Legislature overrides governor’s road-funding bill veto

SC DOT employees working on state roadways. (File Image)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A law that takes effect July 1 will eventually provide more than $600 million annually to fix South Carolina’s crumbling roadways.

The 32-12 vote in the Senate on Wednesday to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto culminates a three-year legislative effort to find a reliable, steady stream of revenue for repairing South Carolina’s highways and bridges.

The House overrode the veto on a 95-18 vote hours earlier after Democrats and Republicans blasted McMaster for providing no leadership on the state’s top priority.

House Speaker Jay Lucas said the GOP governor seeking his first full term in 2018 chose to put the advice of campaign consultants above South Carolinians.

The bill would raise the gas tax by 12 cents per gallon over six years. It also increases and creates other fees.

Secretary of Transportation Christy Hall released this statement following the passage of the “Roads Bill:”

“We applaud the General Assembly for their leadership and dedication to addressing the infrastructure crisis in South Carolina. SCDOT is committed to putting these tax dollars to work.

Combining last year’s Act 275 funding with these additional funds provides sustainable resources allowing the agency to immediately begin a Rural Road Safety Program, target interstate widening projects to replace our structurally deficient bridges and start the long process of rebuilding our existing road system.

The agency and its Commission are dedicated to our mission of providing an adequate, safe and efficient road network in South Carolina.”