15 May Roads Bill Passes just before Sine Die
Sine Die (Latin meaning “without a fixed day”) Adjournment happened this past Thursday and marked the end of this year’s general legislative session.
The House and Senate hammered out an agreement in conference that had enough support to pass both legislative bodies and survive the Governor’s veto. In its final form, the roads bill looks like this:
Reforms the Department of Transportation
Provides real accountability and transparency at the department of Transportation (public records, mandated meetings, ethical requirements for commissioners).
Gives Governor complete control of the Commission with a clear line of authority and at-will removal.
Provides Sustainable Long-Term Funding
Creates a long-term and sustainable funding stream by increasing the motor fuel user fee by 2 cents/gallon over the next 6 years, not exceeding 12 cents/gallon.
Safeguards taxpayers from future automatic tax increases by not indexing for inflation.
Protects SC taxpayers from continuing to solely foot the bill for infrastructure repair by not using General Fund dollars and captures 30% of the motor fuel user fee revenue from out-of-state motorists.
Creates an Infrastructure Maintenance Trust Fund to ensure all new revenue collected from the motor fuel user fee is used only for existing infrastructure needs.
Does not increase or change fees for South Carolina driver’s license applications or renewals.
Delivers Responsible Offsetting Tax Relief
Includes responsible tax relief to offset the user fee increase for South Carolina motorists.
Offers a refundable income tax credit equal to the motor fuel user fee increase that must be reauthorized prior to 2023.
Enhances already existing College Tuition Tax Credit for every South Carolina tuition-payer to enhance workforce development.
The House will return this coming week for a specialized session to vote on the remaining conference reports, including a final budget once the House and Senate have reached a final agreement.
Thank you for the privilege of serving you in Columbia. If I can ever be of assistance to you, or if you have ideas on issues you want me to share with the rest of the General Assembly, please don’t hesitate to contact me.