Tag Archives: Legislature

Top court rarely disciplines judges despite numerous complaints

October 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last week, the S.C. Supreme Court suspended Oconee County probate judge Kenneth Johns for 18 months after he formally admitted – for the second time in five years – violating ethics rules for judges. It’s not often that the state’s top court, headed by Chief Justice Donald Beatty, publicly disciplines a judge, […]

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State, county websites offer scant information on legislative delegations

July 16, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT If you want to learn what your county legislative delegation is up to, you likely won’t find much – if any – information on county government websites or the state Legislature’s website. The state Supreme Court in 1996 ruled that legislative delegations, made up of senators and House members representing a county, […]

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Legislators quietly moving to repeal longtime budget law they ignore

February 26, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Legislature these days is proving that the cover-up is as bad as the crime. Not only have legislators routinely ignored a longstanding state law requiring public hearings on the entire state budget as initially proposed by the governor, they now are moving to get rid of the law itself – […]

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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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