PRESS RELEASE: Speaker Lucas: House Ways and Means Committee Passes Roads Bill

House Ways and Means Committee Passes Roads Bill

Includes Long-term Funding and Governance Reform

(Columbia, SC) – House Speaker Jay Lucas (District 65-Darlington) issued the following statement after the Ways and Means Committee amended and adopted H. 3516. The bill will be added to the House legislative calendar next week for debate in the coming weeks.

“South Carolina has the most dangerous roads in the country. Businesses and job creators continue to stress the importance of infrastructure repair as a necessity to further economic investments. For the past several years the General Assembly has allotted a significant portion of the general fund surplus to roads, but pressing needs for education, social services, and retirement deficits will require those monies this year. Our citizens have demanded that those who use our roads must be the ones to pay for repair, not just the South Carolina taxpayer. The House also understands that every dollar raised for infrastructure repair should be used solely for the intended purpose of fixing our roads and bridges, which is why additional funding will be placed in an Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund.

“A gradual increase to the state’s motor fuel user fee is the most responsible option to generate a long-term, sustainable funding stream for road repair.  I will not support using general fund revenue for road appropriation again. House Majority Leader Gary Simrill and Ways and Means Chairman Brian White have worked extensively on this infrastructure plan and I commend them for their efforts.  As the House roads bill moves to the floor for debate, I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure its passage as fixing our roads is my number one priority.”

Provisions Included in the House Road Funding Bill:

·         Creates an Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund

·         Increases motor fuel user fee 10 cents/gallon over a 5 year period

·         Biennial motor vehicle registration fee increase of $16

·         Increases auto sales cap to $500 for South Carolina drivers

·         Capitalizes on out-of-state registered vehicles

·         Creates biennial registration fees for all hybrid and electric vehicles

·         Creates a motor carrier road user fee for out-to-state truckers

·         Reforms governance of the SCDOT Highway Commission

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