HOUSE: South Carolina Senators Continue to Block Road Repair Bills
COLUMBIA, SC (WTAT-TV) — “We took a lot of what Gov. McMaster said and we integrated that into our bill, so he has been a help. We would like for him to be a bigger advocate of this avenue,” said House Speaker Jay Lucas, (R) 65th District.
Rep. Lucas and house lawmakers say the South Carolina Senate continues to hold up a fix for the Palmetto State’s crumbling roads. He says the house has passed a roads plan twice in the last three years, but it has died in the senate every time.
Now, Senate lawmakers are not letting that criticism go unanswered. Some agree with Lucas and say it is Senate republicans who are the problem here.
Lowcountry Senator Tom Davis has vowed to filibuster the plan again this year if it includes a gas tax and no real reform to the DOT. Right now the plan does include gas tax hikes.
DOT Secretary Christy Hall has said roads are decaying so badly that every year that passes without a road fix adds another $350,000,000 dollars to reconstruction costs.
“I will take responsibility for blocking a 75% gas tax increase with no reform all day long,” said Sen. Tom David. “Here’s the reality of the situation; it takes 24 votes in that Senate to sit me down. So anytime they’re tired of me talking about how the reform is needed and how the expenditure system is politically corrupt, anytime they want to sit me down and vote up a 75% gas tax increase and come back to their constituents and justify themselves, all they got to do is cast a vote.”
“The Senators, who are republicans in South Carolina right now, are blocking our ability to fix the roads in South Carolina,” said Sen. Vincent Sheheen. “It’s gotta change. ‘No’ is not a way to run a government.”
The House already passed a plan that would raise the gas tax two cents a year for six years, however, Governor Henry McMaster has vowed to veto that bill if the Senate passes it.