While I think it’s great the Senate is trying to come up with even more money to fix our roads, I have to agree with Speaker Lucas on this one:
State senators passed their own version of a plan Tuesday to raise money to repair the state’s crumbling roads, setting up a crash with their counterparts in the S.C. House.
The collision came as the Senate Finance Committee voted 14-8 to replace a House road-repair plan with a Senate proposal. The Senate plan would raise more money for roads — roughly $800 million a year versus $427 million — but also increase the gas tax more — by 12 cents a gallon versus 10 cents….
House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, said he was “extremely disappointed” the Senate committee did not debate the various parts of the House bill, instead substituting its own proposal.
Lucas called the House’s 87-20 passage of its own roads plan two weeks ago a “courageous vote,” adding senators focused only on “dollar signs,” not the other reforms in the House plan.
State Rep. Gary Simrill, the York Republican who sponsored the House bill, said the resounding House vote — enough to withstand a promised Haley veto — was because that proposal also included reforming the State Infrastructure Bank and S.C. Department of Transportation.
“The Senate bill … has nothing for reform. It has nothing for right-sizing DOT,” Simrill said. “It is just a funding (proposal).”…
Funding the roads without fixing DOT is almost as bad as reforming DOT without funding the roads — as Cindi pointed out today.
We need to do both, and we’ve needed to do both for a long, long time. It’s time lawmakers move away from the past two decades of failing to do either.