Overpaid? Underpaid? Pay of state workers to be studied
S.C. lawmakers soon could know how little or much state employees make compared to workers in the private sector and other government jobs in the Southeast.
S.C. House members Wednesday approved a study of state employees’ salaries, a proposal sponsored by state Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg.
The proposal, tacked into the House’s proposed $6.9 billion general fund budget for the state, still needs approval from the state Senate.
The completed study is to include market comparisons and methods to minimize salary inequities within an agency and within state government. The study must also include recruitment-and-retention tools and a plan to address underpaid workers.
The study cannot cost more than $300,000, and its findings must be submitted by Jan. 4, 2016.
Senate votes to ban powdered alcohol
The S.C. Senate has passed a ban on powdered alcohol.
The Senate voted 37-4 to give key approval Wednesday to a bill prohibiting the sale or use of alcohol in powered form. The bill faces one more procedural vote before it is sent to the House.
About half the states in the U.S. are considering similar bans
Senators rejected an amendment that would allow the state to sell and regulate powered alcohol next year after federal regulations on it are finalized. Powdered alcohol was approved for sale by federal officials earlier this week.
State Sen. Larry Martin, the bill’s sponsor, says powdered alcohol has a much bigger threat for abuse. The Pickens Republican predicted if it was sold in South Carolina it would be the biggest thing on high school campuses.
Ethics Commission has new attorney
Michael Burchstead started Monday as the S.C. State Ethics Commission’s new general counsel. Burchstead formerly had been an assistant attorney general under S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson.
The commission has been without an attorney since Cathy Hazelwood left to work for new state schools’ chief Molly Spearman.
Hazelwood’s exit put hearings that require an attorney on hold, including a hearing into allegations that Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster accepted $72,200 in improper campaign contributions.
Ethics hearings will begin again in April, said Herb Hayden, the commission’s executive director.
Cassie Cope, Jamie Self, The Associated Press