Tag Archives: Nikki Setzler

Lawmaker: Little vetting of governor’s pick for DOT Commission

August 3, 2021

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SCDOT

By RICK BRUNDRETT Gov. Henry McMaster quietly appointed the owner of a well-known Columbia restaurant – and generous campaign donor – to a vacant state Department of Transportation Commission seat, but a lawmaker is questioning the selection process. The 2nd Congressional District Legislative Delegation is scheduled this morning to vote whether to confirm McMaster’s appointment […]

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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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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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Lawmakers pushing for more power in home counties

April 21, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT State lawmakers are continuing to push bills that would increase legislative delegations’ powers over local K-12 schools and other public agencies in their home counties. Today, for example, the House Education and Public Works Committee, chaired by Rep. Rita Allison, R-Spartanburg, is scheduled to consider a Senate bill that would allow a […]

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State AG seeking millions for his own agency from $600M plutonium deal

October 7, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In touting a $600 million settlement with the federal government over plutonium storage in the state, S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson publicly described the deal as the “single largest settlement in South Carolina’s history.” But what Wilson, the state’s chief lawyer since 2011, didn’t mention in his Aug. 31 announcement was that […]

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Did lawmakers violate open-meetings law in DOT Commission appointment?

July 10, 2019

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SCDOT

By RICK BRUNDRETT An Upstate legislative delegation might have skirted the state’s open-meetings law last year by privately recommending to the governor candidates for a Department of Transportation Commission seat, The Nerve found in a review. In interviews this week, Greenville County GOP Reps. Mike Burns and Garry Smith said the Greenville and Spartanburg county […]

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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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SCRA getting big Commerce payments while seeking revenue-friendly legislation

February 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Commerce has paid more than $2.9 million since fiscal 2015 to a state-created nonprofit that listed $69 million in net assets as of June 30 and now wants lawmakers to double its main funding source. Asked for specifics on the $2.93 million paid to the Columbia-based South Carolina […]

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Big chunk of gas-tax-hike money not going to major road, bridge repairs

January 25, 2019

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road construction ahead

By RICK BRUNDRETT Last June, S.C. Department of Transportation commissioner Robert “Robby” Robbins questioned agency head Christy Hall whether the worst roads in the state were being fixed. “I want a system-wide analysis of which roads are the worst, and I want money to go there first … and I don’t think we are doing […]

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Fewer potholes repaired through SCDOT call center, despite ‘blitz’ campaign

January 15, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last week, the S.C. Department of Transportation announced it was launching a “Pothole Blitz” to repair what it contends is a growing number of potholes statewide brought on by recent heavy rains. “It is expected that these additional efforts will take several weeks before we return to normal patching activities,” Leland Colvin, […]

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