Around the South for Sep. 7: FL, KY & SC


Florida: Scott says ‘Get prepared right now.’  At a news conference yesterday, Gov. Rick Scott (R) warned that Hurricane Irma is “bigger, faster and stronger” than Hurricane Andrew, a major catastrophe for the state 25 years ago. “Do not ignore evacuation orders… We can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life.” ……. Kentucky: Paul wants budget reform attached to debt ceiling measure. “It is a mistake to raise the debt ceiling without having some dramatic reform to our budget process,” US Sen. Rand Paul (R) told Politico. Thus, Rand and other conservative senators may throw a monkey wrench into the GOP plan to attach a debt ceiling increase to the House-passed Hurricane Harvey relief measure of some $8 billion ……. South Carolina: Light sentences for lawmakers bring speculation. Former House Speaker Bobby Harrell (R) in 2014 and former House Majority Leader Jim Merrill (R) last month pled guilty to misdemeanors and were sentenced to probation, with Harrell also ordered to pay fines. Did the sentences reflect a difficulty in convicting and sentencing lawmakers? Or, since both Harrell and Merrill agreed to cooperate with the prosecution, are there charges against “bigger fish,” as The State newspaper put it, in the offing? Stay tuned.