Tag Archives: Senate

Legislators continue to look out for their own bottom lines

March 27, 2019

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SC budget process

By RICK BRUNDRETT Another year, another round of state lawmakers supporting legislation that could fatten their wallets. Just this month alone, at least two House bills and a Senate bill were introduced, while separate legislation passed the Senate, that pose potential conflicts of interest for lawmakers who authored or co-sponsored the proposals. State ethics law […]

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House, Senate chambers sitting on huge reserves while seeking more tax dollars

March 22, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The S.C. House and Senate know how to take care of each other – with taxpayer money. As The Nerve reported in September, the 124-member House carried over $25 million in general funds in its chamber budget for this fiscal year, which started July 1 – nearly $2.9 million more than its […]

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Ex-lawmakers continue to cash in on their legislative time

March 2, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the years, lawmakers have legally made it easy for themselves to continue making money after leaving office through their connections in the Legislature and elsewhere in state and local government. Under state law, for example, legislators can become lobbyists just a year after leaving office. In recent years, at least four […]

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High-paid lobbyists pushing SCRA legislation

February 21, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT In 2016, Senate Finance Committee chairman Hugh Leatherman introduced a bill that would have allowed the South Carolina Research Authority – a state-created, multimillion-dollar nonprofit whose governing board included Leatherman – to double its main funding source. The legislation never made it out of the Florence County Republican’s committee. A year later, […]

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Taxpayer cost grows for high-priced consultants in wake of V.C. Summer fiasco

February 12, 2019

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  By RICK BRUNDRETT Since the 2017 collapse of the V.C. Summer nuclear project – which the Legislature made possible through a quietly passed law 10 years earlier – lawmakers and state utility regulators collectively have spent at least $729,000 on consultants hired to give them advice or issue reports. The total includes $379,203 this […]

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Senators continue tradition of keeping magistrates on short leashes

February 5, 2019

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south carolina judicial department, judiciary

By RICK BRUNDRETT In South Carolina, state senators largely control the selection of more than 300 county magistrates, who handle thousands of relatively minor criminal and civil cases annually. That power is amplified when magistrates finish their terms without being reappointed, a period known as “holdover” status in which they can serve indefinitely – and […]

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S.C. lawmakers treated to out-of-state conferences on taxpayers’ dime

January 19, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT South Carolina taxpayers last fiscal year shelled out more than $50,000 to send 27 lawmakers to “educational” conferences across the country, travel records reviewed by The Nerve show. Most of those lawmakers who took trips in 2017 didn’t specify the reimbursed expenses on their latest annual income-disclosure reports, The Nerve’s review found […]

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Private individuals’ financial records fair game under S.C. House bill

January 8, 2019

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Private citizens could be forced to testify before and turn over their financial records to S.C. House or Senate committees under a House bill filed for the new legislative session that starts today. Contacted Monday by The Nerve, former Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, who announced last month he was resigning from office […]

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Number of higher-paid S.C. House, Senate staffers increasing

October 19, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT The number of higher-paid staffers in the S.C. House and Senate keeps growing along with the annual chamber budgets. The House employs 75 staffers earning at least $50,000 annually, compared to 58 in 2015, chamber records show. The Senate has 68 employees in the $50,000-plus group, up from 60 in 2015. House […]

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S.C. agencies sitting on nearly $500M in taxpayer funds

September 6, 2018

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By RICK BRUNDRETT As S.C. lawmakers plan to push a massive borrowing bill next year, they likely won’t publicly talk about the fat reserves that some state agencies have accumulated – including their own chambers. State agencies collectively carried over about $484.5 million in general funds into the fiscal year that started July 1, according […]

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