FUNDING: S.C. lawmakers address road, bridge needs in budget compromise

Proposal would combine federal, state funds; General Assembly to approve plan Tuesday

Funding News The State newspaper June 17, 2013
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The South Carolina legislature reached a tentative agreement on a new state budget on Friday, which included borrowing of $500 million plus the expenditure of $41 million from state coffers for road and bridge repair. In total, the negotiated spending plan comes to $22.7 billion.

 

The $500 million portion—which would come from federal sources—would be earmarked for repairs to interstates and primary roads. The state would use $41 million of its own money to fix secondary roads that don’t qualify for federal funding. Anything left over in nonrecurring dollars would be put toward repairs for state-owned bridges.

 

Under the current timetable, negotiators will meet again on Monday to finalize the deal; the General Assembly would then vote on it Tuesday.

 

At present, South Carolina utilizes a mixture of federal funding and state gas taxes—at the third lowest rate in the nation—to maintain its roads and bridges. In order to address all of its roadway maintenance issues, officials estimate the state will need to spend $29 billion over the next 20 years.

 

The revised budget would take effect July 1.

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