S.C. lawmakers will not name interchange after President Trump or former President Obama

S.C. lawmakers will not name interchange after President Trump or former President Obama
Among other things, members of the committee said they were weary of naming a state road or building after a living person. (Source: CNN)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A panel of House members voted to set aside two resolutions that sought to name the Interstate 85/385 interchange in Greenville County after different politicians.

The House Invitations and Memorial Resolutions Committee is responsible for sending road naming resolutions to the House floor. And on Thursday they found themselves in the middle of a political debate of which they said they did not want to be a part.

“Sometimes it’s best to not take up things that make people have strong feelings one way or the other,” Chairman Jimmy Bales, D-Richland, said.

During their meeting Thursday, the committee discussed two resolutions to name the I-85/385 interchange.

One concurrent resolution filed by Rep. Jonathon Hill, R-Anderson, and Rep. Stewart Jones, R-Laurens, would name the interchange after President Donald J. Trump.

Another resolution, filed by Rep. John King, D-York, and Rep. Shedron Williams, D-Hampton, would name that same interchange after Former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Members of the committee said they were weary of naming a state road or building after a living person. They also said they did not want to get in the middle of a political debate and create divisiveness.

The committee voted unanimously to continue these two resolutions until next year. This is the second year of a two-year session, so these two resolutions are essentially killed.

A few hours after the vote, Rep. Bobby Cox, R-Greenville, took to Twitter to share that he submitted a resolution to name the same interchange after fallen Greenville Police Officer Allen Jacobs. Jacobs was killed in the line of duty in 2016.

WIS spoke with Cox after he submitted the resolution.

“If you’re going to name something, let’s name it after a local citizen who really personifies service to the community,” he said.

He said he wasn’t opposed to naming the interchange after Trump, but he believes the president would have preferred for the interchange to be named after Officer Jacobs.

Cox said he caught wind of a grassroots effort to submit this proposal to lawmakers via an online petition. As of Friday morning, the petition had nearly 20,000 signatures.

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