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Applications open the week of May 3 for $272 million in federal rent and utility assistance in 39 S.C. counties. Money awarded can cover unpaid rent and utility bills back to mid-March 2020. The funds have the potential to help countless residents of the Palmetto State who suffered during the COVID-driven recession to avoid eviction and utility shut-offs. Nationwide, there’s $25 billion in assistance approved by Congress last December. More: The Post and Courier

In other headlines:

U.S. Justice Dept. inquiries prompt hopes for police reform, fear of delays. Attorney General Merrick Garland has created a potential expectations gap with civil rights activists who have warned that a mere return to Obama-era strategies to combat abusive policing will only result in failure and disappointment. More: The Washington Post

Race for S.C. GOP chair draws hundreds to Ladson bar, devolves into political ‘circus.’ While GOP Chairman Drew McKissick appears likely to win reelection over Lin Wood, the path to get there became a turbulent battle between pro-Trump factions. More: The Post and Courier

S.C. House Speaker says calendar is full for end of session. South Carolina House members have been told to hold no more committee meetings with just two weeks left in the 2021 session and a calendar full of bills to consider. More: SC Public Radio

S.C. growth could give state new seat in Congress after 2030 census. There’s a slight chance if the state’s higher-than-average growth continues, it could add an eighth congressional seat during redistricting in 2031. More: Charleston City Paper

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