The Interstate 95 corridor in South Carolina is also known as the “Corridor of Shame,” a distinction that lawmakers would like to see fixed. But solutions have to be found at the local level, says Sen. John Matthews (D-Orangeburg).
He says the I-95 Blue Ribbon Study Committee released a report in late 2010 saying two things that the state needed were leadership and coordination. Matthews has sponsored a bill to try to provide both by creating an I-95 Corridor Authority:
“I don’t think the federal government or the state government can solve this problem,” says Matthews. “Local leaders are going to have to get together and do something.”The I-95 Corridor Authority would be governed by a board of directors that is composed of 19 members appointed by the legislature and the presidents or designees of Francis Marion University, South Carolina State University, and Claflin University. It also sets up six non-voting members, one appointed by each individual Regional Council of Government of member counties.
The group the bill sets up must first implement the I-95 Blue Ribbon Study Committee recommendations and find economic ways to compete.
The bipartisan bill cleared second reading in the Senate last week and Matthews says it should go to the House this week.