Latest Updates

  • S.C. senators maintain strong grip on local magistrates

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Update: 10/16/23- Less than three weeks after this story and a companion investigative piece were published, Gov. Henry McMaster in a letter to the S.C. Senate called for reforms in the magistrate selection process, pointing out that his "relatively recent predecessors adopted or acceded to a custom...
  • State agency surpluses total $4 billion to start fiscal '24

    By RICK BRUNDRETT When fiscal 2022-23 ended on June 30, the state’s general fund had a balance of less than $58 million – a relatively paltry amount compared to the $1.2 billion surplus reported a year earlier. But that doesn’t mean state government in South Carolina is poor. Far from...
  • Federal school-choice suit raises questions about future court, legislative actions

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Update: 10/26/23 - The South Carolina Education Association announced that the association, the South Carolina State Conference of the NAACP and six public school parents filed a lawsuit asking the S.C. Supreme Court to nullify a state law passed earlier this year creating a school-choice program that...
  • S.C. counties spending above population growth, inflation

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Oconee County Council Chairman Matthew Durham will tell you he ran on a campaign promise of low taxes and limited government growth. Durham, who was elected to County Council in 2020 and became its chairman this year, says he was alarmed that the county’s annual budget grew...
  • Governor’s vetoes don’t touch hundreds of millions in earmark spending

    By RICK BRUNDRETT When it came to reining in lawmakers’ spending on their favored local projects for the upcoming fiscal year, Gov. Henry McMaster used a veto butter knife on earmarks totaling more than $709 million. In his annual written veto message released Tuesday, McMaster vetoed just six out of 515 state...
  • Under the hood: huge taxpayer tab, ESG mandates in Scout Motors deal

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Taxpayers in South Carolina likely will be on the hook for more than the $1 billion already dispersed to help a recently created Volkswagen company build its first electric vehicle plant near Columbia. On top of that, under a state incentives agreement obtained by The Nerve, Virginia-based...
  • House follows Senate in earmark money grab

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Like the 46-member S.C. Senate, the 124-member S.C. House apparently can’t resist spending hundreds of millions in state surplus dollars – mainly on lawmakers’ favored local projects. Bolstered by a rosy prediction last week by official revenue forecasters that the state’s general fund surplus for this fiscal year...
  • Senators feast on taxpayer-funded earmarks for pricey projects

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Through largely hidden budget earmarks, S.C. senators have proposed a total of more than $314 million for projects next fiscal year mainly in their respective legislative districts – including dozens of $1 million-plus requests, a review by The Nerve found. The 46-member Senate two years ago changed...
  • Policy Council advocating title insurance reform

    By Dallas Woodhouse Bills under consideration in the S.C. Legislature would remove a quirk in state law that unnecessarily regulates the relationship between title insurance agencies and their underwriters. A recently filed state House bill along with its Senate counterpart would embrace the free-market system and allow the two parties to negotiate commission payments...
  • ESG battles heating up over state pension plan

    By RICK BRUNDRETT Update: 1/17/24 - The S.C. Senate unanimously passed House bill 3690, which was cited in this story. The bill, which is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Henry McMaster, would require that state pension investments be made based on "pecuniary," or financial, factors, which, as...