The Buzz

A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to

BUZZ CLICKS: Getting slowpokes out of the left lane, Mayor's power boost swatted away + Judicial disclosure sentenced to an 'F'

12/04/2013 8:38 AM

03/14/2015 6:35 AM

SC legislator: Ban slow, distracted drivers from the left lane

State Rep. Josh Putnam, R-Greenville, filed legislation Tuesday that would force slower drivers into the right lane of interstates and multi-lane highways.

The bill would ban drivers from using cellphones while traveling in the left lane. It would make it illegal to drive five miles per hour below the posted speed limit in the left lane. And it would outlaw ever driving in the left lane except for passing other cars – not including a host of exceptions for emergency vehicles and traffic jams.

Plus, a look at other state legislation prefiled Tuesday.

Read the full story here

Columbia voters reject strong mayor

Columbians decided Tuesday to keep City Hall as it has operated for 64 years, resoundingly rejecting a strong-mayor form of government.

About 11,700 voters went to the polls in the city’s first single-issue referendum in most residents’ memory and voted “No” by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin, according to unofficial results. Voter turnout was roughly 16 percent.

That’s a nearly 14 percentage point victory to maintain the council-manager system that has come under severe criticism in the hotly contested campaign.

Read the full story here

Report gives SC an ‘F’ for disclosure of judge’s finances

South Carolina received an “F” – along with 42 other states – for its rules governing the personal financial information that state Supreme Court justices are required to disclose publicly in a new report.

The report, released Wednesday by the Center for Public Integrity, contained some good news for the Palmetto State, saying it is one of only two states that received a perfect score for requiring judges to report the sources, amounts and descriptions of gifts and travel reimbursements that they receive.

Read the full story here

SC Medicaid program growing despite rejection of Obamacare

Growth in South Carolina’s rolls has ballooned the state’s Medicaid budget to $6.4 billion this year from $5.7 billion in 2010 – and a state health leader expects that cost to pass the $7 billion mark in 2015.

That rising cost will be the subject Wednesday of the first of several state Senate hearings on the state’s Medicaid budget, jointly funded by state and federal taxpayers. Next year, the state Medicaid agency says it needs $467 million in additional federal and state money.

Read the full story here

Graham’s GOP opponents stump in West Columbia

Three of four of U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham’s other GOP primary opponents spoke at a West Columbia luncheon for the First Tuesday Republican Club of Richland and Lexington counties on Tuesday.

Graham was invited to the luncheon but did not attend.

Read the full story here

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A blog from The State's political team of Cassie Cope, Jamie Self and Andy Shain. Email tips to Follow The Buzz @buzzatthestate. Follow Cassie @cassielcope. Follow Jamie @jamiemself. Follow Andy @andyshain.

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