FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 3, 2018
Henry McMaster Plays Politics with South Carolina’s Crumbling Roads
“I believe he chose to listen to campaign consultants instead of the people of South Carolina”
Columbia, SC – South Carolinians are driving on crumbling roads and bridges in danger of collapsing. But Governor Henry McMaster tried to sink the largest investment in infrastructure in the state’s history. He failed – and his veto was overridden the very next day by Republicans and Democrats. It was obvious the Governor put his upcoming re-election over what’s best for South Carolina.
The bill raised the state’s gas tax – the lowest in the country – by a mere 12 cents a gallon over six years. These extra pennies at the pump have contributed to a “record level of roadwork under way in South Carolina.” Just in the first year, there have been safety upgrades along 187 miles of rural roads — well above the goal of 100 miles a year. 2,200 miles of roadway has been repaved and 51 bridges have been rebuilt. No thanks to the Governor.
Members of the Governor’s own party blamed him, saying he put his political career over the state. “I believe he chose to listen to campaign consultants instead of the people of South Carolina,” said House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Hartsville. “Leadership matters, and what we are getting from downstairs is not leadership,” said Rep. Micah Caskey, R-West Columbia who then went on to crumple up McMaster’s veto letter.
The Governor’s excuse to veto this important investment was because he didn’t want to raise taxes (by a few pennies). But it already costs more than $500 per motorist per year to drive on roads in need of repair. The Governor also conveniently forgets that lawmakers created a new earned-income tax credit as part of the gas tax increase to offset the cost – which could save 150,000 taxpayers more than $40 million.