GOVERNOR, SENATORS PUSH FOR DOT ACCOUNTABILITY, REFORM
Gov. Mark Sanford today joined with pro-reform Senators to push for meaningful restructuring of the state Department of Transportation, aimed at bringing about accountability to the people of South Carolina.
The Senate has been debating a reform bill that would bring greater accountability to the agency, but those efforts were jeopardized last week by an amendment that creates a legislative shadow commission, which will in effect run the agency. Gov. Sanford today renewed his call to reject changes to the bill that would insulate the agency from the people of South Carolina.
"Senator Grooms, Senator Ryberg and others have made real DOT reform a priority, and it's unfortunate that the recent changes to this bill have the potential to create a structure worse than what already exists," Gov. Sanford said. "The worst thing that the Senate could do to the people of this state is to create yet another layer of bureaucracy - in this case a new legislative shadow commission controlled by a few powerful legislators - that further insulates DOT management from taxpayers. I'd urge every reform-minded Senator who truly cares about how taxpayer dollars are spent and who cares about the state of our infrastructure to help undo these changes and to insist on real reform."
"It's not too late to right the U-turn the Senate took last Thursday," Sen. Larry Grooms said. "These changes would actually make the DOT less accountable and will needlessly inject more politics into the road building process. It would further politicize our already-polarized decision-making process by placing more day-to-day control in the hands of politicians, rather than those who know how to build and maintain roads."
"As it stands, this bill doesn't address the real problem at DOT - the fact that the agency is simply not accountable to the taxpayers of this state," Sen. Greg Ryberg said. "We don't need another layer of politicization between the people and the DOT. What we need is a bold step forward to address the problems highlighted in the audit that showed tens of millions of dollars being squandered by that agency. Senator Grooms, myself and others believe that real reform means making this agency more accountable to the Executive Branch, not less accountable."