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ChamberBuzz: A break in the traffic jam

TOPLINE: We spoke and the Senate listened…. For the last two weeks we’ve been calling on South Carolina citizens to speak out about #scroads and contact their Senators to urge them to start taking votes on the roads bill. State Chamber President Ted Pitts also spoke on behalf of the business community in an op/ed in The State putting senators on notice: “The state’s business community is taking notice, and we collectively say to our senators: Put an end to the inaction. Put an end to the politics. It’s time to vote.” Full op/ed here. Senators took notice because 3 days later, cloture was invoked on the roads filibuster and the Senate began to take up votes on amendments. Now we have forward progress…but still a long way to go.The plan….
1. Senators are reported to have agreed to a plan that puts 400 million additional recurring dollars into roads annually through the general fund.
2.The plan also reforms the DOT, making the DOT accountable to the governor.
3. The STIB would be made accountable to the DOT.

While this plan is not perfect, we believe it is a step in the right direction to making the DOT accountable and providing for recurring dollars to fix our roads. Chamber president Ted Pitts said, “We applaud the South Carolina Senate for moving forward with the debate on DOT reform and infrastructure funding.  We are hopeful that senators will put the people of South Carolina first and pass a bill that will make our roads safer. Providing sustainable and recurring revenue and reforming the DOT and STIB are the top priorities for the business community. We will continue to push for a proposal that achieves these priorities.”

Long road ahead… We urge you to continue the pressure on the Senate to continue the progress. Contact your senator here and speak out about how #scroads affect you here!

#SCSpeaksOut submissions continue to highlight problems with SC Roads…Larry from Columbia says if we don’t #fixscroads we’ll need to learn how to use a horse and buggy. What do you think? Tell us here and see below for other great #SCSpeaksOut submissions.

SC Chamber and #SCRoadsDebate continues to be at forefront of South Carolina media“But lawmakers have to act if our state roads are ever going to get repaired and other essential priorities are to be addressed. The inability of the Senate to act is a disgrace and, as the Chamber of Commerce notes, a failure of senators to do the job they were elected to do. Maybe they shouldn’t get paid until they start doing that job.”- The Rock Hill Herald Editorial Board: State senators should vote to end filibuster

There is no better evidence of the priority than the S.C. Chamber of Commerce’s present campaign on Twitter — #SCSPEAKSOUT – in which people are telling their horror stories from the road.” –The Times and Democrat on South Carolinians desire to #FixSCRoads. The Times and Democrat: Senate should stop delaying road repair

“After a South Carolina Chamber of Commerce leader publicly pressured the S.C. Senate to make a move on its stalled roads bill earlier this week, Aiken business leaders said Wednesday they were looking to senators to address the condition of the state’s infrastructure.” – Aiken Standard: Aiken business leaders counting on S.C. senators to move on roads bill

“Pitts noted it has been nearly a year since the S.C. House of Representatives passed a bill to fund roads and sent it to the Senate. During that stretch, the Senate — stymied by an anti-tax filibuster — has not taken a vote on the House bill or one of its own,” Columbia Regional Business Report: Opposing groups pressure S.C. Senate on roads bill

The S.C. Chamber of Commerce has also jumped into the fray, calling on the Senate to end its filibuster and take action on the roads bill as soon as possible. Ted Pitts, president of the state chamber, said there needs to be a plan to both fund road maintenance and reform DOT.” – Columbia Regional Business Report: Haley takes shot at Senate for blocking road bill

“Business groups are also pressuring the Senate to do something. The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce started the week with a statement saying they noted the lack of action and urging members to contact lawmakers and sent a second statement Thursday.” – The Index Journal: Another week ends with no votes on road funding in SC Senate

“The Senate has yet to vote on a long-term road funding bill even though 321 days have passed since the House passed its own roads bill raising funds for infrastructure repairs, changing the way highway commissioners are selected and providing some tax relief, said Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.” –The Greenville News: Chamber CEO says senators should return pay for roads inaction

“Dozens of business leaders came to the Statehouse to lobby on Tuesday, telling senators it is time to take votes. That led for Pitts to call for senators to stop taking their salaries until they pass a roads bill. “In the business world, you don’t get paid if you don’t do your job,” Pitts said. – The State: Business leaders want SC Senate to give up paychecks

“In the business community, you don’t get paid if you don’t do your job,” said Pitts, joined by three-dozen representatives of the S.C. Infrastructure Coalition at a State House press conference. “I want every S.C. senator to start returning their paycheck back to the taxpayer on a daily basis for every day they fail to start voting on the amendments on the desk.” – The State: Senators pressured to pass, kill roads bill

More coverage…..

Seeking Young Professionals to serve on LeadSC Steering Committee… If you or a YP in your organization is interested in helping to plan year’s LeadSC YP Conference, please contact Molly McCarthy at molly.mccarthy@scchamber.net.The Conference will be held September 21-22 and planning is getting underway now.

One more thing… We’re partnering with the SBA to name the Entrepreneurs of the Year at South Carolina Salute to Small Business! The three award categories are: Minority Entrepreneur of the Year; Veteran Entrepreneur of the Year and Female Entrepreneur of the Year. Know anyone that falls under those categories? Nominate them here! Deadline to apply is April 4th.

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