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ISSUE 10.05
Feb. 04, 2011

RECENT ISSUES:
12/04 | 11/27 | 11/20 | 11/13

Index

News :
On a tightrope
Legislative Agenda :
Budget, tort reform, schools, more
Radar Screen :
Department of Administration in offing
Palmetto Politics :
That tingling sensation
Commentary :
Tort reform isn't silver bullet for jobs
My Turn :
Leadership for hard times
Feedback :
Column hit the mark
Scorecard :
From Lourie to Haley to (not) Bright
Stegelin :
Showing us the money
Megaphone :
Crossing those T's; Dotting those I's.
Tally Sheet :
Lots of bills introduced
Encyclopedia :
Dr. Catherine McCottry

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NUMBER OF THE WEEK

21.4%

That’s the percentage of illegal immigrants estimated to have left the state since 2007, likely in search of work elsewhere due to the state’s bad economy, according to recent national survey. Ain’t that some “REAL” immigration reform? More.

MEGAPHONE

Crossing those T's; Dotting those I's.

"I’ll be honest, I’m not really good at dotting i’s and crossing t’s, but I’ve got a lot — a lot — of money in here and I’m certainly not spending any money on my own personal behalf.  I’ve got a vast amount of my personal wealth tied up in this campaign and I’m just trying to recoup as much of that as I can."

-- Lt. Gov. Ken Ard in a Jan. 31 story by The Free-Times about how he's spent some of his campaign contributions.  The S.C. Ethics Commission reportedly wants some answers.

TALLY SHEET

Lots of bills introduced

Members of the House and Senate introduced more than 100 new bills over the last week.  Here are the highlights:

Broadband. S. 483 (McConnell) would modify the state’s broadband law by redefining “broadband service” and recasting sections of law related to government-owned telecommunications providers, with several provisions.

BEA chair. S. 490 (Sheheen) calls for the chair of the state Board of Economic Advisors to be appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate.

Rural infrastructure. S. 491 (Hutto) would require the state to transfer certain rural infrastructure funds to the S.C. Rural Infrastructure Fund under the auspices of the Rural Infrastructure Authority.

School snacks. S. 498 (Jackson) would require fat, calorie and sugar content standards for snack foods sold at schools, with several provisions. H. 3529 (Sellers) is similar.

Controlled burns. S. 501 (Cromer) calls for updated regulations on how to handle prescribed fires, or controlled burns, with several provisions.

State of the Judiciary. H. 3514 (Harrison) calls for the annual State of the Judiciary speech to be March 2.

Prison networking. H. 3527 (Gilliard) would make it unlawful for a South Carolina inmate to be a member of an Internet-based social networking Web site.

Zero-based budgeting. H. 3528 (Stavrinakis) calls for zero-based budgeting for the state.

Restructuring. H. 3532 (Crawford) calls for transfer of authority of the S.C. School for the Deaf and Blind and the Wil Lou Gray Opportunity to the state Department of Education, with several provisions. H. 3534 (Crawford) would transfer the state Human Affairs Commission and the state Consumer Affairs Department to be part of the Secretary of State’s office. H. 3563 (Crawford) would shift around several health agencies and create new bigger Department of Health and Wellness, with several provisions. H. 3594 (Crawford) would roll in the state Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services into the Department of Corrections.

Hands-free. H. 3542 (Hart) would make it illegal to talk on a cell phone when driving, unless a hands-free devise were used.

Absentee voting. H. 3546 (J.E. Smith) calls for changes to absentee voting laws to accommodate people serving in the military, with several provisions.

Flight logs. H. 3547 (Simrill) would require the S.C. Aeronautics Commission to post flight logs online in real time.

ATVs. H. 3562 (Ott) calls for Chandler’s Law to provide regulations for kids operating all-terrain vehicles, with several provisions.

Cockfighting. H. 3564 (G.M. Smith) calls for increased penalties for cockfighting.

Bottle bill. H. 3590 (J.E. Smith) calls for a “bottle bill” – a measure to require beverage containers to be recycled and a deposit paid to consumers when bottles are recycled, with several provisions.

To find out more on any of the bills in the General Assembly, go here.

ENCYCLOPEDIA

Dr. Catherine McCottry

Physician Catherine Mae McKee McCottry was born on Feb. 3, 1921, in Charlotte, N.C. McCottry attended Barber Scotia Junior College at Concord, N.C., before enrolling at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte. She later became that school's first alumna to earn a medical degree. After completing a biology bachelor's degree in 1941, McCottry was accepted at the Howard University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C. Dr. Charles Drew, who developed blood banks, was one of her professors and influenced her surgical skills.


McCottry

McCottry graduated in 1945 and trained in several residencies, specializing in obstetrics and gynecology at New York's Harlem Hospital, Charlotte's Good Samaritan Hospital, and Chicago's Providence Hospital. In 1946 McCottry began practicing medicine in her hometown and was the first black woman physician there. She received her professional license in 1950. She married Turner McDonald McCottry, a Charleston native and graduate of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. They had two children.

Moving to Charleston in 1952, McCottry joined her husband, who established a general practice with obstetrics and gynecology services. He became chief of staff at the McClennan-Banks Memorial Hospital. The couple were Charleston's first African American team of physicians, and she was the city's first black woman to practice gynecology and obstetrics. Catherine McCottry became noted for her direct patient care services and was a leader in the drive to integrate hospitals in Charleston in the 1960s. She retired from practicing medicine in the early 1970s but continued her medical service in other forums. Her husband died in 1996.

Throughout her career McCottry emphasized public health education, especially for sickle-cell anemia, which affects primarily blacks. She served as chairperson for the health committee of the African American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. Many of her educational initiatives addressed young women. McCottry implemented prenatal-care counseling programs for pregnant teenagers. She lectured about prevention, symptoms, and treatments for the American Cancer Society. McCottry also taught young adults about hypertension and stress reduction.

McCottry received numerous awards and accolades for her volunteer and professional work. National politicians including President Bill Clinton, Senators Ernest Hollings and Strom Thurmond, and Congressman James Clyburn wrote commendation letters accompanying the Women Who Make a Difference Award. In 2000 Charleston mayor Joseph P. Riley proclaimed that May 23 was Dr. Catherine McCottry Day. McCottry also was featured in that year's BellSouth Corporation's African American History Calendar.

-- Excerpted from the entry by Elizabeth D. Schafer. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)

PALMETTO PRIORITIES

Palmetto Priorities Statehouse Report encourages state leaders to develop and implement Palmetto Priorities involving several issues to make the state better a better place. Click the link to learn more about our suggestions for bipartisan policy objectives.

Here is a summary of our Palmetto Priorities:

CORRECTIONS: Reduce the prison population by 25 percent by 2020.

EDUCATION: Cut the state's dropout rate in half by 2020.

ELECTIONS: Increase voter registration to 75 percent by 2015.

ENVIRONMENT: Adopt a state energy policy that requires energy producers to generate 20 percent of energy from renewable sources by 2020.

ETHICS: Overhaul state ethics laws.

HEALTH CARE: Ensure affordable and accessible health care.

JOBS: Develop a Cabinet-level post to add, retain 10,000 small business jobs per year.

POLITICS: Have a vigorous two- or multi-party political system of governance.

ROADS: Strengthen all bridges and upgrade state roads by 2015.

SAFETY: Cut the state's violent crime rate by one-third by 2016.

TAX REFORM: Remove outdated special interest sales tax exemptions as part of an overall reform of the state's tax structure to be completed by 2014.

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News

On a tightrope

State may not be able to afford free drug program


FEB. 4, 2011 – South Carolina’s access to $59 million in free medicine for uninsured residents may be threatened if the state can’t come up with the seed money to support the nonprofit that runs the program.


How much in seed money? Try a relatively measly $700,000.

For years, the nonprofit company Welvista, which runs the free medicine program, has partnered with a dozen pharmaceutical companies to funnel donated medicines through health centers throughout the state and into the hands (and mouths) of sick residents.

Along the way, Welvista has become the top mail-order pharmacy in the nation. It has become so successful that, according to several legislators and the company, representatives from other states have tried to woo the Welvista program to their states.

But two years ago facing tough fiscal times, the state Department of Health and Human Services cut Welvista, and host of other nonprofit organizations and programs, from its annual budget.

That $700,000 cut represented roughly one-third of Welvista’s annual budget, according to its chief executive officer, Ken Trogdon, who now faces “significant” staff cuts if the money is not restored in the state budget for the coming fiscal year.

Last year, legislators, enticed by the program’s 80-to-1 return on investment, returned the funding as a line item in the current fiscal year’s budget. But that portion of the budget was successfully vetoed by then-Gov. Mark Sanford.

Sanford’s victory may lead to a defeat for Welvista and the 17,000-plus South Carolinians who got Welvista’s free medicine last year.  The company says it sent more than 150,000 prescriptions last year.

Trogdon also said Welvista’s four pediatric, school-based dental around the state would also be affected by the money not being returned to the budget.

Tough budget times ahead may mean again this year that South Carolina could lose one of the few things it shines at: dealing with the uninsured.  Even worse:  losing Welvista could mean increased costs to the state, which may have to cover the costs of sicker residents cut off from free medications they need.

Spoonful of vinegar

It’s a no-win situation, according to DHHS spokesperson Jeff Stensland, who praised the program and the nonprofit’s work. But, he said, the agency can’t cover its own required Medicaid costs.

Stensland said that DHHS’s current deficit is $228 million, and that the agency has identified $663 million it will need in new state money in the coming fiscal year to keep the agency and Medicaid afloat.

One observer quipped that DHHS’s situation with Welvista was like the person who can’t afford dinner at a restaurant, but then gets handed a dessert menu.

Stensland said that any DHHS money that went to Welvista would not get the three-to-one matching federal funding support back to the agency. But he acknowledged the program’s enticing 80-to-1 match -- $700,000 becoming $59 million in free medicine.

Stensland said Welvista wasn’t the only nonprofit doing good work that’s been cut the last few years, including a health care provider company offering services in Horry County, as well as several prevention programs.

“It’s a tough decision our new director will have to make,” said Stensland. Anthony Keck, Gov. Nikki Haley’s nominee to replace Emma Forkner as the head of DHHS, was just confirmed this week.

And Keck’s plate is already full.

The agency has warned that Medicaid, which cares for more than 800,000 residents, may run out of money in March and may have to stop paying providers – doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc. – if the state does not “recognize” its deficit. Recognition may include the state dipping into its rainy-funds, or tapping its higher than expected tax revenue collections to right DHHS’s fiscal ship.

Several key legislative leaders, especially Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell, have expressed heightened concern about the agency’s deficit.  Next week, the state Budget and Control Board will meet to decide what to do about the agency’s deficit.

Unquestioned value

Welvista already has a fan base in the legislature. State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg), a social worker who deals with the uninsured on a regular basis, has high praise for the nonprofit.

“The value the state gets out of Welvista is unquestioned,” she said. “The return on investment is fantastic; it makes the program worthwhile” to fund.

Cobb-Hunter, like Trogdon, made the case that if the state legislature does not return the $700,000, then it will likely shoulder bigger costs down the road, as sicker residents become very expensive recipients of Medicaid care, or clog the state’s emergency rooms.

“Welvista’s model is working so well here, other states are trying to recruit them to their state; we’ve got to recognize the value added by their efforts,” said Cobb-Hunter.

Standing at the fork in the road for Welvista’s funding may be state Rep. Brian White (R-Anderson), who chairs the House Ways and Means subcommittee which first handles DHHS budget requests for the coming year.

Next week, White’s subcommittee will hear budget and proviso requests from DHHS, as well as others. As for Welvista, White said “it is up to Keck, and we’re waiting for his plan to arrive in the next couple of weeks.”

Keck may get some flexibility soon from the legislature, as Keck said his committee will likely support removing the proviso that prevents the health and human services head from decreasing Medicaid provider payouts.

From there, fiscal decisions about DHHS’s budget would proceed to the full Ways and Means Committee before being reported out to the floor, and then, along with the rest of the House’s state budget package, over to the Senate later this session.

Sen. Thomas C. Alexander (R-Walhalla), who chairs a similar subcommittee in Senate Finance, said “it was too early in process to comment,” but added that Welvista, and programs like it, provide a tough decision between “compassion and cost benefits.”

Crystal ball: Federal matching funds for Medicaid have been nicknamed the “crack cocaine of state budgets,” because of the three dollars the feds send for every health dollar a state commits. So what are the chances a nonprofit with an arguably 80-to-1 kickback will find its way back in? Pretty good. But it will still have to survive a potential gubernatorial veto, which killed it for this fiscal year. And if it doesn’t, we may all feel sick.
 
Bill Davis, editor of Statehouse Report, can be reached at:  editor@statehousereport.com.
Legislative Agenda

Budget, tort reform, schools, more

Work in House Ways and Means subcommittee meetings will continue next week to grind out the first steps in crafting next fiscal year’s state budget. On Wednesday, look for a bill to be brought to the House floor that calls for limiting the punitive damages in civil lawsuits. On Thursday, a bill that strengthens and expands the state’s charter school system is expected to hit the floor. Still waiting debate is a bevy of bills that would restructure state government.

In the Senate, two bills are expected to make it onto the floor, one that would allow gaming in personal homes and another that would require secret ballot voting for union organization. In the wings, reported fresh out of the Judiciary Committee, awaits a bill that would require citizens to provide photo identification before being allowed to vote.

In the House:
  • Judiciary. The constitutional laws subcommittee will meet Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. or an hour and a half after adjournment to discuss several state government restructuring bills.  More.

  • Ways and Means. A series of subcommittees will meet next week to take in budget requests and proviso information. Click here on the House’s main meetings page for specific information.  More.

  • Ag. The full committee will meet Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in 410 Blatt to discuss citizens’ “right” to hunt and fish, as well other reports, amendments and recommendations.  More.

  • LCI. The full committee will meet Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. ion 403 Blatt to discuss subcommittee recommendations and amendments.  More.
In the Senate:
  • Education. State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais will speak before the full committee 10 a.m. Wednesday at 10 a.m. in 207 Gressette, and will lay out his vision for public education. His spokesman Jay W. Ragley said Friday that Zais will speak on issues of teacher compensation, education funding structures, curriculum and the types of schools that are offered.
In related meetings:
  • BCB. The state Budget and Control Board will meet Wednesday at 3 p.m. in the Rembert Dennis Building to deliver final fiscal estimates for the fiscal year 2011-12.
Radar Screen

Department of Administration in offing

Watch for the deficit at three state agencies to be used as fodder and fuel to fire up support for a proposed Department of Administration. Legislators got the message loud and clear that voters want a more executive branch-friendly style of state government.

Money problems at the state Departments of Health and Human Services, Social Services, and Corrections may provide enough fury to create the new admin department. But look for legislators to create a bill that also gives them year-end review, mirroring the federal model, where the governor has to run everything, and all the senators and representatives have to do is criticize the job the executive branch is doing.
Palmetto Politics

That tingling sensation

Word around the Statehouse is that some white House Democrats are going to jump from the party’s longtime opposition to tort reform to protect their hides. Seems that these white Dems, including House Minority Leader Harry Ott of St, Matthews, are supporting the GOP’s tort reform cap on punitive damages because they believe they’ve got a deal to protect their seats in the coming redistricting and in the 2012 elections.

Earth to Dems: You’re getting snookered again. You should feel a tingling sensation in the middle of your back. That’s the tip of the knife.

Didn’t make the cut

What’s most surprising about finalists to be new dean of the long-suffering USC School of Law is a name that didn’t make the cut: former state Attorney General Henry McMaster.

McMaster, thought by many to have been a frontrunner, could have been a solution to problems the school has had for years – raising enough money to build a new facility. McMaster, a proven fundraiser, might have kicked the school’s effort out of neutral. Oh well.

Cuts are coming

New Health and Human Services Executive Director Anthony Keck told the Senate this week that doctors and other health care providers should expect to be paid less in the coming years via state Medicaid reimbursements.

Hospitals have countered, saying they would be willing to increase the amount in taxes they pay into the Medicaid system, so the program could continue to receive the same three-to-one matching funds from the federal government. Gov. Nikki Haley said this week she opposed the hospitals’ plan, because it amounted to increased taxation.

Caught in the middle is DHHS, which is facing massive shortfalls, a massive deficit and quiet criticism from certain legislators that the agency may have intentionally underestimated its growth curve under Gov. Mark Sanford’s administration. Regardless, the legislature won’t have much political cover on the deficit or the shortfall, as it gave DHHS less money for the current fiscal year’s budget than it asked for.
Commentary

Tort reform isn't silver bullet for jobs

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher

FEB. 4, 2011 – A lot of lawyer bashing is on tap next week in the S.C. House where members are expected to pass a new tort bill.

Proponents say they’re just trying to move forward with a pro-business measure to make our job-starved state more competitive so it can land more jobs. That’s a similar rationale to what they said in 2005 when they passed another tort reform bill.

The civil justice system allows citizens to sue companies that act poorly. So what’s worrying with what the legislature wants to do is how the bill could take away citizen rights and protect bad companies. In the bill, lawmakers are trying to cap punitive damages – monetary awards for companies acting recklessly – to $350,000. Can you imagine if you were a shrimper in Louisiana that you would want BP’s exposure to be capped at $350,000?

Many plaintiff’s lawyers will tell you to watch out if punitive damages are capped. Why? Because for a small percentage of businesses, that’s a write-off, which could encourage them to be less careful with what they do.

“We have all been taught in houses of worship that you cannot selectively choose the parts of the Bible you prefer and ignore the rest,” said Columbia trial lawyer and former U.S. Attorney Pete Strom. “The same is true with our Constitution.  

“The 7th Amendment right to a trial by jury is just as important as our 1st Amendment right to freedom of religion.  Hopefully, the social conservatives will stay firmly committed to our Constitutional rights and oppose ‘tort reform’ to protect our 7th Amendment right to a trial by jury.”

What is most worrisome about this new rush to reform the tort system is the intellectual foundation upon which the case is being built. To say capping damages is needed to “develop the environment” to make the state more attractive to businesses is disingenuous in three ways.

First, good companies don’t worry all that much about being involved in civil lawsuits that seek huge punitive damages. Why? Because they’re good companies. So having a punitive damages cap for a good company that may be interested in moving here really isn’t that much of an incentive. But capping punitive damages may attract companies that could get in trouble. Do we really want to help create an environment for more Enrons?

Second, South Carolina is very competitive in many business sectors. On Oct. 28, 2010, House Speaker Bobby Harrell, who sponsored the tort reform bill, highlighted 18 areas where South Carolina was in the top 10 most competitive business climates. Among the rankings: Economic growth potential, 2010 (#1 nationally); Health care policy cost index 2009 (#1); Average state gas prices, 2010 (#1 lowest); Automotive manufacturing strength (#3); Best business climate according to Business Facilities ranking, August 2010 (#4); Pro-business ranking, 2010 Pollina study (#4); and Workforce, 2010 CNBC “Top States for Business” rankings (#5).

So if we’re already very competitive according to various measures, then why is it so important to take away people’s rights to make a slightly better business climate?

Third, there are better ways to improve the business climate than fiddling with the civil justice system. The Beacon Hill Institute’s 8th annual report on state competitiveness ranked South Carolina low – 46th – not because of its civil justice system, but because it had high rates of crime, unemployment, people without health insurance, infant mortality and unprepared students, as well as low rates of technological prowess, venture capital, bank deposits per capita, air quality and infrastructure development.

In other words, the state ranked low not because of businesses being sued, but because South Carolina had not made the basic investments in education, infrastructure, technology and health care that are needed for it to excel and succeed, and attract and grow jobs.

Over the next week as you hear a lot of politicking and hot air about lawyers and the tort system, what should be as clear as the nose on your face is that politicians again are talking about another non-issue instead of leading and focusing on real issues that will grow real jobs. 

Andy Brack, publisher of Statehouse Report, can be reached at: brack@statehousereport.com.

Spotlight

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My Turn

Leadership for hard times

By Ferrel Guillory and Richard Hart
MDC
Special to Statehouse Report

We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence… We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all regardless of station, race, or creed. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

On January 11, 1944, President Roosevelt delivered his State of the Union address from the White House by radio. The nation had not fully recovered from the Great Depression and was engaged in a ferocious war with D-Day still half a year away. After delivering his summons to Congress and the people to take actions he thought necessary to win the war, Roosevelt turned his attention beyond the war and to “the establishment of an American standard of living higher than ever known before.’’

“We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living may be, if some fraction of our people—whether it be one-third or one-fifth or one-tenth—is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure,” Roosevelt declared.

In the midst of a terrible war with victory not yet assured, Roosevelt outlined what he meant by a second Bill of Rights, economic rights to augment the individual rights guaranteed in the initial amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The right to a useful job. The right to earn enough to provide food, clothing, and recreation. The right of every business, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition. The rights to adequate health care and to protection in old age. The right to an education.

Six decades later, the South still strives for and struggles with how to carry out Roosevelt’s vision. Today, we have only begun to recover from a great recession, our nation is entangled in conflict in far-away countries—and the political system shows no inclination for a new New Deal.

So why recall Roosevelt’s 1944 State of the Union? Because 2011 is developing into a year of reckoning—a moment of difficult decisions that cry out for leaders focused on equity, opportunity, and competitiveness in arming the nation’s people and their communities for coping with a time of disruption. Most states confront huge budget shortfalls that may well touch off rancorous debates and brutal decisions over what to cut. No one can look ahead at the year 2011 without a sobering sense of decades of progress at risk.

Regardless of our political persuasions, all Americans can agree on certain ideas, not least of which is Roosevelt’s call for “true individual freedom.” Yet too many Americans aren’t truly free in the face of financial insecurity. And there’s a growing population with even less hope—young adults who have dropped out of school or don’t have the means or basic skills to get the education or job training that qualifies them for better jobs.

Americans agree on certain beliefs. We yearn to regenerate a sense of the common good while managing the dynamics of immigration and diversity. We need to fix an education system bound by early industrial-era structures at a time when we need schools to prepare young people for coping with a 21st century of life-long learning. Everyone’s well-being depends on eliminating chronic and profound achievement gaps, as today’s Latino and African American adolescents and young adults will become an integral core of the workforce further into this decade and the next. Across the South and the nation, a community’s skill levels will determine its economic prospects.

We also must engage in regional planning and collaboration that go beyond the urban/rural/city/state boundaries that now constrain our thinking. We must figure out how to connect better with other citizens in our communities, beyond 140-character social networking and media-intensified ideological clashes.

At all levels of our government and society, we must develop new leadership. Americans look to their president for what might be called “big leadership.” But they also yearn for their governors, mayors, and elected representatives in legislative bodies to define ultimately what the shouting, power-wielding, and in-fighting are all about. However difficult our current economic moment, it is an opportunity for leaders who would seize it to chart a course, not for a return to an old “normal,’’ but toward a more prosperous society, more widely shared.

That’s what FDR was trying to do. And it’s what we need today.

Ferrel Guillory is director of The Program on Public Life at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a senior fellow at MDC, a Chapel Hill-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing economic and education opportunity.  Richard Hart is communications director at MDC.  This piece is adapted from the MDC report, "The State of the South 2011." 
Feedback

Column hit the mark

To Statehouse Report:
 
[Your column] "When backers of Big Government are Republican" was right on point. I loved it!

How about focusing on getting jobs? Wasting time on fixing something that’s not broke. Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.  Also, did the new governor really say she don’t like unions? 

Andy, continue to call them out and be the voice of the voiceless, RIGHT ON!  A BIG THANK YOU.

-- Judy Garnett, Florence, SC

Send us a letter.  Letters to the editor are published weekly. We reserve the right to edit for length and clarity. We generally publish all comments about South Carolina politics or policy issues, unless they are libelous or unnecessarily inflammatory. One submission is allowed per month. Submission of a comment grants permission to us to reprint. Comments are limited to 250 words or less.
Scorecard

From Lourie to Haley to (not) Bright

Lourie. Sen. Joel Lourie (D-Columbia) brightened up the Tuesday confirmation hearing of Gov. Nikki Haley’s candidate to take over at DSS, Lillian Koller, when he suggested a straight up trade for Koller and rambunctious Sen. Jake Knotts (R-W. Columbia).

Charlotte
. With the Queen City selected to be the site of the 2012 Democratic National Convention, South Carolina’s neighboring businesses, not to mention the importance of its early primaries, are sure to receive a boost. 
More.

Unemployment.
New state unemployment insurance rates may increase per-employee costs by as much as $1,000 a year.  On the plus side, maybe the state won’t bankrupt the system like it did two years ago. More.


Haley.
You named political ideologue and former barbecue baron Chad Walldorf to head up the Board of Economic Advisors? Was Maurice Bessinger not available?
More.

‘Bright.’
Sen. Lee Bright (R-Roebuck) has introduced a bill that calls for a committee to study if the state should create its own currency should there be a major breakdown in the Federal Reserve system. And which Confederate general would like pictured on it, Lee? 
More.

Prisons.
Senate Corrections chair Mike Fair said this week because of continuing deficits at Corrections, two prisons may have to be closed. 
More.
Stegelin

Showing us the money


Also from Stegelin: 1/28 | 1/21 | 1/14 | 1/7 | Best of 2010
credits

Statehouse Report

Editor and Publisher: Andy Brack
Senior Editor: Bill Davis
Contributing Photographer: Michael Kaynard

Phone: 843.670.3996

© 2002 - 2018 , Statehouse Report LLC. Statehouse Report is published every Friday by Statehouse Report LLC, PO Box 22261, Charleston, SC 29413.
Excerpts from The South Carolina Encyclopedia are published with permission and copyrighted 2006 by the Humanities Council SC. Excerpts were edited by Walter Edgar and published by the University of South Carolina Press. Statehouse Report has partnered with USC Press to provide readers with this interesting weekly historical excerpt about the state. Republication is not allowed. For additional information about Statehouse Report, including information on underwriting, go to http://www.statehousereport.com/.