The South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads says the House of Representatives is stuck in a traffic jam because of political gamesmanship
Columbia, SC – Despite the Winthrop University poll showing voters in South Carolina overwhelmingly support decisive action to fix the state’s crumbling infrastructure, the House of Representatives has yet to schedule a hearing to consider any plan.
The House appointed a special committee to study the issue over the summer, and that Infrastructure Committee made its recommendation.
But now, the House seems to be stuck in neutral, and many say it’s because state leaders are playing political games and insisting on backroom negotiations, rather than holding open committee meetings and allowing the legislative process to play out transparently.
“We’ve heard from many members of the General Assembly who want to move forward, hold hearings, have debate, and pass a bill – and we applaud their efforts,” said Bill Ross, Executive Director for SCFOR. “But the legislative process has been stopped by partisan attacks, threats, grandstanding, and a seeming insistence on backroom deals. It’s a legislative traffic jam and it has to end.”
Legislative leaders have called the road funding issue the state’s top priority and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee worked over the summer to produce a plan to address the issue. However, no hearing has been scheduled for this legislative session. If the House does not act quickly, time will run out.
“55% of voters in the Winthrop poll support action immediately,” said Bill Ross. “We see that energy reflected in our online campaign and as we work with people across the state. Only when we get to the steps of the State House do we hit a roadblock that’s made of politics and threats by our state’s top leaders. It has to end now or it will be another year of failed leadership,” continued Ross.
The cost of failure is real. According to the recently released TRIP report, crumbling roads are costing drivers about $3 billion annually due extra operation costs, lost time and wasted fuel from traffic congestion and crashes. Columbia is estimated to have the highest cost for residents at $1,250 a year per driver, followed by the Upstate which averaged $1,248 annually. Charleston residents faced an average $1,168 in the costs.
The South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads is a non-partisan, nonprofit, statewide organization made up of business leaders, associations and chambers of commerce who believe that the time to fix our crumbling roads is way overdue. Everyday that goes by that our elected officials are not taking action; it is costing you money and putting lives at risk.
To learn more, visit www.fixscroads.com.