Santee Cooper found a way to slash an incredible $1 billion from its budget for next year, while SCANA claims it will go bankrupt without the $37 million per month that SCE&G customers still pay for two unfinished nuclear reactors.
That’s quite a contrast in taking responsibility.
On Monday, Santee Cooper officials approved a budget that cuts almost 35 percent compared to this year’s spending and announced that the utility won’t be raising rates.
Of course, a lot of those cuts are simply due to the fact that Santee Cooper won’t have to spend any more on the new reactors that it and project partner SCE&G abandoned in July. But a tighter budget will still allow the state-owned utility to start paying debt on that ill-fated venture without burdening customers.
That’s an impressive display of fiscal responsibility in the wake of one of the state’s largest economic disasters. More will be needed, but it’s encouraging that Santee Cooper is willing to make sacrifices in order to begin fixing its mistakes.
SCANA, on the other hand, has yet to show such willingness.…
Santee Cooper is taking the right steps to try to turn things around and protect ratepayers. SCANA should do the same — willingly or not. Lawmakers and state regulators should insist on it.
Erskine College in Due West hopes to secure public dollars as a sponsor of numerous charter schools throughout the state. It also received public dollars to launch the Drummond Center, a point of contention brought up in a lawsuit that sought to force the school to reveal exactly where the $700,000 in funds has been spent, something the school seems bent on avoiding.
When it comes to taxpayer dollars, transparency is the best policy, and it’s a policy that ought to fully apply to nonprofits receiving public funds. Really, there are but a couple of options here as we see it:
1. Lawmakers can amend H. 3931 to ensure there is no way for nonprofits to secret away how the public dollars it receives are expended.
2. Nonprofits receive absolutely no public dollars, meaning they will have to rely solely on the philanthropic giving of others.
The second option is unrealistic. Without accommodations and hospitality tax dollars, many wonderful nonprofits would have a difficult time keeping their doors open. Erskine College hopes to keep its doors open by sponsoring charter schools. That may be well and good, but it should, in turn, have its books open regarding any state dollars it receives to do so.
The best bet would be for lawmakers to cease allowing tinting to be applied to what should be an otherwise clear window into how public business is conducted.
As much as lower costs would be a nice holiday gift, motorists cannot control fluctuating gas prices. But they can control how they drive — in turn potentially saving up to $477 a year on gas, according to gasbuddy.com. A recent GasBuddy study found that 78 percent of trips involve fuel-guzzling driving habits.…
Beyond saving money, the other good thing about being aware of gas-guzzling driving habits is changing them in the name of safety.
The latest numbers on highway fatalities in South Carolina are testament as to why curbing aggressive driving and speeding are priorities.
Six more people died on South Carolina roads this past weekend, raising the death toll in the state to 914 for 2018. That is down from 966 a year ago but still is horrific. The totals mean more than two people a day are killed on South Carolina highways.
Locally, Orangeburg County’s deaths total 26, down three from this time a year ago. Calhoun County has had five deaths compared to eight in 2017. Bamberg County’s toll is four, down from seven.
The remainder of the year likely holds more tragedy as the holiday season is historically a time of more highway accidents and fatalities as travel increases and behavior such as driving under the influence escalates.
GasBuddy promoted its new app by contending that if you drive like a manic, it costs you.
The price could be a lot higher than the cost per gallon of gas.