More about the mismanaged and debt-ridden South Carolina Employment Security Commission

Hmmm, wonder what happened to the federal stimulus money that was supposed to help put South Carolinians back to work?

Bureaucratic malfeasance and the plight of South Carolina's unemployed

SC Senate Passes Overhaul Of Employment Security Commission

Robert Kittle
Columbia, SC—The South Carolina Senate gave its final approval Thursday afternoon to a bill to overhaul the state Employment Security Commission. The agency has been under fire for more than a year for mismanagment, including not doing enough to warn state lawmakers that the trust fund that pays unemployment benefits was running dry.

The state has borrowed nearly $800 million from the federal government to be able to keep paying unemployment benefits, after having about $800 million in the fund ten years ago. The agency has also had computer problems resulting in duplicate or missed checks.

“What I think it’s going to mean is the better matching of people without jobs to jobs,“ says Sen. Greg Ryberg, R-Aiken, main sponsor of the bill. “I think that’s what the long-term goal is. We can’t just talk about the payments all the time. We’ve got to talk about putting people to work.“

Kevin Temple of Columbia says that’s a job the agency isn’t doing very well right now. “I’ve been out of work now for about almost two years,” he says with a sigh.

The overhaul would change the name of the Employment Security Commission to the Department of Employment and Workforce. Future governors would appoint the agency’s executive director, with advice and consent from the Senate. Now, the state legislature appoints three commissioners and the commissioners then choose an executive director.

Supporters of the bill say having the agency in the governor’s cabinet, giving the governor the ability to fire the director at will, will make the agency more accountable.

The Senate-passed bill would also put new restrictions on unemployment benefits.

“Over a three-year period of time, we spent $170 million in unemployment insurance payouts to people that were really terminated for true cause,“ Sen. Ryberg says. “This says if people are terminated for cause, and those include stealing, fighting, use of drugs while working, they’re no longer entitled to state benefits or unemployment.“

The Senate tacked its bill onto one already passed by the House, so now it goes back to the House. House Speaker Bobby Harrell tells us they’ll have to read the Senate version first, but if it’s what he thinks it is, there’s a good chance the House will go along with the Senate changes and send the bill to the governor.

The Senate’s passage of the bill came the same day the agency revealed that it had missed another withholding tax payment last year. Three weeks ago, lawmakers learned that the agency had not paid $16 million in payroll taxes for five months last year. Agency spokesman Clark Newsom says a new employee got overwhelmed with multiple changes coming from Washington and quit paying the taxes without telling anyone.

The state Department of Revenue fined the Employment Security Commission $900,000, plus $50,000 in interest. Revenue eventually waived the penalty of $900,000 and cut the interest in half to $25,000.

Now, ESC says it learned this month that it also missed a deadline to pay withholding taxes last October. It paid them in November once the error was discovered.

The agency says it now has a full-time CPA on staff to prevent similar errors in the future.
Also see:

Death from Within

1 soldier still investigated on Army post food

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The Army confirms one soldier connected to a military translator program remains under investigation for alleged threats involving food at Fort Jackson.

Army spokesman Patrick Jones said on Thursday one of five soldiers detained in December is still under investigation for what Jones called potential verbal threats against the food supply at Fort Jackson, its largest training base.

The Army installation located outside Columbia is the service's largest training site and puts more than 50,000 soldiers through basic and advanced instruction.

Jones says the Army investigation is being handled by Criminal Investigative Division, which has not disclosed where the soldier is, nor if he remains in detention.

The translator program moved to another Army base in Arizona in December, a change that Jones says had nothing to do with the investigation.
The article fails to point out that the food poison plot suspect was part of the Arabic-language translation program. Anybody care to guess the religious/ideological motivation for this criminal act?

Islam's "Golden Age"? Quite the contrary!

Islam's Golden Age? An Archeological Nonentity

In my recently published Holy Warriors: Islam and the Demise of Classical Civilization, I have argued in detail that Islam, far from being a force for enlightenment in the so-called Dark Age, was actually responsible for the destruction of the literate and urban civilization that we now call Classical; and that, if anything, it was Islam that caused Europe’s descent into backwardness during the Middle Ages. In the same place I have argued in detail that the Islamic Golden Age of the late seventh to the mid-tenth centuries, during which the world of Islam is supposed to have basked in the light of science and learning, is a complete myth, and that no such epoch ever existed. The evidence for this is archaeological.
H/T: Gates of Vienna

Epitaph for the mainstream media

Ask Not For Whom the Bell Tolls, MSM: It Tolls for Thee

The "New Left" was the "old left" - only more insidious

Sol Stern: The Ramparts I Watched

Our storied radical magazine did transform the nation—for the worse.

How to dig out kudzu and keep it from returning

KO Kudzu

I personally have no objection to using herbicides, incendiary devices, or whatever extreme measures are available to combat kudzu. But if you need to get rid of kudzu in a location where you can't use such things, the above site shows how.

How liberalism feeds jihadism

The Barbarians at the Gates of Paris

The History of Apples


Flying Pig Alert: Even the AFL-CIO has come out against the H-1b visa program!

Animated flying pig .gif image
IT Business Edge: AFL-CIO Report Takes Critical Look at H-1B Visa Program

How corrupt is the Obama administration?

If you're an American taxpayer, read this to see where YOUR money went!

Something's up in the Gold market, IMF & the treasury. - JoAnneMor's Blog - Blogster

Busting the Climate Change Myth #10: Why Windfarms Won't Work



Busting the Climate Change Myth #9: Climate Change Corruption at Wikipedia

The take-home lesson here? Don't rely on Wikipedia for valid information on any controversial issue, at least not without checking every one of the article's sources on your own, and perhaps not even then.

Busting the Climate Change Myth #8: The public turns away

Busting the Climate Change Myth #7: Blog Link Roundup

Busting the Climate Change Myth #6: Refuting EVERY Argument