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Columns

  • Column: Bill would create another guarantee for utility debt

    A bill currently in a S.C. Senate subcommittee would guarantee a refinancing of SCANA’s debt by authorizing a new ratepayer charge.
    Under S.110, the Public Service Commission (PSC – the utility regulatory body accountable to lawmakers) could authorize SCANA to refinance its remaining debt from the failed nuclear project, or to refinance utility costs from natural disasters. The process is called securitization, and the debt would be guaranteed by law.

  • Column: Is New York Times v. Sullivan in danger?

    The basis of modern American media law is the 1964 ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan, in which a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court recognized that the First Amendment required that limitations be placed on defamation law. But the Sullivan decision has been the subject of criticism in some circles ever since it was decided, the latest being a concurring opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas.

  • Guest Column: The unique tax advantages of health savings accounts

    There’s a lot of talk today about health savings accounts and their benefits.
    An HSA operates a lot like a savings account that is used for the tax-free payment or reimbursement of qualified medical expenses.
    You have to be enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) in order to qualify for an HSA. These plans pay benefits only after a high annual deductible has been met. You can use funds from your HSA to pay for health expenses not covered by your HDHP.    

  • Column: Few road projects completed in first 20 months of gas-tax-hike law

    Less than 4 percent of the nearly $1 billion in road and bridge projects in South Carolina identified by the state Department of Transportation was completed in the first 20 months of the gas-tax-hike law, newly released DOT records show.
    Lawmakers promised that the law, which raised the gas tax 12 cents per gallon over six years, and increased other vehicle taxes and fees, would go toward fixing the state’s crumbling roads and bridges where their constituents live and work.

  • Column: Library’s motto: It’s all about you

    The printed page is not going away, but 2020’s Lancaster County Library will offer so much more.
    We are entering a period of big changes. After years of planning, it is time for large-scale renovations, paid for by $8 million in sales taxes collected since voters approved the project in 2014.
    Your main location on South White Street in Lancaster was built in 1971. Kershaw was refurbished in 1996. Indian Land’s Del Webb is the newest branch, opening its doors in 2009.

  • Column: Baseball has the magic to refine us through sportsmanship, hard work

    Good sportsmanship is a virtue. Like most virtues, it requires a certain amount of self-restraint.
    A good sport forgoes instant gratification for that which is more lasting. A good sport sacrifices personal glory for that which sustains the team. Perhaps more important, good sportsmanship requires grace. Grace enough to bear defeat without complaining and to enjoy victory without boasting.
    Fans have lived through March Madness, and the national championship in football has been won. And now baseball, the great national pastime, is in full swing.

  • Column: S.C. producing many excellent political leaders

    What a wonderful time to be a South Carolinian. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our representatives and point out the amazing jobs they are doing.
    There are people in this country who look down on those of us who live in the South, and South Carolina is often included. However, when you see the quality of representatives we send to Washington and Columbia, I believe that clearly demonstrates the type of citizens we are and the expectations we have for those who represent us.

  • Column: Pace of other bills quickening with House budget behind us

    This week was another busy one in the House, as we enter the closing stretch of the General Assembly session.
    Here’s what we’ve been up to, including legislation that I’ve sponsored.

    Bills sent to the Senate
    With the House budget in the hands of the Senate, the pace of other legislation has increased, including these bills that received final House passage this week and moved on to the Senate:

  • Column: Lawmakers debate how to spend surplus

    The 124th General Assembly has convened in Columbia to take up the people’s business in the first year of the two-year session. The slate is wiped clean from last session, so all matters not resolved then must start over.
    In addition, Gov. Henry McMaster has begun serving a new term along with all House members. After spending most of last year addressing the debacle of the failed V.C. Summer nuclear power project, the issues on the front burner this year are education reform and increasing teacher pay. Following are details on those matters and others before us.

  • Column: Congress should up protections for whistleblowers, reporters’ sources

    Each day, journalists throughout the country are working tirelessly to inform their readers what the government is up to.
    The free press is one of the most important pillars of American democracy. By reporting the truth, reporters allow the citizenry to elect leaders who represent their values and ideals and craft laws and policies that they believe in.