After nearly a year of roadblocks and roundabout debate, the South Carolina Senate has finally granted approval for a $400+ million statewide road improvement plan. The vote came one week after Republican senators ended extended filibusters and gathered enough support to vote down other ideas, including a plan suggested by Senate leader Hugh Leatherman. Leatherman’s proposed $2 billion borrowing plan would have called for $200 million a year to be used for interstate improvement projects, with an additional $200 in surplus dollars going toward roads and bridges.
The approved funding would take $400 million from the state budget each year for use on road improvements. The new plan replaces the roughly $400 million roads bill the House sent to the Senate last April, which included a gas tax and other vehicle-related fee increases, with a plan to be funded with growing budget dollars.
According to Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, the Senate is aware that addressing South Carolina’s crumbling roads is a major priority. He stated that the funding could be used for bonds, as Leatherman’s plan proposed. However, Democrats and prominent House Republicans disputed the idea of relying on the instability of budget dollars, which future legislatures may reduce. Rather, they feel that a gas tax increase would be a more solid source of dedicated revenue. The issue is that the money for the road repairs may not be there when needed.
As of March 24, the South Carolina House voted to give the DOT an additional $316 million for roadwork next fiscal year, plus another $49 million to cover emergency road repairs after the devastating floods that occurred last October.
South Carolina needs more than $1.2 billion annually to address state infrastructure issues. While the funding allocated for this task dwarfs in comparison to what is actually needed, it is a step in the right direction towards promoting the safety of our state’s travelers.
Fighting for SC Car Accident Victims for 40+ Years
South Carolina legislators have spent far too long debating this issue as our state’s roads, infrastructure, and citizens have continued to suffer. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a poorly-maintained and dangerous road, you may have grounds for legal action. Contact a South Carolina car accident lawyer at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers to discuss your right to pursue damages. We have helped injured South Carolinians just like you for more than 40 years and know what it takes to maximize your compensation.
For a FREE case evaluation, please contact our firm. You pay nothing unless we win your case!