Saturday’s editorial comes via the Florence Morning News. Honestly, I was about to write one keyed off the same quote, but they beat me to the punch and I didn’t see the point of doing the same work:
As South Carolina lawmakers started their latest legislative session this week, one issue on the table was finding more money for building and repairing the state’s roads and bridges. South Carolina has the fourth-lowest gas tax in the nation but also owns one of the largest state-maintained road systems in the country. The South Carolina Department of Transportation recently estimated that needed repair and expansion projects would require some $43 billion over the next 20 years. It’ll take a lot of gas pump pennies to make that happen. A real fight is expected.
Much of it will be of the internecine variety, as evidenced by the comments last week of Sen. Harvey Peeler, R-Gaffney, who told reporters from across the state that he’s not happy with the way road-building money is distributed.
Invoking telephone area codes for clarity, Peeler said, “864 and 803 makes it, and 843 spends it. That formula’s got to change.”
Ahem. We here in 843 land beg to disagree.
It is certainly true that local road funding has picked up of late, thanks in no small part to the sharp political work of Senate Finance Chair – and Peeler rival – Hugh Leatherman, R-Florence. But as a quick buzz around the Upstate’s multifaceted interstate grid reminds, it hasn’t always been that way. Plenty of asphalt had been laid and concrete poured above the fall line in years gone by. If the Pee Dee and the upper coast is finally getting a buck or two, well, that’s probably only fair.
As best we can tell, 843 needs it, and 803 and 864 whine about it.
Of course, that’s just our view.