News

NEWS:  Which way is the wind blowing in Columbia?

NEWS: Which way is the wind blowing in Columbia?

News analysis by Bill Davis, senior editor | If there were a weathervane atop the Statehouse dome in Columbia, it would be spinning, caught in a shifting to and fro between the middle, right and hard-right.

Depending to whom you talk, either the General Assembly is becoming increasingly conservative, or it’s becoming “just like our Congress in Washington that everyone complains about.”

Thanks to continuing indictments from a campaign money ethics pogrom led by state special prosecutor David Pascoe, new seats are coming open regularly. His task force recently added three new sitting solicitors, indicating the probe may be expanding, not diminishing.

by · 05/19/2017 · News
BRIEFS: General Assembly to return; Unemployment drops

BRIEFS: General Assembly to return; Unemployment drops

Staff reports | The S.C. House and Senate are scheduled to return to Columbia Tuesday to finalize a budget compromise. But they’ve got a problem: House and Senate negotiators are at an impasse over the $8 billion spending plan.

NEWS: Busy year in General Assembly, but lots left on table

NEWS: Busy year in General Assembly, but lots left on table

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | A lot of people might not realize they’re going to get some tax relief this year, thanks to the just-passed law to hike gas taxes by 12 cents per gallon over the next few years. Tax relief for the working poor is just one major impact of work done by the General Assembly during its 2017 session. There remains, however, a lot left on the table for next year.

This story highlights legislative accomplishments, what’s ahead in two weeks and what’s left for 2018.

by · 05/12/2017 · News
NEWS:  Conferees meeting to forge veto-proof gas tax compromise

NEWS: Conferees meeting to forge veto-proof gas tax compromise

News analysis by Bill Davis, senior editor | When Statehouse leaders put the finishing touches next week on what they hope will be a veto-proof bill to fix state roads and bridges, the new measure will have a reach beyond the hundreds of millions of tax dollars it will raise yearly.

Six senior legislators, three from the House and three from the Senate, are meeting today — and perhaps over the weekend — to forge a compromise on a roads bill that will raise $500 million to $600 million annually.

The current House plan calls for an increase to the per-gallon levy by 10 cents from 16.75-cents Meanwhile, the Senate plan calls for a hike of 12 cents per gallon over the same time, but includes some wrinkles such as a tax rebate and tax relief…

by · 05/05/2017 · News
Robertson

BRIEFS: Party leadership; shorter session’s impact

Both major parties in the state will have new leaders for the 2018 elections. The Democrats elected Trav Robertson to be chair. Republicans will elect their new chair on May 13.

Also, there’s an early review of the shortened session during which lawmakers seem to be on track to accomplishing more than usual.

by · 05/05/2017 · News, Palmetto Politics
NEWS:  Earned-income tax credit has surprise chance

NEWS: Earned-income tax credit has surprise chance

By Andy Brack, editor and publisher | State Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter for years has dreamed of South Carolina having an Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as a way of raising incomes for the working poor.

Now there’s a chance it could get done as a part of a broad gas tax package passed this week by the state Senate to generate much-needed hundreds of millions of dollars a year to fix roads and bridges.

“I love it because the one thing I can say about this bill is that there is tax relief for people who really need it and that group is working families in this state,” Cobb-Hunter , an Orangeburg Democrat, said this morning. “Hallelujah!”

by · 04/28/2017 · News
NEWS:  Ervin’s song for S.C.:  “We got the pothole blues”

NEWS: Ervin’s song for S.C.: “We got the pothole blues”

EDITOR’S NOTE, 4/28: This story was posted earlier in the week before Wednesday’s vote by the state Senate to approve a road-funding bill. You might still enjoy!

Staff reports | Former S.C. gubernatorial candidate Tom Ervin of Greenville has gotten so frustrated by the continued “lack of vision and failed leadership “ by state senators and Gov. Henry McMaster in funding the billions of dollars of much-needed road and bridge repairs that he wrote “Pothole Blues” and got it recorded.

“We should demand that our state politicians ‘fix the damn roads’ and stop kicking the can down the pothole filled road,” Ervin told Statehouse Report.

Click here to listen to the song, brought to you first by Statehouse Report.

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NEWS: Will S.C.’s new reactors melt down like roads, pensions?

By Bill Davis, senior editor | There are several “nightmare scenarios” swirling around two incomplete and incredibly expensive nuclear reactors being built in the Midlands in Jenkinsville and what damage they could do to ratepayers’ wallets.

The ongoing work on the reactors, a joint effort of Santee Cooper and SCE&G, at the V.C. Sumner facility appears to be over budget and behind schedule, according to company documents.

But what’s more concerning to many is that the company building the reactors, Westinghouse, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the face of what may be billions of dollars of corporate losses. Westinghouse’s parent company, Japan’s Toshiba, has promised an unknown amount of money to help guarantee completion, according to published reports.

by · 04/21/2017 · News