves – […]

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Truths about secret incentives deals revealed – 10 years later

June 24, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT All we wanted was the truth. Over the past several decades, South Carolina legislators and governors, as well as local governments, collectively have given away billions in incentives to countless corporations. Cash, land, tax breaks and free job training have been thrown at companies in exchange for the promise of jobs. Taxpayers […]

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COVID-19 hasn’t infected massive gas-tax-hike surplus

May 22, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Despite reduced traffic in South Carolina over the past two months resulting from government-ordered shutdowns, a state surplus under the 2017 gas-tax-hike law continued to grow while most major paving projects went unfinished, newly released records show. Through April 30, the state collected $1.2 billion under the law, which could cover nearly […]

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State health agency spending relatively little from emergency covid funds

May 15, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Since lawmakers in March approved $45 million in emergency funding for the state health department’s response to the coronavirus, the agency has spent less than 10 percent of the total, records show. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control through April listed a total of about $3.9 million in expenditures, with […]

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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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Lawmakers ignoring $500M piggy bank to fix SC’s bad roads

February 28, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT While House budget writers have designated an extra $100 million next fiscal year for paving rural roads statewide, the S.C. Department of Transportation is sitting on a separate surplus of more than a half-billion dollars, newly released DOT records show. As of Jan. 31, a special fund created with the state gas-tax-hike […]

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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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