Tag Archives: Murrell Smith

Secrecy still part of judicial screening process

December 8, 2021

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee that screens judges ruled last week that a longtime circuit court judge was no longer qualified to serve, though the general public wasn’t informed afterward about its decision. When it comes to secrecy surrounding how judges are nominated in South Carolina, it’s business as usual for the six-legislator, […]

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Legislatively controlled panel OKs big raises for state agency heads

November 24, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last week, a legislatively controlled committee quietly approved five-figure salary hikes for six state agency heads, including increases for two university presidents whose total annual compensation is much more than their state pay. Medical University of South Carolina president David Cole received a $42,308, or 13.5%, raise from the state Agency Head […]

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Lawmakers want more control over agency head pay hikes

November 17, 2021

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT Lawmakers just can’t resist trying to exert more power over another branch of government. Reps. John King, D-York; Annie McDaniel, D-Fairfield; and Wendy Brawley, D-Richland, prefiled a bill last week that would require separate majorities in the 124-member House and 46-member Senate to give final approval to any pay raises for […]

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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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