Tag Archives: Santee Cooper

Public agencies spend thousands on lobbyists during COVID-19 outbreak

October 27, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The spread of the coronavirus in South Carolina didn’t stop public agencies’ spending on lobbying lawmakers and other state government officials. From Jan. 1 through May 31, 44 state and local entities, including state-created agencies such as Santee Cooper and local fire and water/sewer districts, collectively spent at least $812,661 on lobbyists, […]

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State health benefits offered to another part-time governing board

October 2, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Another governing board of a state-created agency is under scrutiny over whether some board members are receiving state health-insurance benefits in violation of the law, The Nerve has learned. Two members of the S.C. Ports Authority Board of Directors participate in the state health plan, authority spokeswoman Liz Crumley said Tuesday when […]

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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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Santee Cooper’s $100K-plus club doubles in less than 10 years

February 26, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As lawmakers this week consider sale and management proposals involving Santee Cooper, one issue that likely won’t get much attention is the growth in recent years of well-paid workers at the state-owned utility. Of Santee Cooper’s approximately 1,650 full-time employees, 312, or 18.9% of the total, receive a base annual salary of […]

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Taxpayer, ratepayer tab totals $9M so far for review of secret Santee Cooper bids

January 17, 2020

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Santee Cooper

By RICK BRUNDRETT Eight private firms hired by the state to evaluate proposals for the sale or management of state-owned utility Santee Cooper have charged a total of more than $9.2 million – $5 million of it covered by taxpayers – for their work, newly released records show. And the overall bill to ratepayers with […]

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PSC seats in limbo again after legislatively controlled panel delays nominations

January 14, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Another year, another convoluted legislative process for selecting six-figure state Public Service Commission members, who can greatly affect utility bills for many South Carolinians. The State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC) was scheduled to screen a total of 17 candidates over two days last week for four open seats on […]

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Thousands of state employees in the $100K-plus club

October 25, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In 2018, University of South Carolina head football coach Will Muschamp received a new six-year deal that paid him $4.2 million in the first year and is worth a total of more than $28 million over the life of the contract. His total compensation includes $1.1 million in state salary – the […]

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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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Lots of hands in S.C. pension and health insurance cookie jars

August 28, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When it comes to receiving taxpayer-funded state retirement and health insurance benefits, lots of folks have their hands out – and it’s not just government employees. Certain nonprofit organizations and quasi-government groups participate in the state pension and health insurance systems, which mainly cover state, county and local government agencies, as well […]

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Taxpayer tab for Volvo deal far bigger than public pronouncements

June 29, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When S.C. officials announced in 2015 that Volvo would locate its first U.S. plant in rural Berkeley County, the total incentives offered to the Swedish car maker were pegged at about $200 million. An investigation by The Nerve, however, found more than $250 million in incentives spent or offered so far by […]

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