If there’s one power that S.C. senators likely will never relinquish – at least willingly – it’s their control over the selection of the state’s more than 300 county magistrates.

Magistrates, who handle traffic tickets and other relatively minor criminal and civil cases, know how much authority senators can exercise even after their judicial terms expire. Under a loophole in state law known as “holdover status,” magistrates can continue to serve indefinitely past their official terms – and feel more pressure to cater to their local senators.

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It'll be months before Major League Baseball knows how much its decision to move Atlanta's All-Star Game cost them financially. Fortunately, Americans won't have to wait nearly that long to understand how much it hurt the MLB politically. Thanks to Governor Doug Ducey (R-Ariz.), they already know. If the goal of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and his liberal pals was to scare other states into submission, Arizona's new law makes it quite clear: he's already failed.

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Claiming that many lawmakers had little or no notice of a $550 million taxpayer-backed bond plan for projects at the Port of Charleston, a senator has proposed expanding the Ports Authority governing board to include the heads of the state Commerce and Transportation departments.

Besides making Commerce secretary Bobby Hitt and DOT secretary Christy Hall voting members of the current nine-member Ports Authority Board of Directors, the bill, sponsored by Sen. Sandy Senn, R-Charleston, would allow the two agency heads to attend closed board sessions.

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Over the past four years as South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster received a total of more than $87,000 in gifts, The Nerve found in a review of his annual income-disclosure reports.

Of the $87,695 in freebies, $24,679, or 28%, came from the Washington, D.C.-based Republican Governors Association (RGA), mainly for flights, hotel accommodations and meals, according to McMaster’ annual statements of economic interests (SEIs) filed with the State Ethics Commission.

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In its latest annual report, the S.C. Department of Transportation claimed it patched about 679,300 potholes statewide during fiscal year 2020.

Based on those numbers, an average of 14,767 potholes were filled from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020, in each of the state’s 46 counties, though the annual report, provided by DOT head Christy Hall in January to state Senate president Harvey Peeler and House speaker Jay Lucas, didn’t provide any county breakdowns.

The Nerve previously has pointed out that DOT’s patched-pothole numbers are merely estimates.

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South Carolina State Senator Tom Corbin joins Glenn Beck to discuss his state’s “Unorganized Militia” bill, which smartly uses legislation to GUARANTEE the federal government cannot infringe on citizens’ 2nd Amendment rights there. The Biden administration may have gun control in their sights, but with this legislation, South Carolinians SHOULD remain untouched. Listen to this clip to find out how it works and to find out how YOU can encourage similar steps in your own local community.

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Nearly $30 million in tax dollars could flow next fiscal year through the state tourism agency to regional tourism organizations for “tourism marketing” – with reduced or no private grant matches in contrast to larger matches required in prior years.

The S.C. House version of the state budget for fiscal year 2022 calls for $14 million in recurring general funds – the amount that has been appropriated annually in recent years – plus another $15 million in non-recurring, state surplus funds for “Destination Specific Tourism Marketing” (DSTM) grants awarded by the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT).

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Recently our lawmakers failed the best chance to restore our right to keep and bear arms without a government permission slip. Even worse; they are calling it a victory!

Updates on Constitutional Carry will be on the agenda.

The State budget is on the agenda in Columbia. While sitting on billions of unused revenues, our lawmakers refuse to cut the budget and give back the surplus.

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The Alabama Senate passed House Joint Resolution 24, recognizing January 22 as the Day of Tears. Sponsored by Representative Tommy Hanes (R-Bryant), this resolution calls for private citizens in Alabama to lower their flags on January 22, in honor and remembrance of the over 61 million innocents who have lost their lives to abortion.

The Senate joins the House, who passed the resolution on February 11th.

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When the full S.C. House meets next week to debate the fiscal 2022 state budget, it will consider a plan that’s at least $1 billion bigger than the budget in effect when the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Carolina.

And that doesn’t include billions more in recently awarded federal Covid-relief funding for the Palmetto State, much it for K-12 schools.

Approved last week, the House Ways and Means Committee’s state budget version for the fiscal year that begins July 1 totals $31.1 billion, including state, federal and “other” funds, according to a budget record known as the summary control document (SCD).

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A new Port of Charleston terminal – named after powerful S.C. Sen. Hugh Leatherman – already comes with a related, massive state taxpayer bill that could skyrocket under a new proposal pushed by the longtime lawmaker.

The “Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal,” a state Ports Authority facility in North Charleston that is scheduled to open next month, is linked to:

  • The deepening of the Charleston Harbor from 45 feet to 52 feet to accommodate expected larger ships with the completed expansion of the Panama Canal;
  • A newly open road designed to provide truck drivers a direct connection between the terminal and Interstate 26; and
  • A proposed rail yard that will allow cargo to be transported to and from the terminal by CSX and Norfolk Southern trains.
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Two years ago, lawmakers created the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, a stand-alone state agency aimed at helping to provide services to the thousands of veterans in South Carolina.

With the creation of the new agency, county legislative delegations lost their sole power to fire the county veterans’ affairs officer (CVAO) in their respective counties. That decision now has to be made jointly by a majority of that county’s Senate delegation members, a majority of the House delegation members, and the director – called the secretary – of the S.C. Department of Veterans’ Affairs (SCDVA).

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If an ethics complaint is filed against a South Carolina judge, in most cases the public will never learn the details.

That’s because court rules adopted by the five-member S.C. Supreme Court – the state’s top court – largely ensure secrecy in the process.

For example, under court rules, misconduct proceedings against judges and related records become public if formal charges are authorized by a seven-member investigative panel of the 26-member Commission on Judicial Conduct, which is appointed by the Supreme Court.

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Allan E. Parker, President of The Justice Foundation, who represents thousands of women hurt by abortion states, "SB 6 is an excellent vehicle for improving the health and safety of women in Arkansas and moving towards a more just and humane society. Since Arkansas already has a Safe Haven law, as does every other state in the nation, no woman in Arkansas will have to take care of an unwanted child when the bill becomes effective. Senator Rapert and Representative Mary Bentley's SB 6 is an excellent vehicle for challenging the Supreme Court's current view on Roe v. Wade, Doe v. Bolton, and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The freedom of Roe can be preserved now for women without its human cost – killing children and injuring women.

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In South Carolina, it’s still illegal to challenge someone to a duel with a sword, pistol or other deadly weapon.

Other laws on the books that date to the last century or earlier ban such things as, for example:

  • Robbing a train after stopping it;
  • Swindling in card or dice games;
  • Committing adultery or fornication; and
  • Operating dance halls on Sundays

Although a number of old laws are no longer observed or enforced, lawmakers have done relatively little in recent years to revise or repeal them. But they’re moving quickly now to eliminate a longstanding law that they routinely have ignored but which supporters say would provide greater transparency in the state budget process.

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In just one year, the surplus from state gas-tax-hike revenues grew by more than a quarter of a billion dollars, or 50%, to $752 million as of Jan. 31, records show.

The Nerve repeatedly has pointed out the growing reserve that the S.C. Department of Transportation has been sitting on since the gas-tax-hike law took effect on July 1, 2017. Now, the agency contends that the surplus is committed to “pending vendor payments.”

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