Palmetto Sunrise: More money, plenty of problems

The S.C. Board of Economic Advisors is set to release double-digit General Fund revenue growth Tuesday morning. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)

COLUMBIA -- Projections showing a significant increase in General Fund revenues will be released this afternoon during a Board of Economic Advisors meeting.

One Lowcountry senator said Monday that estimates are expected to increase by $1 billion or 15 percent from the current year’s budget. Some $350 million is said to be recurring.

The additional money is a critical factor for state lawmakers as they determine the costs of last month’s historic flood and, more importantly, how to pay for it. Senate Democrats floated a $500 million bond bill Monday they plan to pre-file in December—even though total costs from the flood are still weeks away.

Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, called the move “premature” following the first meeting of his Joint Capital Bond Study Committee. The committee provides six lawmakers and three governor appointees a refresher in “capital bonds 101.”

“This is instructions on how to create a bond bill,” Peeler said. “We could have recommendations on this, I would like for us to, but that’s not the plan.”

According to budget proviso 117.133(C) “The committee must make a report of its findings and recommendations, including proposed legislation, to the Joint Bond Review Committee by Dec. 31, 2015.”

So a committee meant to prevent the “train wreck” that happened in the House and Senate is not going to vet proposed projects, Peeler said, nor make recommendations to the JBRC, rather it will just learn the basics of bonding.


GOP debate night

Some of the Republican presidential candidates will participate in two debates this evening, in what will be “The Most Important Day in Fox Business Network’s history.” No doubt Maria Bartiromo will be “On The Money” while she and Neil Cavuto eat CNBC’s “Power Lunch” as they and Gerard Baker, editor-in-chief of The Wall Street Journal, moderate the fourth GOP debate, from Milwaukee.

The most recent national poll number averages heading into tonight’s debate are: Trump 24.8%, Carson 24.4%, Rubio 11.8%, Cruz 9.6%, Bush 6%, Paul 3%, Kasich 3%, Fiorina 3%, Huckabee 2.4%, Christie 2.2%, Jindal 0.8%, Santorum 0.8, Pataki 0.3 and Graham 0%.

The hour-long undercard forum starts at 7 p.m. The main, two-hour long event kicks off at 9 p.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham was cut from the undercard forum, but that’s not stopping him from participating. His PAC is also releasing ads in Milwaukee.

The Democrats will be in Des Moines for their second debate on Saturday.

One killed on SMC campus in officer-involved shooting (Spartanburg Herald-Journal)

Senators draw a line on closing Gitmo without Congress’ approval (The Post and Courier)

Senate Democrats float borrowing plan for flood recovery (The Post and Courier)

Ben Carson’s past: 13 photos that tell his story (POLITICO)

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If the state borrows money, flood repairs to the front of the line (The Post and Courier)

What to watch in Tuesday’s Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

South Carolina appeals court won’t hear Charleston cruise case before 2016 (AP)

For some in South Carolina, flood brings lasting disarray (Savannah Morning News)

Scott Walker is a diminished figure — except in the state he governs (The Washington Post)

Vitter confronts his past with prostitution in new ad (The Hill)

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