Since I last appeared on this page, the information flow from the State House has been somewhat sparse. With Heritage and holidays, the legislative productivity has slowed considerably. While the volume of information has been unimpressive, the importance of that information has been extraordinary.
The S.C. Transportation Infrastructure Bank (SCTIB) was looking at applications from both Beaufort and Jasper counties. Rep. Bill Herbkersman and I spent quite some time with members of the SCTIB Evaluation Committee, answering questions and providing information on the projects. We were gratified that both counties we represent got good news from the full SCTIB: $120 million toward the new bridge/entryway to Hilton Head Island; and a $28 million grant as well as a $28 million loan to build the new Exit 3 off I-95 in Jasper County.
It is true that both these projects were essential, with planning being well advanced, but $176 million for one region is a big number from an outfit that is usually more attuned to incremental financing.
I know you have heard me, for years, talk about the growing clout and efficiency of your Beaufort-Jasper Legislative Delegation. You now have 176 million more reasons to take seriously your delegation. We have the experience, seniority and committee assignments that allow us to serve you properly and efficiently.
The Fourth of July holiday this year was one of our best ever. It was the first time in 10 years when all our children were home for the holiday. That Saturday, we met some of our Myrtle Island neighbors at the south end of the sandbar.
We socially distanced appropriately with our children and many of theirs and had a lovely day and early evening.
The real treat, for me, was Sunday afternoon, when my bride, Rose, announced a “command performance” at the “little sandbar” off Gascoigne Bluff.
We loaded the boat with a full complement of young’uns, and a modest picnic of several bottles of water, some boiled peanuts, and a few chicken fingers. With no distractions, we sat in the sand, with the tidal water creeping up our legs and just talked.
It reminded me of the old days when life jackets and “swimmies” were required. I was more than a little concerned about water safety. Turns out, I might have been a little overbearing when it came to water safety – at least when I hear the stories now. In my memory, I was being a responsible adult, protecting adventurous children from the perils of real life.
As we sat in the sand and talked, I realized that our children were becoming young adults, and responsible young adults at that. I was heartened, in a way, but I also realized their maturity was making me somewhat obsolete. They loved me as a font of fatherly wisdom, but much of what they did meant they were lovingly patronizing me.
As I watched the tide come in, I understood that tide was an inevitability, as was children becoming adults. We did our job. They were OK. I ate some boiled peanuts, and was the happiest father in Beaufort County.
Weston Newton is the representative for District 120 in the State House of Representatives. WestonNewton@schouse.gov