Expenses quietly inflate S.C. legislators’ salaries
South Carolina’s part-time lawmakers say they work hard for their $10,400-a-year salaries from taxpayers, adding their obligations continue long after the clank of the gavel in June that ends each legislative session.
But their actual pay is far higher, according to an analysis of records The State obtained through an open records request. Added to their salaries, legislators received money for expenses that raised their income to about $31,000 on average last year, according to that analysis.
Lawmakers are not required to report whether they actually spent that added money on expenses. They just can pocket the added money.
Haley's final campaign haul: $8.4 million
Spurred by out-of-state contributions, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley raised more money in her second victory over Democrat Vincent Sheheen than she and the state senator from Camden spent in their 2010 campaign combined. (Consider: The top-three money collectors in the 2014 gubernatorial race spent a total of $15.7 million, or enough to pay the governor’s annual salary of $106,078 for 148 years.)
• Gov. Nikki Haley will unveil her executive budget. It's unclear if she will announce her roads-funding plan. In last year's $7 billion budget, she released a plan to boost education funding that received $180 million from lawmakers.
• A S.C. House panel is expected to vote onproposals to spend more money to fix state roads
. Plans include giving roughly half of the state's 41,000 miles in roads to counties, reducing the state's 16.75-cents-a-gallon gas tax and asking voters to approve a statewide transportation penny sales tax. (1 p.m. Blatt Room 521 /Agenda
• The state Department of Health and Environmental Control board will meet at 4:30 p.m. in Columbia to discuss areplacement for departing chief Catherine Templeton
, who resigned Thursday and is said to be interested in seeking political office.
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Scoppe: S.C. Legislature could make real progress this year
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