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Over the last several years, both the House and Senate have each wrestled with identifying the most effective solution to increase funding for our infrastructure and the restructuring the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT), all while our roads and bridges continue to decay. The Senate recently passed a roads funding bill amendment which was amended by the House last week. Many, including the Governor, are saying the roads bill is dead. We do not agree. The Chamber believes that the process for this important piece of legislation is on the correct legislative path. It is obvious that members in both the House and Senate feel strongly about their proposed (short-term) funding plan and how best to restructure the SCDOT. This, however, does not mean the bill is dead – rather, it means the legislative process is working. It is now a conference committee’s job to hammer out a solution that everyone can agree to, putting the needs of our citizens ahead of political gamesmanship. The region’s business community wants to ensure that the SCDOT is accountable and spending the funds made available by our residents in the most responsible way possible. It is apparent, after reviewing the findings of the Legislative Audit Council, that SCDOT is doing the best they can with the current funding. The legislature must now provide the funding necessary for Secretary Hall to do her job in order for business in South Carolina to continue to thrive, making our economy one of the best in the Southeast. The Chamber will continue to work alongside our coalition partners throughout the state to ensure there is a substantial, dedicated and recurring revenue source in place that will truly solve the problem. However, for now we need to make sure the SCDOT restructuring component remains in the current legislation and the one-time funding from the general fund is passed this year.
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Legislative Update April 20, 2016