First reform highway spending

SC Roads copy


February 8, 2017

Cindi Ross Scoppe writes in a piece published in Tuesday’s newspaper that the South Carolina House of Representatives’ leaders won’t even try this year to fix the parochial and politically-driven way in which our state’s road and bridge spending decisions are made. The reason, she explains, is that those leaders believe any such attempt at reform “is an exercise in futility, at least until senators get the bad taste of our former governor out of their mouths.”

Blaming the alleged unpopularity of Nikki Haley for an unwillingness to speak truth to power is simply the latest, though arguably most cowardly, excuse given by state lawmakers as to why they won’t even try to place accountability for the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s and State Transportation Infrastructure Bank’s spending decisions with our state’s chief executive officer — as it is in all other states.

Annual spending for highway infrastructure in South Carolina has increased 130 percent in the past eight years — from $1 billion in FY 2009 to $2.3 billion in the current fiscal year — yet obvious needs (e.g., Interstate 95 and U.S. 17 in Jasper County and Interstate 85 in Greenville and Spartanburg counties) go begging because their advocates aren’t sufficiently politically connected.

This is a shameful, Third-World way of conducting the people’s business. Are you OK with this?

STATE SEN. TOM DAVIS
BEAUFORT

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