Update – June 7 to June 13, 2010

The House of Representatives did not meet this past week as the regular session ended on June 3. I hope that you find this update helpful and informative:

House of Representatives to Meet in Special Session: Both the House and the Senate will meet this week on Tuesday, June 15 to address gubernatorial vetoes of portions of the state’s budget and other legislation passed in the last few days of the 2010 session. In addition to portions of the budget, the Governor vetoed seven bills last week and has 43 more sitting on his desk for his consideration.

Governor Sanford’s Budget Vetoes: South Carolina’s Governor, unlike the President of the United States, has the line item veto for the appropriations bill/state budget. During his past week, using that line item veto authority, Governor Sanford vetoed 107 line items and provisos in the final version of the budget passed by the General Assembly. The vetoed items total more than $400 Million. The House and the Senate meet this Tuesday to consider whether to sustain or to override the Governor’s vetoes. Some of the Governor’s vetoes included, but were not limited to, the state funding for the county libraries including the Aiken County Library; funding for the SC Arts Commission; funding for SCETV; $3 Million to fund a study of the I-95 corridor; and operational funding for the South Carolina Technical College System. I am reviewing the vetoes and developing a position on each before Tuesday. I am certain as of now that I will vote to override the veto as to the county library funding and the operational funding for the State’s Technical College System. The Governor also vetoed the entire section of the budget where the General Assembly appropriated the “FMAP” money before it has been received by the State from the Federal Government. I voted against the budget two weeks ago, in part, because it is uncertain that the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) will come and there are critical state needs that are being funded with that money which may not arrive. I thought that once we learned that the money may not come, then the budget writers should have reprioritized spending so that critical needs were not being funded with that money. After being assured that a veto of that section by the Governor would be sustained and after other concerns were addressed by House Republican leadership including moving closer to implementing zero based budgeting requirements for the 2011 fiscal year budget, I voted for the budget two weeks ago. I plan to vote to sustain the Governor’s veto of the FMAP money appropriations. I will be working with my colleagues to fund the critical need areas in that section with a supplemental appropriations bill after other vetoes are sustained. If you feel strongly about a particular veto and have not yet emailed or called me, please let me know before Tuesday.

Voter Identification Bill: On Tuesday, a vote is expected on the final version of this bill. My understanding is that the bill requires voter identification to vote. The photo identification requirement will start in the 2012 elections. Also, it has an eight day period for early voting. This eight day period is from Saturday to Saturday prior to an election day. Finally, the bill still allows absentee voting under certain circumstances during the 30 days prior to an election. I plan to support it based on my understanding of the current version.

Town Meeting: I am planning a town meeting to provide an end of session report for Tuesday, June 29, 2010 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Odell Weeks Center on Whiskey Road. The public is invited.

Aiken County Public Library Summer Reading Program: The annual summer reading program for children through the 5th grade has started at the Aiken County Public Library. The Program runs through July 31. Children who read the required number of books will receive a medal and a certificate of completion. Reading is essential to doing well in school. Please encourage as many young people as you can to read this summer. For more information, call the Aiken County Public Library or simply click here.

Speaking to Groups Around District: Several local groups have asked me to come one of their meetings to provide an end of session report to their members. If you have a group that would like for me to come to a meeting during the next few months, please let me know.

Email Updates: Many people in District 81 are receiving this email update. However, there are many others who do not receive them because I do not know their email addresses. If you know of people who do not receive my updates but they would like to, please email their names and email addresses to me.

Road Issues: If you see a road problem, you can call the SCDOT at 641-7665 or Aiken County at 642-1532 to report the problem. If you do not get a prompt response, please let me know at TomYoung@schouse.gov or call me. In the past five months, I have received many different reports of problems and I have relayed those to the appropriate agencies.

Thank you for the opportunity to represent you. Please let me know if I can help you in any way or if you have questions about these or other issues. Your feedback is meaningful and appreciated.

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