Palmetto Politics

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.

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:  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.

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, Palmetto Politics, Politics
BRIEFS:  Solar bill apparently stuck in House committee

BRIEFS: Solar bill apparently stuck in House committee

Staff reports | It’s spring. Plants are blooming. Pollen is stirring. And sun – there’s lots of sunshine after a long winter.

Except, perhaps, in the deep recesses of the House Ways and Means Committee which seems to have buried a bill that could jumpstart the state’s solar industry, as we described in this February story. It highlighted how $1 billion in investment in South Carolina is reportedly waiting on approval of a property tax exemption bill for commercial solar enterprises.

BRIEFS:  Senate passes budget; Pension reform heads to governor

BRIEFS: Senate passes budget; Pension reform heads to governor

Staff reports | The state Senate relatively quickly passed a relatively non-controversial $8 billion state budget this week that added about $25 million to public K-12 education than provide in an earlier House budget. Senators had about $500 million more than the House to use for state spending due to increased revenue estimates.

In the Senate version of the budget, which likely will head to a conference committee unless the House agrees with everything, the base K-12 student cost is $2,435, or $35 per pupil more than the House budget. State law requires formula funding of $2,894 per student. That means the Senate bill provides $1.756 billion to K-12 education, which is $396 million short of full formula funding.

Also in this section is an update on pension reform.

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.

BRIEF:  Shock and awe

BRIEF: Shock and awe

Staff reports | Members of the state legislature are still in shock over allegations that state Sen. John Courson (R-Columbia) has been indicted on ethics charges.