South Carolina Legislature has overridden the governor’s veto of a bill to shuffle
road fees and taxes from the state’s general budget to transportation.
Gov. Mark Sanford’s veto message, he expressed concern about how funding now
sent to the general fund would be replaced. Additionally, he said he wanted to
hold off on additional funds for the state Transportation Department until the
results of an audit of the agency are available early next year.
weren’t in the mood to wait.
voted 36-7 to override the veto after House lawmakers voted 101-3 to do the
new funding will collect about $70 million in the next three years in vehicle
and driving-related taxes and divert it for work on secondary roads and for the
State Infrastructure Bank, which helps pay for new roads.
with a nearly $2 billion shortfall in road maintenance a year ago,
transportation officials told The Beaufort Gazette that the funding
won’t solve the state’s road problems, but is a good first step.
of the money from the new law, previously H3296, is earmarked for improvements
to secondary roads in the state that don’t qualify for federal funds. The other
half will be funneled into the State Infrastructure Bank, likely bonded for up
to $380 million in large state projects, the newspaper reported.
provision added by a Senate panel to require drivers to pay an extra 7 cents
per gallon of fuel was dropped from the final version of the legislation. The
effort was intended to generate about $200 million in additional revenue for
shortage of funds forced SCDOT three years ago to stop resurfacing secondary
highways, The State newspaper reported.
addition to the new state funding, the federal government is working to approve
a six-year highway bill that likely would mean in excess of $500 million more
for South Carolina roads.