I hope some of you got to see the debate yesterday. Unfortunately, I believe it was overshadowed in today's news coverage by the House debate on property tax. As it turned out, the debate moved away from the merits of using the 2005-2006 surplus to repay our debt to the trust and reserve funds and then improve secondary roads. Instead, we ended up talking about the process.
"The process" refers to the way things really work in the South Carolina Senate. Those opposed to the amendment designed to repay the trust funds argued that it hadn't gone through the process of sub-committee and full committee. Indeed, it hadn't, and that was, in my eyes, one of its merits.
If a large chunk of money, such as the estimated $275,000,000 plus we're talking about here, goes through the process, the outcome is unknown. It may be spent as we proposed, or it may be divided up in to numerous local projects. Thus the debate yesterday was really about whether we were going to do the fiscally responsible thing and repay our debts or whether we were going to submit to the process and use the budget as a grab-bag. There are many legitimate needs, but I would prefer to pay off the debts, then channel the money to either our deteriorating roads and/or to the taxpayer.
This is where you folks need to weigh in. Let me know what you think of this debate and the way the SC Senate treats your money. I look forward to hearing from you.