Tag Archives: Legislature

State health insurance benefits offered in violation of state law

September 25, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last month, the agency in charge of managing the state health plan informed state-owned utility Santee Cooper that members of the utility’s governing board were offered insurance benefits under the plan, though they weren’t eligible, records show. Santee Cooper communications director Mollie Gore told The Nerve that utility officials haven’t been able to […]

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How S.C. lawmakers increase their odds of staying in power

March 25, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Every 10 years, S.C. lawmakers re-exert their authority to draw legislative and congressional district lines based on updated population counts – a typically convoluted process aimed at protecting incumbents. While the 2020 U.S. Census is underway, state lawmakers quietly are planning to initially spend as much as $2 million on the “reapportionment” […]

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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 spend more than $1 million total on state lobbyists

September 4, 2019

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT For the first half of this year, North Myrtle Beach agreed to pay a total of $120,000 to a lobbying firm to “work with” the Legislature and Governor’s Office on the city’s behalf, including a push for a law allowing a local sales tax for infrastructure projects, according to a retainer […]

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Gas-tax-hike law could make it harder to hold state lawmakers accountable

June 21, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When it comes to fixing South Carolina’s deteriorating roads and bridges, where residents live could determine how hard their state lawmakers push to get unfinished work done. Since the gas-tax-hike law took effect nearly two years ago, raising the state gas tax 12 cents per gallon over six years and increasing other […]

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Fixing SC’s bad roads, bridges could take longer than a decade

May 29, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Transportation wants to fix the state’s bad roads and bridges over a 10-year period, but it might not hit that target at the rate projects are being completed, a review by The Nerve found. From July 1, 2017, when the gas-tax-hike law took effect, through April of this […]

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Are S.C. officials shirking their oversight of tax dollars awarded to private groups?

May 1, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In 2006, lawmakers approved spending $700,000 in the fiscal 2007 state budget to help the private Erskine College in Abbeville County establish the “John Drummond Center for Statesmanship” – to be named after the late longtime senator who retired from the Legislature in 2008. A budget proviso authorizing the funding required the […]

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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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S.C. agencies sitting on nearly $500M in taxpayer funds

September 6, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As S.C. lawmakers plan to push a massive borrowing bill next year, they likely won’t publicly talk about the fat reserves that some state agencies have accumulated – including their own chambers. State agencies collectively carried over about $484.5 million in general funds into the fiscal year that started July 1, according […]

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Committee chaired by Leatherman passed $7 million hike for university with ties to senator

July 13, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT S.C. Senate president pro tempore Hugh Leatherman – arguably the state’s most powerful lawmaker – has a science building on Francis Marion University’s campus named after him. The Florence County Republican is an emeritus member of the university’s board of trustees. His daughter has been an at-large board member since 2016 after […]

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