Senators surprised everyone last week with arguably one of the smoothest and shortest budget floor deliberations ever. By 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, the budget had received second reading and Senators fully passed the spending plan Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 43-0, which has to be a record for the deliberative body.
Finance Committee Chairman Harvey Peeler(R-Cherokee) touted the work of the staff and subcommittees and thanked his fellow Senators for their efforts in keeping the budget process smooth. “It took us two solid days to pass this budget. We’ve got to do better next year,” quipped Chairman Peeler.
The budget returns to the House, where they will review and make changes.
SCFOR fully supports the allocations to roads and bridges provided by the House in their version of the budget passed back in March. The House provided one-time allocations to the SCDOT for bridges and County Transportation Committees (CTCs).
The $200 million bridge allocation in the House budget would aid SCDOT in addressing a growing number of aging bridges across the state.
The $250 million allocation to the County Transportation Committees (CTCs) would benefit every county and boost local road programs.
Senators left these statewide programs as $1 line items in their budget, which leaves room for negotiation as the budget process continues.
The final days of session will be critical to the budget process, as the Board of Economic Advisors (BEA) is likely to increase revenue estimates on May 9. Any revenue increase would serve as another catalyst for compromise between the House and Senate versions of the budget.
As the budget process moves forward, we encourage the legislature to support investments in our #roads and #bridges to keep South Carolina’s people and economy moving forward.