SC House panel gives commerce department $37M for secret deals

By Rick Brundrett | The Nerve

South Carolina Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt had his hand out at a recent House Ways and Means subcommittee meeting, recalled Rep. Gary Simrill, the subcommittee chairman.

“He asked me, ‘I need as much as you can spare,’” said Simrill, R-York, when contacted Saturday by The Nerve.

In the end, the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee last month decided to “spare” $37.3 million in taxpayer money for Commerce’s “deal closing” fund, though, according to Simrill, Hitt didn’t ask for that amount during the subcommittee meeting.

The proposed $37.3 million is more than twice the amount that Gov. Nikki Haley proposed for the fund for next fiscal year, which starts July 1; $12.3 million more than what Hitt initially proposed last fall; and more than five times higher than what lawmakers appropriated for the fund when it was created in 2006, a review by The Nerve found.

at The Nerve.

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