Here's the latest from The Nerve, a Columbia-based investigative news website:

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By RICK BRUNDRETT A legislatively controlled committee violated state law in recent years by not giving the General Assembly annual performance reviews of individual S.C. Public Service Commission members, who set utility rates for residents and businesses statewide, a review by The Nerve found. Timing could be everything. Before the V.C. Summer nuclear project collapsed […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Although S.C. lawmakers have been back in session only since last week, some of them aren’t waiting to author or co-sponsor bills that could boost their own bottom lines. And a longstanding state ethics law gives them a big legal loophole to push for such legislation. Under a House bill prefiled in […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Eight private firms hired by the state to evaluate proposals for the sale or management of state-owned utility Santee Cooper have charged a total of more than $9.2 million – $5 million of it covered by taxpayers – for their work, newly released records show. And the overall bill to ratepayers with […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Another year, another convoluted legislative process for selecting six-figure state Public Service Commission members, who can greatly affect utility bills for many South Carolinians. The State Regulation of Public Utilities Review Committee (PURC) was scheduled to screen a total of 17 candidates over two days last week for four open seats on […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Although nearly $1 billion has been collected since the state gas-tax-hike law went into effect more than two years ago, the S.C. Department of Transportation has completed less than 20% of identified paving projects statewide with those funds, newly released agency records show. The Nerve’s latest review found that of a total […]

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By RICK BRUNDRETT Former longtime state House member Chip Limehouse confirmed Monday he is no longer a candidate for a six-figure seat on the legislatively controlled S.C. Public Service Commission, though another ex-lawmaker is scheduled to be screened Wednesday for a separate PSC seat. Limehouse, a Charleston County Republican who was a House member from […]

By RICK BRUNDRETT Since Henry McMaster became governor in 2017, the state’s tourism agency has received more than $675,000 from renting the historic Lace House at the Governor’s Mansion complex in downtown Columbia, records show. But the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SCPRT)  ) – whose director, Duane Parrish, is a member of […]

By RICK BRUNDRETT Since last year, the permanent workforce in the S.C. House and Senate has grown – as well as the number of legislative staffers in the six-figure salary club, records released to The Nerve show. The 124-member House employed 95 staffers as of Dec. 2, up from 91 as of mid-October 2018, while […]

By RICK BRUNDRETT Almost three years ago, the state House Ethics Committee quietly gave written approval to an unnamed House member who is an insurance agent to sell insurance policies to local disability boards and county hospitals. The Jan. 25, 2017, “advisory opinion” also said the lawmaker didn’t have to abstain on voting on any […]

By RICK BRUNDRETT Over the last 17 fiscal years, state court officials tasked with policing judicial ethics issued more than 250 “letters of caution” – usually in secret – to judges statewide, the most common type of action taken on complaints that were not dismissed, a review by The Nerve found. Under state court rules, […]