Young: Infrastructure is an issue

South Carolina has tremendous infrastructure needs to repair its roads and bridges, said S.C. House Republican nominee Tom Young, but the current economic crisis may make it impossible to support a bond bill to meet some of those needs.

Yet it’s not realistic, either, for the state to pay for infrastructure with current dollars, Young told Sunrise Rotary members Thursday. He is unopposed in the November general election for S.C. House District 81.

While he won’t officially start work in the legislature until December, “I’ve been trying to get a head start on some of the issues,” Young said. “I’ve been meeting with people around the community and districts and also met with some key agency heads and contact persons on each staff on constituency issues.”

His district includes not only much of Aiken but also much of Warrenville, Graniteville and Vaucluse. The water system in that area is a major concern.

“The infrastructure is 100 years old and is crumbling,” Young said. “DHEC has tested it, and the safety is fine, but the water’s appearance is bad. But we’ll have to find the money to pay for that.”

Regarding other legislative matters:

4 Young expects lawmakers to revisit education finance reform, which in part has increased the tax burden on business property.

4 More nursing programs and expansions are needed to deal with shortages in that profession. Immigration issues are also hindering the arrival of trained nurses from overseas, Young said.

4 The public schools also face teacher shortages “and we’re going to have to pay teachers more and provide them with incentives,” he said. “How we pay for them will be matter of priorities.”

The Aiken Standard
September 26, 2008

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