Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Agenda: SCOTUS rulings; SC's abandoned homes; Haley signs $1B roads bill

Hollings, others receive highest French honor

Posted by Sam Spence on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 12:59 PM

  • flickr.com/wallyg

SCOTUS - The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today on two local interest cases, the so-called "Baby Veronica" (CP) case and a case disputing portions of the federal Voting Rights Act (P&C), where it ruled Congress must update the way the law determines the law's coverage, saying it relied on 40-year old data.

S.C.'s abandoned houses - New RealtyTrac numbers (CRBJ) show South Carolina as having the ninth-most abandoned homes in foreclosure in the U.S., with 4,155. Florida leads the way with more than 55,500, followed by Illinois with less than 18k.

Haley signs roads bill - Gov. Nikki Haley ratified a proposal (AP) to raise up to $1 billion over the next decade (State) to repair the state's roads and bridges. A recent study estimated that $5-6 billion is needed to bring state infrastructure up to par.

State Supreme Court - S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal will face competition in her bid at re-election next year (State) to the top spot on the state bench from one of her colleagues, Costa Pleicones, who's an associate justice on the court. State judges are elected by the General Assemby in South Carolina.

CCSD building - A tax revenue snafu is causing a roughly $16.8 million shortfall (P&C) that will likely begin affecting, and could delay, Charleston County School District building plans in 2015.

Hollings, others receieve French honor - Seven South Carolina WWII veterans were bestowed the National Order of the Legion of Honor (P&C), the highest French honor on Monday for their service to France during the war. 91-year old former governor and U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings was among the recognized. Recounting a meeting with former French President Jacques Chirac where he mentioned France's involvement in the Revolution, Hollings says he joked, "I always knew you all had given us the Statue of Liberty, but I did not know you gave us liberty."

Downtown development - A slew of new Charleston building projects (CP) are about to get underway once they clear regulatory hurdles, including the long-discussed Marion Square hotel (P&C) on the site of the former Charleston County Library.

SPA preservation - The State Ports Authority has finalized a $1 million land preservation program (P&C) as part of the $12M environmental protection plan agreed to as part of the $600 million container terminal set to be built at the former Navy base in North Charleston.

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