Sen. Davis won't back bill naming interchange for Patrick

newsroom@islandpacket.comMay 19, 2014 

A measure to name an interchange on the Cross Island Parkway after Rep. Andy Patrick could falter when it reaches the state Senate.

The resolution, which has passed the House of Representatives, would ask the state Department of Transportation to post signs designating the road network where the parkway and Spanish Wells Road intersect on Hilton Head Island as the "Representative Andy Patrick Interchange."

Passage in the Senate doesn't look promising, though. It would require the support of Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, but Davis says he won't back the bill. His coolness has nothing to do with Patrick's record as a legislator, he said. Rather, Davis said he has consistently "opposed naming roads or other public infrastructure in honor of legislators."

Davis said last week that when he was chief of staff for then-Gov. Mark Sanford and during his six years as a senator, he opposed the practice. It doesn't matter whether the lawmakers are "active or retired and irrespective of either the length or merit of the legislators' service," he said in a text when asked about honoring Patrick.

Without Davis' backing, prospects for naming the interchange after Patrick are bleak.

Such measures can be considered by the full Senate only if the senator whose district would be affected -- Davis, in this case -- asks the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee to move it forward.

Davis said that "because of the policy position I've taken on such matters, I will not request that this particular House bill be reported out" of the Transportation Committee to the full Senate.

In January, Patrick, R-Hilton Head, ended his campaign for state superintendent of education after news accounts of his personal financial problems. He also said he would leave the legislature when his term ends later this year.

The resolution to honor him was sponsored by Reps. Bill Herbkersman, R-Bluffton; Weston Newton, R-Bluffton; and Ken Hodges, R-Green Pond. It states that "it would be fitting and proper to name an intersection on Hilton Head Island in (Patrick's) honor as a lasting tribute to his faithful service to his community, state, and country."

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