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Robert D. "Robby" Robbins of Summerville was named chairman of the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) Commission on Thursday during the commission’s monthly meeting in Columbia.

Robbins, a commissioner representing the 1st Congressional District, had been serving as vice chairman of the commission. He joined the SCDOT Commission in 2016.

Robbins, a Summerville attorney, is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the USC School of Law. He was 1st Circuit deputy solicitor from 1997-2003 and 1st Circuit solicitor in 2004.

Robbins was a member of the Dorchester County Sales Tax Transportation Authority from 2004 to 2015.

He is married to Mary Bryce Robbins, and they have a son and a daughter.

Also Thursday, Tony K. Cox, of Horry County, was named vice chairman of the SCDOT Commission.

New funding formula for education

COLUMBIA – Governor Henry McMaster, Senate President Harvey Peeler, and House Speaker Jay Lucas on Thursday penned a letter to Frank Rainwater, executive director of the South Carolina Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Office, requesting that RFA issue a report on South Carolina’s outdated education funding formula and to suggest a new funding model that meets 11 requirements.

The report and newly suggested formula will be used by the governor, speaker of the House, president of the Senate and other members of the General Assembly as they work together to pass reform measures.

“Reforming the education funding formula is a necessary step to ensure more equitable distribution of dollars to South Carolina’s school districts,” the state leaders wrote. “The formula must meet the requirements of the 21st century economy and a 21st century education. Proposals to offer more spending flexibility to school districts merit consideration.

“The primary funding formula for public education, the Education Finance Act, was established over forty years ago. That formula has become outdated and fails to provide sufficient measures of accountability in student outcomes. Therefore, we recognize the need to establish a new, updated funding model to guide state appropriations and local school district expenditures for public education in order to improve efficiency, transparency, accountability, and affordability.”

The letter specifies that RFA must provide the report to the cosigners by no later than May 9.

McMaster names adjutant general

COLUMBIA – Gov. Henry McMaster announced that Major General R. Van McCarty will be South Carolina’s next adjutant general.

McCarty will become the first adjutant general appointed by a governor since the constitutional amendment giving him that authority was approved by South Carolina voters in 2014.

McCarty currently serves as the deputy adjutant general of the South Carolina Military Department under Maj. Gen. Robert E. Livingston Jr., who will retire from military service after a distinguished career that has spanned 41 years, including eight years as the state’s adjutant general.

“General Livingston has served for eight years with distinction as our elected adjutant general, performing admirably in the hurricanes, storms, and floods that we’ve experienced,” McMaster said. “He is a personification of the strong military tradition that we have in our state stretching back all the way to the American Revolution.”

“I’m proud of our organization, I’m proud of the governor’s selection for the new adjutant, and look forward to great things,” said Major General Livingston. “I want to say thank you to our families, to the men and women of the South Carolina National Guard, and to all of Team South Carolina led by our great governor, Gov. McMaster.”

A 1982 graduate of The Citadel, McCarty’s military career spans more than 36 years. In his current capacity, he oversees the administrative activities and daily operations of the South Carolina Military Department, which encompasses the South Carolina Army and Air National Guard, the Emergency Management Division, the State Guard, and the Youth ChalleNGe Academy.

Fuyao launching in Greenville

COLUMBIA -- Fuyao North America Inc., a venture of China-based Fuyao Glass Industry Group Co. Ltd. (Fuyao Group), is launching a new processing center in Greenville County. The company’s $16.1 million investment is projected to create approximately 70 new jobs.

Since 1987, the Fuyao Group has been producing high-quality automotive glass for original equipment manufacturers and aftermarket suppliers. Operating as one of the largest producer of automotive glass worldwide, the company holds more than 300 patents and manufactures four million glass car sets annually.

Fuyao North America Inc. will be establishing a new, 182,000-square-foot processing center with light production capabilities at 110 Milacron Drive in Fountain Inn.

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