Politics

TALLY SHEET:  House members pressing full steam ahead on utilities

TALLY SHEET:  House members pressing full steam ahead on utilities

Staff reports  |   The House Judiciary Committee will meet Tuesday to debate a packet of subcommittee-approved bills that seek to rein in electric utilities and overhaul utility regulations.

Committees generally don’t do a lot of heavy lifting between legislative sessions.  But after two utilities, SCE&G and Santee Cooper, pulled out of a $14 billion plan to expand a nuclear plant after spending $9 billion, lawmakers heard loud and clear from constituents that something needed to be done.

by · 11/17/2017 · News, Politics, Tally Sheet
TALLY SHEET: Utility, other bills prefiled in S.C. House

TALLY SHEET: Utility, other bills prefiled in S.C. House

Staff reports  |  House Speaker Jay Lucas today assigned six utility-related bills to the House Judiciary Committee after the bills were introduced during a pre-filing period.

The bills, part of the “Utility Ratepayer Protection Package,” follow the summer debacle of the V.C. Summer nuclear facility collapse, an incomplete project abandoned by two utility companies after $9 billion of spending.

One of the six bills includes this language, which refers to an act passed to help utilities pay for construction as it was being built:  “The Base Load Review Act was abused, material information was withheld from regulators, and regulators were intentionally misled, all of which contributed to the Public Service Commission approving rate increases that otherwise would not have been approved and which were inconsistent with the intent of the General Assembly and the law of South Carolina.”

by · 11/09/2017 · News, Tally Sheet
NEWS BRIEF: Can a Kentucky program help S.C.’s poorest schools?

NEWS BRIEF: Can a Kentucky program help S.C.’s poorest schools?

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  A strategy that has found success in Kentucky and elsewhere is being billed as a way for South Carolina to comply with the 2014 state Supreme Court decision to bring poor, rural schools up to standard.

If implemented, the Community School program would be operated through S.C. Department of Education, making $25 million in state grants available for poor, rural district schools and $100,000 in grants per year per school for operating at the school level. The program is focused on making schools a central focus of the community.

The S.C. Education Association (SCEA) recommended the strategy for complying with the Abbeville v. the State of South Carolina decision …

by · 11/01/2017 · News, News briefs, Politics
BRIEFS:  Merrill resigns seat; Leatherman seeks special session

BRIEFS:  Merrill resigns seat; Leatherman seeks special session

Suspended GOP S.C. Rep. Jim Merrill of Daniel Island resigned from his legislative seat late Thursday before a Friday hearing related to a string of corruption charges he faces, according to published reports. …

Also: S.C. Sen. Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman threw down a gauntlet this week and called on his colleagues to avert “horror of horrors” by releasing state money to replace hundreds of aging school buses prone to catching on fire.

by · 09/01/2017 · News, News briefs, Politics
BRIEF:  Roads bill not finished in Senate … still

BRIEF: Roads bill not finished in Senate … still

Staff reports | You know the old political cliche, “kicking the can down the road?”

Well, that is what the state legislature has been doing for years with South Carolina’s poor roads system. And if this week’s debate on a House infrastructure bill in the Senate was any indication, then the road that can is headed down will have a lot of potholes and needed repairs.

by · 04/21/2017 · News, News briefs, Politics
TALLY SHEET:  When legislating is like making mayonnaise

TALLY SHEET: When legislating is like making mayonnaise

Staff reports | The old saying goes that it’s not a pretty sight watching either laws or sausages being made.

This week, though, a little bit of mayonnaise must have been added to the mixture. State Rep. Anne Parks, D-Greenwood, sponsored H. 4149 — and got just about every other lawmaker in the House to co-sponsor — a congratulatory resolution celebrating the 100 years that Duke’s Mayonnaise has been in business.

by · 04/21/2017 · Politics, Tally Sheet
TALLY SHEET:  From body cameras to political party registration

TALLY SHEET: From body cameras to political party registration

Staff reports | When state lawmakers return to Columbia after Easter – they’re taking a furlough week next week – they’ll likely be introducing fewer bills as an important procedural date comes April 10. That day, known as the “crossover” day, marks when new bills have to get a super-majority after passage in one chamber to be considered by the other. From a work flow standpoint, this means few bills introduced for the next month stand much of a chance of passage this year. They will, however, still be on the calendar next year in the second year of the two-year session.

by · 04/07/2017 · Politics, Tally Sheet
BRIEFS:  Gauging S.C.’s health; Statue of Hollings to be unveiled

BRIEFS: Gauging S.C.’s health; Statue of Hollings to be unveiled

Study shows urban areas in S.C. healthier than rural

Staff reports | The state’s healthiest place in terms of health outcomes and factors is Beaufort County, according to newly-published data at CountyHealthRankings.org. At the bottom? Marlboro County in the Pee Dee.

Also inside: Information on an April 17 unveiling of a statue honoring former U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings.

by · 03/31/2017 · News briefs, Politics