2014 South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads Annual Meeting
SCDOT/STIB Panel Discussion (Moderated by Ron Brinson)
The day began with a panel discussion featuring Secretary Janet Oakley of the SC Department of Transportation and Don Leonard, Chairman of the Board of the SC State Transportation Infrastructure Bank. Secretary Oakley spoke on the current goals the SCDOT is looking at in order to improve South Carolina’s transportation infrastructure, as well as discussing the ACT 98 Program and it’s aims for the state. Secretary Oakley’s presentation can be downloaded here.
Don Leonard spoke on the SC State Transportation Infrastructure Bank and their interaction with South Carolina’s transportation infrastructure budget, the scope of their project qualifications, and their relationship with the SCDOT.
Luncheon & Keynote Address
Greg Cohen, CEO of the American Highway Users Alliance addressed the crowd during lunch as the keynote speaker. Mr. Cohen addressed the lack of action on behalf of federal government to facilitate the need for federal highway funding, and the consequences of waiting to address the issues. Mr. Cohen also touted the opportunities that will be available in 2015 to change transportation infrastructure funding, on both a state and federal level. A copy of Mr. Cohen’s keynote address can be found here.
Recent State Successes and the Path to Infrastructure Legislation
Moderator Ron Brinson introduces the Recent State Success Panel
• Robert Latham, Executive Vice President of Associated PA Constructors
• Whittington Clement, Former Virginia Secretary of Transportation
Following the keynote address at lunch, a panel addressing successes in other states convened. Robert Latham, Executive Vice President of Associated PA Constructors, and Whittington Clement, Former Secretary of Transportation from Virginia addressed the crowd regarding the recent funding plans that have passed in their respective states. Both mentioned that their success were attributed to a number of creative legislative ideas that gave them the ability to raise revenues for transportation infrastructure in addition to the importance of gubernatorial support, which was critical in passing comprehensive road funding plans. You can find Mr. Clement’s presentation notes here and Mr. Latham’s presentation here . Mr. Latham also urged members to view Pennsylvania’s TFAC Report and the ACT 89 Summary.
Results of Infrastructure Survey
Otis Rawl provides and introduction to the results of the Infrastructure Survey
Otis Rawl, President of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, revealed reveal the results of a recent Infrastructure Survey that polled South Carolina Republican voters on topics surrounding highway and bridge funding. The results Mr. Rawl presented indicated that many voters recognize and understand the current transportation infrastructure funding issues and would support a one-cent per year Motor Fuel User Fee increase for a decade, if presented in a proper manner.
South Carolina Legislative Panel
(Legislative Panel pictured left to right with moderator Ron Brinson, center)
SC House of Representatives-
Tommy Stringer (R-Greenville, Education and Public Works), James Smith (D-Richland, 1st V.C., Judiciary Committee), Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg, Ways and Means), Kenny Bingham (R-Lexington, Ways and Means), Majority Leader Bannister (R-Greenville, Judiciary Committee)
SC Senate- Daniel Verdin (R-Laurens, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Chairman), Paul Campbell (R-Berkeley, Transportation Committee), Karl Allen (D-Greenville, Transportation Committee), Glenn Reese (D-Spartanburg, Finance Committee)
The Annual Meeting’s legislative panel, consisting of four SC Senate Members and five SC House Members, focused on 2015’s transportation infrastructure goals and how South Carolina legislators have to achieve them. The discussion ranged from the often discussed Motor Fuel User Fee increase, to the merits of increasing county sales taxes, and even to a brief discussion of the state of the SCDOT.
Federal Highway Funding Discussion
Congressman Rice discusses Federal Highway Funding with meeting attendees
US Congressman Tom Rice, from the 7th District of South Carolina, concluded the day’s events by leading a discussion on Federal Highway Funding. Congressman Rice, a member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, discussed the current state of Transportation Infrastructure Funding dealings in Washington, and how legislators on a Federal level are dealing with similar funding issues as legislators at the State level.
Thanks again to all of our participants and attendees. We appreciate you taking the time to join us as we look to tackle this critical issue in 2015. Please take a moment to complete our brief survey to let us know what you thought of the meeting.
Many news sources covered the SCFOR Annual Meeting Legislative Panel, and some of them can be found here:
SC lawmakers eye gas-tax hike - Charlotte Observer
SC Chamber wants gas tax to bring more road money - Island PAcket
Gas-tax hike finds support to fix roads - Greenville Online
Cobb-Hunter: Hold lawmakers accountable on road funding, as they face re-election - The Post and Courier
S.C. Chamber wants gas tax to bring more road money - Aiken Standard
SC Chamber of Commerce head push gas tax increase to improve
roads - Spartanburg Herald Journal, WBTW News 13, WLTX
What can be done about fixing South Carolina's aging roads?
WLTX - Group seeks photos of bad roads in SC
SC Chamber pushing state legislators to solve road problems