Here’s a shocker: The SC General Assembly slipped a last-minute proviso in the budget earlier this year to pay off a pair of loans that were taken out by the city of Columbia and Aiken County to build hydrogen fueling stations.
The bill for this legislative end-around? Some $1.45 million, according to the South Carolina Policy Council.
“In a last-minute move, legislators slipped a proviso in the FY 09-2010 budget that repaid $1,450,800 taken out by the city of Columbia and Aiken County for the fueling stations,” the Policy Council reports. “That money went to pay off loans originally taken out by the municipalities through the ConserFund, a low-interest program administered by the South Carolina Energy Office.
“But the maneuver was really just a backdoor deal to get more money for one of House Speaker Bobby Harrell’s favorite economic development programs – without coming out and saying the money was for hydrogen transportation research.”