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Forty-Two State Chambers Urge Action On Infrastructure

Author: Julie Scott

Source: SC Chamber Press Release

March 4, 2015

March 4, 2015                                                                    
For Immediate Release

Contact: Julie Scott
803 255-2628
julie.scott@scchamber.net

Columbia, SC – More than 40 state chambers of commerce are calling on Congress to make long term investments in America’s transportation infrastructure a top priority. In a letter addressed to congressional leaders, the heads of 42 state chambers of commerce – the voices of business in their respective states – argue that America is losing one of its great strengths as infrastructure deteriorates and the nation’s ability to efficiently move goods and services crumbles along with it. The business community urges Congress to avoid a string of short-term patches and pass MAP-21’s successor soon. Read the letter.

South Carolina’s congressional delegation will discuss infrastructure at the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce’s Washington Night, presented by AT&T, March 31 at 4 p.m. at the Marriott Columbia. 

Congress faces a critical crossroads as it discusses both the solvency of the Federal Highway Trust Fund and the reauthorization of the surface transportation bill passed in 2012. Meanwhile, the United States is losing its competitive edge with the rest of the world. China, India and Europe spend about 9%, 8% and 5% of their gross domestic products (GDP), respectively, on infrastructure investment. Meanwhile, infrastructure investments in the United States have declined to a mere 2.4% of GDP. In fact, in 2013 the American Society of Civil Engineers gave the United States a D+ on its infrastructure report card. 

In South Carolina, the state’s business community is calling on the South Carolina General Assembly to achieve a sustainable and recurring funding stream for infrastructure, critical to regional competitiveness. Last week, the South Carolina Chamber hosted an Infrastructure Forum to delve further into the state and national infrastructure crisis. See scenes from the Forum. 

Some quotes from the day:
Congressman Tom Rice: “We’ve got to quit punting and putting Band-Aids on these fixes.”

SC Senator Larry Grooms: “We passed a reform bill, now it’s time to fund the agency,” referring to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT). “We have to do something.” 

SC Senator Thomas McElveen: “The next generation will have real trouble if we don’t do anything.”

SC Representative Russell Ott: “There is a lot of agreement between Republicans and Democrats on infrastructure, yet we have a product of inaction over the years.”

See a brief video from the SC Infrastructure Forum Legislative Panel

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, the nation’s first state chamber Accredited with Distinction by the U.S. Chamber, is South Carolina’s largest statewide broad-based business and industry trade association. As the unified voice for business and industry, the Chamber is a catalyst for increasing wealth and enhancing the state’s global competitiveness in order to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians.

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