Following an epic 12-hour session in which more than 100 amendments were proposed, the S.C. House has given its early approval to a $24.5 billion state budget, including $7 billion in General Fund tax revenue, for the upcoming fiscal year, according to the South Carolina Radio Network. Much of yesterday's debate was devoted to thwarted Democratic efforts to expand Medicaid eligibility and to fully fund K-12 education as called for by the state's own funding formula. The package is expected to go to the Senate after another procedural vote today.
Several members of South Carolina’s delegation to Washington — Sens. Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott and Congressman Joe Wilson — have asked Gov. Nikki Haley to “explore any legal avenues” to keep a controversial nuclear project online at the Savannah River Site, WLTX reports. The controversial project, the Mixed Oxide (MOX) Fuel Fabrication Facility, is a first-of-its-kind effort to convert weapons-grade plutonium into commercial reactor fuel, which has been dogged by delays and cost overruns. The U.S. Department of Energy recently slashed funding for MOX facility, placing it on “cold standby.”
State lawmakers are so concerned about your freedom of speech, as long as you aren’t talking up the gays in public institutions, that they have codified into law the right of students to distribute copies of the U.S. Constitution on college campuses. Never mind that no one has ever tried to stop kids from doing that in South Carolina. Apparently it has happened before, out in California, WLTX reports. If we don’t halt this scourge now, zombie voters may bring such tyranny to our doorstep. File under: “Another waste of time and resources courtesy of your General Assembly.”
According to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, SCE&G’s V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Fairfield County failed to screen out a suspected arsonist from its applicant file, allowing him to work there as a contract employee in late 2010, The State’s Sammy Fretwell reports. An NRC spokesman said such security failings are rare and taken very seriously, even though, in this case, the man was fired and no incidents occurred.
The Darla Moore School of Business, the University of South Carolina’s international MBA program, has regained the No. 1 spot in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Graduate Schools, WBTW reports. Go Cocks!
New Year’s Eve at Social
Don’t miss this Black and White Affair featuring Kap Slap. Tickets available online!
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
F/T and P/T avail. Must have a clean driving record, organized and have a prof appearance. Please call for an interview or email resume to Kerry@crystalpool.com. Must bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Call 803-865-1200
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
COOL CARE HEATING & AIR Fall Into Savings With Cool Care By Your Side! coolcarehvac.com