TOP FIVE: Women candidates, K-12 funding, commute times, more

TOP FIVE: Women candidates, K-12 funding, commute times, more

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent | Here are five recent stories related to S.C. policy and politics that you might have missed:

1. More women running for statewide, national office

2. S.C. continues to fund K-12 education below pre-Recession levels

3. Charter schools are among most segregated in nation

4. Orangeburg has longest commute times in South Carolina

5. S.C. legislature sees lowest number of staff since 1980s.

by · 12/12/2017 · News, Top Five
Photo courtesy of HighFlyer.

NEWS: Sell Santee Cooper? Maybe, but not as a fire sale, senators say

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  South Carolina may see its state-owned utility pass into private hands after its role in a failed multi-billion project, but lawmakers say it won’t happen quickly or below-market value.

A bill was prefiled in the Senate Wednesday to determine the value of Santee Cooper — one of several new bills aimed at the two utilities responsible for spending $9 billion on two nuclear reactors that are unfinished at V.C. Summer plant in Jenkinsville. The legislation comes less than two months after Gov. Henry McMaster expressed interest in privatizing Santee Cooper.

But senators say the bill is not a signal that they’re on board with selling the utility just yet.

“I have not heard of a lot of people pushing for the sale of Santee Cooper,” said Sen. Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington.  Setzler served on a special committee asking what went wrong in the joint venture between Santee Cooper and SCE&G.

by · 12/08/2017 · News
NEWS: Federal deregulation could hurt broadband access in rural S.C., advocates say

NEWS: Federal deregulation could hurt broadband access in rural S.C., advocates say

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  Advocates for better access to broadband Internet say a federal deregulation decision expected next week could derail progress.

Only one in three households in some of South Carolina’s poorest counties lack access to broadband Internet, according to a new report by Connect South Carolina. Jim Stritzinger, the organization’s executive director, said the problem is spread throughout the state, but the report focused on the S.C. Promise Zone, six counties from Bamberg to Jasper that have received a federal designation as a vulnerable area in need of public-public and public-private partnerships to improve access to housing, education, jobs and more.

“We’re setting up a digital chasm between the haves and the have nots,” Stritzinger said. “Access is really critical.”

by · 12/07/2017 · News
NEWS BRIEFS: Dems to convene on issues, Riley Institute to honor two

NEWS BRIEFS: Dems to convene on issues, Riley Institute to honor two

Staff reports  |  State Democrats say there’s nothing more important that they can do right now to prepare for the 2018 elections than have deep discussions about issues.

On Friday and Saturday, more than 200 Democrats are expected to do just that at the Spratt Issues Conference in Columbia. 

“We are going to talk about the issues affecting our state and not shy away from the difficult issues,” party chairman Trav Robertson told Statehouse Report. 

Kicking off the event will be a Friday keynote dinner featuring U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat who has been leading the charge on the congressional investigation of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election.  The ticketed 7 p.m. event will be at the Coop, 1100 Key Road,  Columbia.

Also: Furman’s Riley Institute to honor Newton, Bolden

by · 12/07/2017 · News, News briefs
TOP FIVE: Loss of construction workers, rise in foster care children, more

TOP FIVE: Loss of construction workers, rise in foster care children, more

Five recent stories with policy implications for S.C. that you might have missed:

1. S.C. is losing construction workers

2. Number of children in foster care rises in S.C., Carolina, nation

3. 81 percent of girls incarcerated in S.C. have history of sexual, physical abuse,

4. Nearly 700 South Carolinians diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2015

5. S.C. is one of 20 states with domestic violence task force

Click the headline above to learn more.

by · 12/06/2017 · News, Top Five
McMaster and Evette.  Source: McMaster campaign YouTube video.

NEWS: McMaster taps political unknown to be running mate

Staff reports  |  Incumbent Gov. Henry McMaster on Tuesday tapped a political unknown who describes herself as a “Trump girl” to be his running mate in 2018 if he wins the GOP nomination for governor.

The business executive who seeks to be lieutenant governor on McMaster’s ticket is Ohio native Pamela Evette of Travelers Rest, CEO of Quality Business Solutions.  The company handles payroll and human resources solutions for companies across the nation.  Its annual billings reportedly are $1 billion.

While McMaster touted Evette’s business experience, the announcement struck some analysts as odd, particularly since in presidential campaigns, running mates often are picked after a candidate secures the party’s nomination.  In 2018 for the first time, lieutenant governor candidates will be on the same ticket as the governor thanks to a recently-approved state referendum.

by · 11/29/2017 · 2018, News
Image via Pixabay.

TOP FIVE: Foreign worker allegations, lottery sales and more

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent | Here’s a look at five policy-related stories involving South Carolina that you might have missed in recent days:

1. S.C. business owners allege officials ignore foreign worker complaints

2. State agency’s study to look at poverty, lottery sales

3. Less rain is falling day-to-day in South Carolina

4. S.C. teachers report being injured by students

5. South Carolina gives more but still falls 14 places when it comes to charity.

Click the headline above to read more.

by · 11/28/2017 · News, Top Five
An oil drilling platform off of the California coast.

NEWS: House committee to meet Tuesday on seismic testing offshore

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  A special S.C. House subcommittee will hear from the public Tuesday on whether there is a way to make surveying for offshore oil and natural gas drilling more palatable to environmentalists, tourism leaders and others in the state.

The S.C. House Agriculture Committee’s ad hoc committee on offshore drilling will host a daylong hearing. Starting at 10 a.m. Nov 28,  elected leaders from the coast — including Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg and Beaufort Mayor Billy Keyserling — will speak against the federal government’s move to open offshore drilling in the Atlantic. In the afternoon, Georgetown County Republican state  Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, a surveying proponent, is expected to  speak.

by · 11/24/2017 · News, News briefs