House lawmakers thrashed the Department of Transportation on Tuesday, saying the agency needed to make some changes before it receives more money to repair roads and bridges.
"People over (at DOT), you try to talk to them, they think they are God. Guess what? They are not God," said Rep. Roland Smith, R-Aiken. "We want to support DOT and make this the best state in the nation. DOT has to wake up in some areas, too."
The lawmakers -- Smith, Rep. Bill Hixon, R-Aiken, and Rep. Chip Huggins, R-Lexington -- criticized the Department of Transportation for being slow to respond to requests, not picking up trash and making questionable decisions about road closings and detours.
DOT Secretary Robert St. Onge dismissed the criticism as "emotional," saying DOT staffers treat everyone fairly.
Last year, lawmakers gave DOT $41 million for secondary road maintenance plus another $50 million to repair roads and bridges. Lawmakers also gave the State Infrastructure Bank $50 million in recurring money that they used to borrow $500 million to begin work on seven interstate projects.