Roads are the economic backbone for South Carolina. It is critical that we have longterm solutions to fix our roads.
South Carolina has about 66,000 miles of roads with an unusually large amount (63%) being controlled by the state. Other states average about 19% control over roads.
Estimates to fix roads across the state are around $11 billion. To put this in perspective, the total SC FY budget is $8 billion. Like most problems in government, we must change how departments operate in order to ensure greater accountability.
The SC Transportation infrastructure budget increased by 54% from 2009 to 2017 ($1.627 billion). The problem is that it doesn’t matter how much we throw at it, until there’s more accountability regarding how decisions are made at the SCDOT. Currently, decisions are made not based on needs, but are politically motivated. Special interest projects in the districts of the most powerful legislators have taken priority over needs.
Short term, reactive measures like the recent "pothole blitz" will not provide long term solutions until we become more proactive with the repair of our roads.
I was not in favor of the gas tax that was successfully passed. I think we need a complete audit of the SCDOT and to create a cabinet level position responsible for our roads. This position would be appointed by the governor to ensure its held accountable. Until we change how government manages these departments, we will continue to get poor results.
Water and sewer are extremely significant for the quality of life and future of district 14. I will work to ensure that tax dollars are transparently and efficiently allocated to meet our critical infrastructure needs.
We've spent over $6 trillion dollars in the middle east over the last 17 years, it's time that our resources are returned home. Under the 9th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, rights are retained by the States and the people thereof. States can ban together and instruct the Federal government to return American resources home from overseas. It's long past time to return our resources home to fix the roads, bridges and infrastructure in South Carolina.