Opinions from around South Carolina: Highway funding, cost cutting and lieutenant governor

October 20, 2013 

US NEWS HIGHWAYFUNDS 5 SC

NABIL K. MARK — MCT

Others Say

Editorials from elsewhere

Highway funding

This state faces, by one estimate, a $29 billion deficit in infrastructure funding over the next 20 years. Some $640 million in additional highway funding from several sources that was approved by lawmakers last year does not even cover half an average year’s needs if that estimate is correct. This state needs additional funding.

For starters, the General Assembly should take a serious look into raising the state’s gasoline tax. …

Even then, more will need to be done. The state will have to look at an array of revenue-generating ideas such as lifting the cap on motor vehicle sales taxes and dedicating the added revenue to highway projects or increasing fees for motor vehicle registrations. All ideas should at least be on the table for discussion. …

This critical piece of our state has too long been ignored in the name of ever-lower taxes without regard for the harm it does to have substandard roads and highways. It is past time for everyone involved to take steps toward rectifying that.

Greenville News

Gov. Haley’s cost-cutting

Consolidating state operations can save taxpayers big bucks — witness the $1 million in cost cuts achieved by the Department of Social Services just by reducing office space. But an essential requirement of that process is knowing exactly where adjustments can be made, and that requires knowing exactly what property is held by the state.

And apparently not even Gov. Nikki Haley has that information at hand. But that shortcoming should be soon remedied, via her executive order requiring all agencies to comply by Dec. 15. …

The governor’s initiative includes preparing an inventory, considering surplus property for sale, and consolidating agency operations to cut expenses.…

Maybe Gov. Haley can achieve needed cuts in existing operations involving state property.

It would serve as a good argument for her restructuring agenda and as an example that would resonate with the taxpayers who pay the tab.

Post and Courier

(Charleston)

Lt. governor

It’s a part-time job with little power, but it’s still expected to garner a lot of attention when 2014 rolls around.

The upcoming campaign for the state’s lieutenant governor spot should make for some interesting story lines, especially if it pits incumbent Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, against Rep. Bakari Sellers, D-Bamberg. …

The 2014 race will also be the last time candidates for lieutenant governor can run solo. Beginning in 2018, they will run on the same ticket as the governor, the way the president and vice president do now. Because of that change, the lieutenant governor’s spot will likely be an even greater spring board for candidates.

Aiken Standard

Food for Thought

• “When you are through changing, you are through.”

Bruce Barton

Inspiration

•  “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.”

James 2:17

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