STATEWIDE (WIS) - The WIS Editorial Board applauds our state's lawmakers for doing the right thing and passing an infrastructure bill that is designed to fix South Carolina's deadly and clogged road system.
The General Assembly this week passed a gas tax hike without the help or endorsement of Governor Henry McMaster, who quickly vetoed the bill.
McMaster argued that currently one-fourth of gas tax dollars aren't used for road repairs and that department of transportation reform would give the state "plenty of money." He also noted raising taxes would hit small businesses, young people and seniors the hardest.
Once fully implemented in six years, a 12-cent increase on a gallon of gas will mean less than $10 a month for most drivers, which can be offset with tax rebates. Other driving fees will also go up.
Had our state's leader really fundamentally opposed the bill, why didn't he wait the allotted 5 days until he vetoed it? Instead, he announced his veto just hours after the final vote in the House, knowing that both chambers already had the votes to override. Some, including House Speaker Jay Lucas, said the move by McMaster, who will be running for a full term next year, was political. "The Governor has chosen to place politics over policy,'' Lucas said prior to the House vote.
If that's the case, it's too bad our elected officials cannot be fully truthful with the public instead of posturing for votes.
95 members of the House and 32 senators voted their conscience to pass a needed law to fund our embarrassing road system. Those 127 lawmakers were more concerned about the safety of this state's citizens than their political careers.
We hope now that recurring funding is in place, the state department of transportation and the new DOT commission, which, by the way, will be staffed by the governor's appointees, will spend the money wisely with the best interest of all South Carolinians in mind. We think the more than $600 million per year for our crumbling roads will make life safer and more convenient for South Carolinians.
That's my take, what's yours?