Warren rolls out transportation plan

Warren rolls out transportation plan
May 23 16:49 2018 Print This Article

Republican gubernatorial candidate John Warren, a Greenville business owner, rolled out his transportation plan Tuesday. The plan would make the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) a cabinet agency managed by the Governor, eliminate the legislatively-appointed SCDOT Highway Commission, eliminate the seven-member state Transportation Infrastructure Bank (STIB) board, and ban the families of legislators from getting state highway contracts.

“South Carolina’s roads are disgraceful,” Warren said. “Our crumbling infrastructure hurts economic development, makes families less safe and diminishes our quality of life. Career politicians have had a stranglehold on our roads for decades, and the results speak for themselves. We sit in traffic while they play political games.” Warren wants to go to a merit-based funding system for road and bridge projects, with decisions being made by transportation experts rather than political appointees. He also wants to establish a five-year strategic funding plan, to be reviewed annually, and adopt a zero-based budgeting system in which all budget items must be reviewed each year.

The STIB, a system used to fund costly new highway projects, has come under criticism for only awarding contracts to counties represented by the most influential legislators. A project often cited is the $144 Million “road to nowhere” in rural Florence County, funded by STIB in 2015. It is located in the district of Senate President Hugh Leatherman.

Warren and the four other Republican gubernatorial candidates, including Governor Henry McMaster, will participate in a forum Wednesday night, televised live on ETV.