COLUMBIA (AP) — The Senate’s top Democrat proposes borrowing $500 million to fund road projects across South Carolina.


Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler introduced the bond bill Wednesday. The West Columbia Democrat said it’s a way to fix some of the state’s infrastructure needs without raising fuel taxes, since Republicans who control state government refuse to consider that.


Setzler said the state’s roads and bridges are deteriorating daily, and the investment must be made. He said the state hasn’t issued a bond bill since 1999.


The Department of Transportation said it needs an additional $1.5 billion annually for the next 20 years just to bring the state’s roads to good condition.


Gov. Nikki Haley also said repairing the state’s infrastructure is critical, though her plan would fund a tiny fraction of the need.