State House Update for Week of February 3-5, 2009

The House of Representatives met three days this week with most of the work occurring in committees. The Ways and Means Committee continued to hold hearings on various sections of the state budget. The full Ways and Means Committee will meet the week of February 9 as they prepare to submit a budget to the full House. I have spoken to several committee members about concerns of citizens in our district including conservation bank funding; state retiree health insurance; K-12 education; higher education; and funding for the “meals on wheels” program.

The Judiciary Committee met and approved bills including a bill that will require a woman seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours after getting an ultrasound test conducted by her physician before having the procedure performed.

A subcommittee of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee approved a bill intended to protect South Carolina’s native turtle population. I am a sponsor of this bill and it is of great importance to the staff at the Savannah River Ecology Lab in Aiken County. The bill now heads to the full Committee.

The Labor, Commerce, and Industry Committee met and approved a bill regulating pay day lenders. The bill now heads to the full House where a floor fight is expected within the next two weeks.

I called a special meeting this week for the Director of the Department of Social Services (DSS) to meet with me and other members of the House. We discussed the state’s failure to timely install the computerized child support enforcement system and the recent embezzlement arrest of a senior DSS official. Much of what I learned will be the topic of another column in the near future.

Several constituents called or emailed me during the week regarding pending legislation and matters in the district including the Graniteville/Vaucluse water system; funding for the math and science initiative; and the 24 hour waiting period abortion bill. I appreciate all of the insight from folks in our district.

Thank you to Aiken resident Mike Wood who came to see me at the State House on Wednesday to let me know his concerns and the concerns of AARP as to various pieces of legislation.

I also want to thank Grace Hayes, Lynn Chapman, and the other members of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Graniteville who came to the State House for a tour and gave me a chance to speak to them. My understanding is that they really enjoyed the tour and recommend it to others who have not taken it.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent and to serve you.

Rep. Tom Young

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