Post Tagged with: "Gary Simrill"

NEWS: Legislators wait on bus funding, causing some to worry about risk

NEWS: Legislators wait on bus funding, causing some to worry about risk

By Lindsay Street, Statehouse correspondent  |  Top lawmakers say they are waiting until January to override a gubernatorial veto, an action that would fund hundreds of new school buses.  Why the wait?  They say it’s because they are being good stewards of public dollars.  And anyway, waiting to override the veto won’t delay getting dangerously old buses off roads, they say.

Others wonder if there’s more to it.  

S.C. House Majority Leader Gary Simrill, R-Rock Hill,  told Statehouse Report the state S.C. Department of Education currently has the funds it could temporarily use to order the buses.  That money, he said, would then be reimbursed by a January override that would release $17.5 million from S.C. Education Lottery proceeds. He said it’s up to state Superintendent Molly Spearman to order the buses sooner rather than later.

by · 07/14/2017 · News
NEWS:  Conferees meeting to forge veto-proof gas tax compromise

NEWS: Conferees meeting to forge veto-proof gas tax compromise

News analysis by Bill Davis, senior editor | When Statehouse leaders put the finishing touches next week on what they hope will be a veto-proof bill to fix state roads and bridges, the new measure will have a reach beyond the hundreds of millions of tax dollars it will raise yearly.

Six senior legislators, three from the House and three from the Senate, are meeting today — and perhaps over the weekend — to forge a compromise on a roads bill that will raise $500 million to $600 million annually.

The current House plan calls for an increase to the per-gallon levy by 10 cents from 16.75-cents Meanwhile, the Senate plan calls for a hike of 12 cents per gallon over the same time, but includes some wrinkles such as a tax rebate and tax relief…

by · 05/05/2017 · News

BRIEFS: Party leadership; shorter session’s impact

Both major parties in the state will have new leaders for the 2018 elections. The Democrats elected Trav Robertson to be chair. Republicans will elect their new chair on May 13.

Also, there’s an early review of the shortened session during which lawmakers seem to be on track to accomplishing more than usual.

by · 05/05/2017 · News, News briefs
NEWS: Clock is ticking on shortened legislative session

NEWS: Clock is ticking on shortened legislative session

By Bill Davis, senior editor | With only a month left in this year’s legislative session, the state General Assembly appears to be about halfway through its agenda of “big ticket” items – the annual budget, pension reform, road funding and education reform.

Monday when neither the state Senate or House are in session, will mark the point in the session where it’s harder for new bills to gain traction as a two-thirds vote is required to send one bill from one chamber to the other. It is referred to as “crossover day.”

This year’s “crossover” is three weeks earlier than in the past as the legislature last year voted to lop of the final three weeks of the legislative session in what was billed as a tax savings for voters.

by · 04/07/2017 · News
NEWS:  Get ready for longer lines thanks to ID snafu

NEWS: Get ready for longer lines thanks to ID snafu

By Bill Davis, senior editor | Lines at the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles offices are on the precipice of getting unbelievably long, thanks to companion state bills that could force residents to get their driver’s licenses renewed soon.

But if one of those bills doesn’t pass to authorize the new form of identification, it will become harder for residents to check in at airports, even for domestic flights.

The bills, one each in the state House and Senate, would steer South Carolina to be in line with a federal anti-terrorism law passed in 2005 that created a more uniform license called REAL ID.

REAL ID, which should not to be confused with voter ID bills that many see as an obstacle to minority voters, set minimum “standards” for state identification cards.

by · 02/24/2017 · News
NEWS: Showdown ahead at the pumps over gas tax

NEWS: Showdown ahead at the pumps over gas tax

By Bill Davis, senior editor | Gary Simrill is a car guy who hopes to convince new Gov. Henry McMaster and the legislature to raise the gas tax in a state that’s home to the deadliest roadways in America.

Simrill, a Republican state representative from Rock Hill, has owned Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, Bentleys.
As the owner of a high-end specialty used car boutique, Simrill bought former NFL quarterback Jake Delhomme’s Aston Martin Vantage when he left the Carolina Panthers.

These days, Simrill, now the House Majority Leader, drives a comfy Tahoe, and is driving the effort to raise how much the state charges per gallon of gas, which has been untouched for the past 30 years.

by · 01/27/2017 · News
9/18 issue: Roads, abortion clinics, more

9/18 issue: Roads, abortion clinics, more

In the Sept. 18, 2015, issue of Statehouse Report:
NEWS: Roads: Infrastructure Bank faces challenges
BRIEFS: Poverty is less, but still here; program note
COMMENTARY: Haley’s ambition puts DHEC between rock, hard place
SPOTLIGHT: The S.C. Education Association
FEEDBACK: More judicial independence merited
SCORECARD: Thumbs up on jobless rate; down on violence against women
NUMBER: Two number ones
QUOTE: Peace be with us
S.C. ENCYCLOPEDIA: The Rev. John Martin Pike

by · 09/18/2015 · Full Issue
NEWS: Infrastructure Bank faces big challenges

NEWS: Infrastructure Bank faces big challenges

By Bill Davis | Plans are swirling in Columbia for how to improve the S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank, a major fiscal tool for big project that pave and fix the state’s roads and bridges

South Carolina, which has the fourth-largest roadway system in the country, is still facing a $40 billion tab to get its roadways up to a “good” level, according to the federal government.

Legislative efforts to more fully fund road projects have met with little success in recent years, even as costs continue to expand.

by · 09/18/2015 · News