SC Legislative Update

By Ben Homeyer

Elections are already heating up.  Six months before the filing even opens, sitting members of the Senate are already drawing opposition. Senators Sandy Senn, Penry Gustafson, Ronnie Cromer, Sean Bennett, Mike Fanning, and Luke Rankin already have announced their opposition.  Senate Republicans are meeting December 13-15 to discuss the legislative agenda for the year and elections.  

I spoke with SCDOT on the 12th, and they stressed again how bridge work will be their main priority for the upcoming year.  With over 1100 bridges coming due for their length of service lifetime they are asking for $200 million a year for five years ($1billion total) which would allow them to keep any bridges from becoming load restricted or shut down outright.  

The DOT will also be pushing legislation for the coming year that will increase the EV fees.  They have conducted a study to find out that EV’s in the state are woefully underfunding the road system that they use.  The current rates of $60 a year are far below neighboring states and far below what a gas-powered car is providing in tax revenue.  They will be looking to increase the fees to roughly $200-$250 per year.  The State is currently producing a number of different electric vehicles and those numbers will greatly increase with Scout, Audi, and Volkswagen coming to the state.