Tag Archives: Senate

Plenty of pork in governor’s proposed state spending plan

January 22, 2021

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In touting Gov. Henry McMaster’s proposed fiscal 2022 state budget, his office in a recent news release contended it “significantly invests in the state’s core functions of government” while “maintaining his commitment” to “fiscally responsible practices.” But although emergency spending in response to the coronavirus outbreak in South Carolina likely will continue […]

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Plenty of Ports Authority employees in six-figure salary club

December 9, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT More than 200 S.C. Ports Authority employees received at least $100,000 in total wages last fiscal year, with agency president and CEO Jim Newsome making $546,236, records show. The total number of workers at the state-created agency who made $50,000 or more in fiscal 2020, which ended June 30, was 608, according […]

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S.C. Senate staffers quietly receive pay raises

November 6, 2020

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SC Senate Chamber

By RICK BRUNDRETT Since last December, 15 S.C. Senate staffers, including the chamber’s top administrator, received pay hikes of up to nearly 34%, The Nerve found in a review of chamber records. The top-paid staffer is Jeff Gossett, who, as the Senate clerk, manages the $16.3 million, 46-member chamber. He makes $225,000 annually, an increase […]

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As South Carolinians’ income shrinks, state agency surpluses grow

September 3, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. Department of Commerce started fiscal 2021 with a $103.1 million general-fund surplus – more than double its reserves from a year ago. The S.C. House of Representatives had a $23.7 million surplus as of July 1 for its 124-member chamber – nearly $1 million more than its entire budget, records […]

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How S.C. lawmakers increase their odds of staying in power

March 25, 2020

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state house

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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S.C. lawmakers pressed to find money for coronavirus response

March 17, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT When lawmakers return this week to debate how to pay for the state’s emergency coronavirus response, they will have to decide where exactly to get the money. In a letter Thursday to House and Senate leaders, Gov. Henry McMaster requested that lawmakers provide the state Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) […]

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The $4 billion piggy bank hidden from South Carolinians

October 23, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As state agencies prepare their proposed fiscal 2020-21 budgets, what they likely won’t reveal is the amount of “other” fund surpluses carried over year after year – collectively billions of dollars. As of June 30 – the end of the 2018-19 fiscal year – state agencies and divisions, plus several major state […]

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State agencies sitting on big reserves; lawmakers returning little to taxpayers

September 11, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT If the S.C. House of Representatives decided to forgo its entire $22.7 million budget this fiscal year, it could still pay all of its expected bills – with more than $650,000 left over. That’s because the 124-member chamber carried over nearly $23.4 million in general funds into this fiscal year for its […]

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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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S.C. lawmakers getting county payments for ‘phantom’ delegation offices

August 7, 2019

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state house

By RICK BRUNDRETT A longstanding state law requires counties to fully fund delegation offices for S.C. lawmakers, while at least 19 legislators are receiving thousands annually from counties in place of those offices, The Nerve found in a review. In at least one case, a legislator has received payments from local municipalities in his home […]

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