Tag Archives: South Carolina Research Authority

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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SC Launch records: Start-up companies failed to repay millions in financial aid

October 14, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT From December 2015 through April of this year, 16 start-up companies funded by SC Launch Inc., an affiliate of the state-created South Carolina Research Authority, did not repay nearly $5 million owed to the nonprofit, according to organization records. SC Launch Inc. was repaid a total of $19,152, which represented less than […]

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Public agencies in SC spending thousands to influence lawmakers, other state officials

February 14, 2020

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Last year, local municipalities, fire and other special purpose districts, public colleges and at least three state agencies collectively spent more than $1.4 million on lobbying the S.C. legislative and executive branches, State Ethics Commission records show. The total grows to at least $2.9 million if  other state-created or state-owned agencies, organizations […]

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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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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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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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