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Roads, Broadband Part of SC House’s $1.8B COVID Relief Plan

By February 18, 2022No Comments

Source:  U.S.News & World Report

by: , Jeffrey Collins

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House passed its own version of a plan to spend nearly $1.8 billion in federal COVID-19 relief money that has just small differences from the proposal passed by the Senate the day before.

The House’s plan spends $800 million on repairing and rebuilding water and sewer systems, $100 million less than the Senate plan. It also sets aside $400 million for expanding broadband internet into rural areas and gives $100 million to the Office of Resilience to fight flooding and buy land in areas that frequently flood. That money is not in the Senate plan.

Both chambers want to give the Department of Transportation $450 million to replace lost gas tax revenue and jump-start projects like widening Interstate 26 to three lanes between Columbia and Charleston.

“We are living in a state that is gradually corroding,” said Rep. Robert Williams, a Democrat from Darlington.

The House approved the plan 99-11 and it needs just one more routine vote. Since the Senate had its own version that passed unanimously Tuesday, both chambers will eventually have to work the out differences to send the proposal to the governor’s desk.

In the House, most questions surrounded the water and sewer improvements. The bill would require larger systems to put up 25% of a project’s cost to get federal money to pay the rest. Smaller systems would need a 15% match.

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