COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - South Carolina drivers continue to play the waiting game for our representatives to get something done to fix the state's decaying, cracking roads.
Last week, House members passed up the opportunity to get a plan approved.
Instead, they will wait until after work on the budget is wrapped up. Legislators say the House has to put a line in the state's budget to appropriate the 400 million dollars necessary from general budget funds.
It also looks like the gas tax increase, which has been so much a source of contention, will *not* be part of the final plan.
The WIS editorial board has gone on record advocating a gas tax. As we reported last week, a mere 10 cent tax will cost a taxpayer only nine dollars per month. And, as we also reported, over 30% of the tax will be paid by visitors to our state.
While it is likely the house will ultimately go along with approving the road repair funds, it could be sometime next month before everything is squared away.
That's little consolation to the thousands of drivers who have to dodge potholes during their daily travels. Even when the legislative work is done, it's not like the trucks will immediately start rolling to do repairs.
The question now is—how long will it take for us to actually see some progress?
We'll have to wait for the budget dust to settle to find out. Hopefully, we won't be sitting here in the middle of the summer asking "what happened?"
And what about next year and the year after? We need more than just a patch job.
We need long term solutions…we need to widen roads and address problem areas such as malfunction junction where crashes and traffic backups are a daily occurrence.
Tell your legislators to make something happen. It's only with one unified voice that we can make a difference.
That's my take, what's yours?