Lawmakers bash 'poison pill' approach to amending gas tax bill

Updated: Apr. 19, 2017 at 3:52 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - "A poison pill" -- that's what some lawmakers are calling an attempt to change the gas tax bill as the battle to fix roads in South Carolina continues.

It is day two of debate on a bill to raise the gas tax with some Republicans leading the argument against raising tax at the pump.

One Republican senator from Dorchester County had the floor for hours Wednesday trying to gain support for some changes to the gas tax bill.

Sen. Sean Bennett wants tax reform -- some cuts in income tax built into the bill that would raise the gas tax by 12-cents-per-gallon in increments of two cents for 6 years.

Bennett says he wants to help constituents that would feel a burden of a gas tax hike by giving them some tax credits and he wants to give an even bigger boost to people like police and first responders.

Senators on the other side of the debate are skeptical it would take money away from the state's general fund by about $200 million. Democrats like Sen. Vincent Sheheen are calling this a "poison pill" that could kill the bill entirely when senators don't agree on tacking on tax cuts to the gas tax bill.

Bennett has been speaking at the well and answering questions and concerns on his proposal for hours now.

On Tuesday, House leaders gathered to speak and try to pressure senators to pass this gas tax.

But Bennett began his speech saying he believes following the "herd" isn't always a good idea and that there are more ways to solve a problem than one.

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