Tag Archives: Murrell Smith

State AG hires current, former lawyer-legislators in civil cases

August 20, 2021

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Gavel on Money

By RICK BRUNDRETT Since 2017, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson has hired at least six current or former lawyer-legislators to handle certain civil cases, including the chairman of a House committee that first approves the annual state budget, which funds Wilson’s office, records show. The outside lawyers hired to assist the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) […]

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Santee Cooper seeks state OK to dive deeper in debt

August 17, 2021

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Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT State-owned utility Santee Cooper’s debt load is projected to grow by more than a half-billion dollars under a proposal that a legislative committee likely will rubber-stamp today. The utility’s board of directors in a special meeting Thursday approved asking the state Joint Bond Review Committee (JBRC) to allow the utility to sell […]

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Counties still paying lawmakers for ‘phantom’ delegation offices

July 29, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last year, S.C. Sen. Kent Williams of Marion County reported receiving a collective $17,060 in legislative delegation payments from neighboring Dillon and Florence counties, parts of which are in his Senate district. Another longtime lawmaker, Rep. Jackie Hayes of Dillon County, received $12,500 in 2020 – the same amount paid to Williams […]

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Lawmakers to spend millions on incumbency-protection maps

July 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. House and Senate plan to spend millions creating new legislative and congressional district maps based on the latest U.S. Census – a convoluted process that lawmakers undertake every 10 years. Historically, the “reapportionment” or “redistricting” process has been aimed at keeping incumbent legislators in office, though it’s not the official […]

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Some state agency heads start new fiscal year with big pay raises

July 7, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee has given five-figure pay hikes to a group of state agency heads, and a new law empowers the panel to recommend raises next fiscal year for certain statewide elected officials. The Agency Head Salary Commission (AHSC) on Thursday– the start of the new fiscal year – approved the […]

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Lawmakers approve massive state budget stuffed with pork projects

June 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Lawmakers on Monday sent a strong message in adopting a state budget for the fiscal year that starts next week. Let the spending party begin – with your tax dollars. The Legislature overwhelmingly approved a $32.3 billion total budget for fiscal 2022, which includes state, federal and “other” funds, budget records show. […]

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House poised to spend millions more on pork projects

June 8, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. House this week could pass a revised version of the fiscal 2022 state budget, which includes $1.8 billion in “new” state funding. But the total $32.1 billion budget version passed last week by the House Ways and Means Committee doesn’t authorize any refunds to state taxpayers. Budget writers, however, designated […]

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House targets budget law for repeal; other old laws remain untouched

March 5, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In South Carolina, it’s still illegal to challenge someone to a duel with a sword, pistol or other deadly weapon. Other laws on the books that date to the last century or earlier ban such things as, for example: Robbing a train after stopping it; Swindling in card or dice games; Committing […]

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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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Golden parachute for state attorney general?

February 19, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Longtime state attorney general Alan Wilson could receive bigger retirement paychecks under legislation sponsored by two House leaders who also are lawyers. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, who is the House Ways and Means Committee chairman, and Chris Murphy, R-Dorchester, who is the House Judiciary Committee chairman, would allow […]

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