COLUMBIA — House Democrats laid out lofty hopes for the 2017 legislative session on Tuesday, including finding a permanent fix for road funding by bringing luxury casinos to South Carolina and legalizing medical marijuana.
House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, said that while the gas tax-supported roads funding bill introduced earlier this year is a good starting point to solving the state’s infrastructure problems, more needs to be done.
“That roads bill is exactly what Democrats have been talking about all these years,” he said at a press conference called by party lawmakers. “And now that we’ve gotten rid of Governor Haley, we believe that that roads bill can go into effect.”
Former Gov. Nikki Haley left last week to become U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Rep. Russell Ott, D-St. Matthews, said if the state is going to levy additional taxes for the state’s residents, it needs to encourage employers to pay them a living wage.
Rutherford encouraged the Legislature to pass a bill he is sponsoring that would allow luxury casinos as a way to pay for road improvements.