March 3, 2016 11:30 AM, EST

S.C. Senate Finally Begins Debate on Transportation Bill

Eight weeks into the 2016 legislative session, Democrats in South Carolina’s Senate late March 2 agreed to allow debate on the Republicans’ $400 million transportation funding bill, which doesn’t include a gas tax increase.

Since the legislation includes nearly 250 amendments, the debate, which began March 3, figures to go into next week. Under cloture rules invoked by the Republican majority, each amendment can be discussed for up to 20 minutes.

After employing stalling tactics for a couple of hours and a huddle on the floor involving about 20 senators from both parties, Democrats relented and permitted the bill that allows the governor to appoint every member of the state Department of Transportation Board to be considered.

This goes against the wishes of Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman and came after a two-week Republican filibuster led by Sen. Tom Davis.