The seemingly endless filibuster in the state Senate finally came to an end this week. It looks like our crumbling state roads are finally going to get the added attention they so badly need.
Just as all seemed lost for getting something done in the 2016 session, legislators reached a deal Wednesday calling for spending an additional 400 million dollars from the general fund on roads-without raising gas taxes.
The gas tax had long been a major point of contention.
In all, more than a billion dollars will be now be spent on roads that have, quite frankly, become an embarrassment.
On behalf of the editorial board, let me just say, "it's about time!"
To be sure, it isn't a perfect solution. But it is at least a start.
Critics argue that it's just a band aid on the problem that could come at the expense of other projects.
Perhaps House Speaker Jay Lucas put it best when he issued a statement this week saying, "the roads plan kicks the can down the road into a giant pothole."
The plan also does not affect the state of local roads. Repairing those potholes down the street from your home will require action from local officials. Perhaps they can takes a cue from the state house and find compromise to give drivers the state and local travel they deserve.
For months, we have heard from WIS viewers, all voicing similar concerns:
"It does cost a lot," one driver said. "It costs a lot of my time, it costs my money, and we pay taxes and we should be getting these roads fixed."
At a time when lawmakers nationwide are being heavily criticized for being all talk and no results, it's a breath of fresh air to see action-and compromise-to make a difference for South Carolinians.
There is still more work to be done, but it is at least a start.
Legislators, as you return to work on the plan, we will be watching closely. Don't let your constituents down.
That's my take, what's yours?