1) The money goes to the roads
2) Legislators aren’t able to pick “special projects”
When it was apparent to me that a straight gas tax was about to pass without any accountability, we put together a group of four people that were willing to vote for the bill, but if and only if we had DOT reform that accomplished the two objectives just mentioned.
With the new bill:
1- The DOT commission is now under the Governors control and not the legislators. The Governor appoints all commissioners and they serve “at will” to the Governor. (Who is your boss? The person that can fire you.)
2 – Last year we passed that all SIB (State Infrastructure Bank) projects must be approved by the DOT commission and fit the priority list as set by statute. If the Governor controls the DOT commission – then in essence, the Governor now controls the SIB. No more roads picked by legislators for the SIB.
3- Transparency – the DOT is now required by law to post all of the finances per project, money spent by county, contractors awarded projects and how much, on their website at www.scdot.org. Actually, they already do a lot of this. Also, commissioners can have no direct or indirect (family member) contracts with DOT while they serve and for a year after that.
I am convinced we have real reform and without us stepping up to the plate – we would have had a straight gas tax. Is it everything I want? No. But we are not in a position to kick the can down the road again – our roads suck!
I couldn’t let perfect be the enemy of good. I believe I did the right thing for my constituents and for South Carolina.
Below are the links to to view all of the SCDOT and State Infrastructure Bank (SIB) audits completed in the last couple of years: