- Associated Press - Friday, September 12, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina’s acting House speaker has created a bi-partisan study committee to develop a plan for funding the state’s dilapidated roads and bridges and reforming the Department of Transportation again.

Speaker Pro Tem Jay Lucas and Ways and Means Chairman Brian White jointly announced Friday the 13-member committee will start meeting Tuesday. Its chairman will be Rep. Gary Simrill of York County, home to some of the state’s best roads thanks to an extra penny on sales taxes that voters first approved collecting in 1997.

Gov. Nikki Haley has repeatedly pledged to veto any bill that raises the state’s 16-cents-per-gallon fuel tax to fund infrastructure.

The announcement comes one day after Bobby Harrell suspended himself from office, and Lucas became acting speaker.

The Legislature last restructured the DOT in 2007.

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