Money Everywhere

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 operations, state comptroller general records show. And the legislative body isn’t the only state agency with fat taxpayer-funded reserves, a review by The Nerve found.

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Road Construction Ahead Sign

Members of the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) board recently discussed their desire to explore expanding South Carolina’s interstates through the STIB.

While nothing was voted on or confirmed, the ideas floated included finding additional funding streams, “encouraging” the state Department of Transportation to partner with STIB to build interstates, and expanding the STIB’s charter to allow it to circumvent DOT’s priority list and build interstates now.

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Federal probationary sentencing is a complex matter that began in 1908; it has continued to evolve. It’s extensively governed by many sections of the U.S. Code of Law and Policy Statements of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. It’s intended to be a substitute for imprisonment. Federal supervised sentencing is an unrelated system that began in 1984 and is in addition to imprisonment. Federal suspended sentencing was abolished in 1984.

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Columbia, South Carolina. – The South Carolina Republican Party released the following statement regarding the State Executive Committee's decision today to forgo the 2020 GOP Presidential Preference Primary and save South Carolina taxpayers over $1.2 million.

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SC Pot Hole

In January 2016, a driver swerved around a pothole on Bate Harvey Road in York County, crossed the center line and hit an oncoming vehicle, court records show.

The S.C. Department of Transportation last year paid, through the state Insurance Reserve Fund (IRF), $150,000 in damages and $26,592 in legal expenses to defend the agency in that case, according to IRF records.

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The S.C. Department of Transportation plans to complete about 2,300 miles of road repairs by the end of 2021, records released to The Nerve show, though that number represents a small portion of the major road work the agency says needs to be done statewide.

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Ex-state transportation commissioner John Hardee negotiated $1.57 million in payments since 2014 from government agencies and nonprofits for public service announcements through a billboard-industry trade group, though much of the revenues were not used to produce billboards, records reviewed by The Nerve show.

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Holly and Joseph Goshorn of Greer were excited to receive a $529 Future Scholar grant for their baby Maxwell as part of last year’s PalmettoBaby grant campaign.
Holly and Joseph Goshorn of Greer were excited to receive a $529 Future Scholar grant for their baby Maxwell as part of last year’s PalmettoBaby grant campaign.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – State Treasurer Curtis Loftis announced that South Carolina’s Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan would once again celebrate National 529 College Savings Day (May 29) with its PalmettoBaby Grant Program.

The annual program, which is in its seventh year, promotes the importance of families saving for college and provides a privately-funded $529 grant to each baby born in South Carolina on May 29 to put toward a Future Scholar account.

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Resolution Urging the South Carolina Senate and House to vote in favor of Senate Bill 112 and House Bill 3125 Calling for a Convention of States

WHEREAS, the purpose of the Federation is to promote, support and defend conservative Republican governance at the local, state and national levels; and

WHEREAS, the Founding Fathers gave us two (2) viable methods for amending the Constitution of the United States with the second being vested in the people in Article V of the U.S. Constitution; and

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Michael Leach SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster today nominated Michael Leach to be the next director of the South Carolina Department of Social Services (SCDSS). Leach, a trained mental health clinician, has over 10 years of experience in Tennessee’s Department of Children’s Services (DCS) and has most recently served as the Deputy Commissioner for Child Programs at the agency.

To watch video of the governor’s announcement, click here.

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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 total $22.2 million budget for last fiscal year.

The 46-member Senate had $6.1 million in reserves as of July 1, which represented 43 percent of its $14.3 million chamber budget for 2017-18.

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This week, a handful of important bills are getting their first committee hearing, while other bills that have passed the committee process will be deliberated on the floor.

Tonight, there will be a public hearing for the Senate’s version of the education omnibus bill, which would create a new committee to monitor students from K-12, and beyond. The Senate bill also amends teacher pay, the Read to Succeed program, and school district consolidation, among other things. The hearing will be held at 6pm tonight at the McCormick Middle School gym (agenda here).

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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 potentially feel more pressure to please their local senators.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. – Today, Governor Henry McMaster joined Senator Paul Campbell and Representative Murrell Smith in releasing to the public the report on the bids submitted by parties interested in purchasing Santee Cooper or managing the publicly held utility. Campbell and Smith serve as Co-Chairmen of the Public Service Authority Evaluation and Recommendation Committee, of which the governor is a member.

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Greenville, South Carolina: All three Republican Senate 6 Candidates will have their first debatesince the Special Election began to replace Representative and now U.S. Congressman William Timmons.

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Voters in a small portion of Greenville County have a big decision to make on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

From Berea on the west to Taylors on the east and from Travelers Rest in the north to near Haywood Mall, Republicans in state Senate District 6 will fill a vacancy in a special election primary.

We enthusiastically endorse veteran state House member Dwight Loftis.

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