Articles by: Lindsay Street

TOP FIVE: Climate change, S.C. State, taxes

TOP FIVE: Climate change, S.C. State, taxes

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent | Our weekly Top Five feature offers big stories or views from the past week or so with policy and legislative implications that you need to read because of how they could impact South Carolina.  Click to find more on:

1. Tough sell: People aren’t changing minds on climate change despite crushing hurricanes

2. Mayors pave path forward on climate change

3. No one wants to be on the S.C. State University board

4. Red states benefit from tax deductions on federal chopping block

5. U.S. Supreme Court could be the next stop as state governments seek to claim Internet sales tax money

by · 09/20/2017 · News, Top Five
NEWS: S.C. better prepared to weather big storms, experts say

NEWS: S.C. better prepared to weather big storms, experts say

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  Four people died and more than a quarter million residences lost power in South Carolina earlier this week as sea levels rose and high winds bellowed in Tropical Storm Irma. The storm’s glancing blow packed a big punch, leaving the state reeling from its fourth natural disaster in four years.

But experts say there is a silver lining to this and previous storms: South Carolina is getting good at dealing with disasters.

“If you look at our state compared to other coastal states, we’re doing a fabulous job,” said Susan Cutter, director of University of South Carolina’s Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute. “We are becoming quite a hurricane-savvy population. …

by · 09/15/2017 · News
NEWS: Group is pushing to make workplaces more women-friendly

NEWS: Group is pushing to make workplaces more women-friendly

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  A new advocacy agency says it has a solution for a looming shortage of workers: make the workplace more woman-friendly to recruit and retain female employees.

But there’s a number of obstacles that keep the state’s existing female population from taking open jobs. The Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN)  is tackling two hurdles in the General Assembly now by working on a bill to make contraceptives more accessible as well as a legislative proposal that would reasonable accommodations to help pregnant employees stay on the job.

by · 09/07/2017 · News
NEWS: Battle over state’s local government fund may end soon

NEWS: Battle over state’s local government fund may end soon

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  A local government group says S.C. counties are willing to lose millions of dollars of state revenue for the sake of certainty as lawmakers are poised to change the way local governments are reimbursed.

Every year since the Great Recession, counties and municipalities have received fewer state dollars, designed to help them pay for state-mandated services, such as providing space for state courts and state agencies. This has led to a lot of bad blood between legislators and local officials.

S.C. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Rep. W. Brian White, R-Anderson, told Statehouse Report Wednesday that he will form a special committee in coming days to restructure the state’s local government fund.

by · 09/01/2017 · News
Dozens of bouquets lined a sidewalk Thursday outside Emanuel AMC Church in Charleston.  The display board still lists the late Sen. Clementa Pinckney as the church's pastor.

NEWS:  Hate crime bill withers, but some say it’s not needed

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  A House bill seeking to make it a felony to target another person because of race, religion or sexual orientation is withering in committee and will die unless lawmakers return from recess with an appetite for addressing hate crimes.

Five previous iterations of so-called hate crimes legislation in South Carolina have died in committee since 2009. South Carolina is one of five states in the U.S.  without a hate crimes statute.

Advocates say passage would send a clear message that hate crimes are not tolerated. But detractors say there’s no need for such a statute since hate crimes, regardless of motive, can already be punished through existing laws and judges have sentencing discretion.

by · 08/25/2017 · News
NEWS: Funding, policies target improving S.C. schools

NEWS: Funding, policies target improving S.C. schools

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  As South Carolina public school students and teachers return to school this week and next, changes aimed at improving education are expected to alter the classroom and funding strategies.

A July 31 study placed South Carolina as 35th in the nation for public education. The study fingered funding as one of the reasons public school education varies from state to state. The state also tied at 46th for low ACT scores.

Highlights for this coming school year include the impact of a third grade retention policy; whether there will be more state takeovers of school districts and schools; funding for operations, buses and facilities; teacher retention; and how the state superintendent is picked.

by · 08/18/2017 · News
Photo by Ted Eytan from Washington, DC, via Wikimedia Commons

NEWS: Higher health premiums could have dire S.C. consequences

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  A health care economist says federal policy could make insurance unaffordable in South Carolina, which could trigger a jump in unemployment and tank the state’s economy.

If the Trump administration does not fund a $7 billion Affordable Care Act program that subsidizes health insurance policies for low- and middle-income earners, then insurance premiums and out-of-pocket costs could face double digit increases for many policyholders in the state — whether they buy their insurance through the individual market or through an employer program.

With South Carolina already ranked at the bottom of the pack for health measures, the state’s economy could be crippled by people unable to work due to untreated illnesses and by hospital closures that might result in layoffs and health deserts.

by · 08/11/2017 · News
BRIEF: Feel soggy? Leaked report provides insights

BRIEF: Feel soggy? Leaked report provides insights

There sure has been a lot of rain around the Midlands and coast over the last 30 days, and now a federal report shows major rain events are occurring with higher frequency over the last 100 years in our area of the country.

According to the draft of a  leaked federal science report, climate change is affecting regions of the United States. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that there’s been an 8 percent increase in extreme rain in the Southeast over the last 100 years.  By 2100, rainfall could go up another 21 percent.

by · 08/11/2017 · News, News briefs