The Buzz

Gov. Haley criticizes S.C. House for planning to amend road-repair plan

File photo
File photo

Gov. Nikki Haley bashed the S.C. House Tuesday evening for planning to amend a proposal to repair the state’s crumbling roads.

"Since the Senate passed a roads bill weeks ago, the House has known they either work with the Senate, pass real, good reform, or the bill dies,” Haley said in a statement.

Haley’s office learned Tuesday that House leadership planned to pass an amendment “they know has zero chance of becoming law,” she said.

“That's a terrible shame, and every South Carolinian should know that tomorrow, the Republican House of Representatives plans to kill two years of work and that as a result, there will be no change in their road conditions anytime soon."

S.C. House leadership fired back.

“The real shame is that Gov. Haley has chosen to put politics over policy and mislead the people of South Carolina,” said S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas, R-Darlington, in a statement. “Sadly, instead of working with us to initiate real and meaningful reforms to fix our roads, Gov. Haley focuses on stopping progress with baseless political attacks.”

The House last year passed a plan to increase the state’s gas tax by the equivalent of 10 cents a gallon. The Senate then changed that plan this year, killing a gas-tax increase. Instead, the Senate proposed spending $400 million a year from the state budget on roads.

York Republican Rep. Gary Simrill, who sponsored the gas tax proposal, said Tuesday the Senate plan failed to adequately provide for road repair.

“It is folly to make a promise to the people of South Carolina that roads will be fixed without a reliable, steady funding stream,” he said. “The governor is now echoing these promises that she knows cannot be kept. That is the real shame.”

Cassie Cope: 803-771-8657, @cassielcope