Update – October 6 to October 13, 2010

The House of Representatives has adjourned for the 2010 session. I hope that you find this update helpful and informative:

South Carolina Receives High Rankings for Business Climate: South Carolina is rated in the Top 10 in America in 15 business category rankings according to a recent report in Business Facilities Magazine. South Carolina ranked #1 in “Economic Growth Potential” and #4 in “Best Business Climate.” To read the article, please click here.

House Republican Agenda for 2011: The House Republican Caucus unveiled a portion of its 2011 legislative session earlier this week as follows:

• Building Trust by Increasing Transparency: Last year, the House passed the on the record voting bill and it stalled in the Senate. The House Republicans will work to pass this again.
• Securing our State’s Finances with Spending Limits: The House Republicans will work to approve, for the sixth time in 15 years, spending caps for South Carolina’s budget.
• Securing our Elections by Requiring a Photo ID: Four out of five South Carolinians support showing a photo ID to prove who they are when they vote. The House passed this last year and House Republicans will work to do that again.
• Fighting Illegal Immigration: The House Republicans will work to further strengthen the 2008 immigration legislation which the General Assembly passed.
• Passing Tort Reform Legislation: Last year, the House passed a comprehensive tort reform bill which stalled in the Senate. House Republicans will work to pass a similar bill again this coming session.

State Retirement System: There will be a Roundtable discussion on the State Retirement System Retirement on Wednesday, October 20, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 252 of the Edgar Brown Building on the Statehouse grounds in Columbia. I plan to attend and the public is invited.

Speaking In Schools: On Thursday of last week, I was invited to speak to the 3rd grade students at East Aiken Elementary School. While there, I provided each of them a copy of the South Carolina symbols and emblems booklet. If you would like for me to speak with students in a local school, please let me know.

Christ Central Ministries: In recent weeks, I have written several times about the problems presented by generational poverty in our community and state. In those earlier reports, I provided information on volunteer efforts that can be made by concerned citizens to assist through Children’s Place and by volunteering in the local schools. Another organization which is doing good work in our community to combat the problems associated with generational poverty is Christ Central Ministries. Last week, I visited the Mentoring Center which Christ Central operates at Memorial Baptist Church; its facility near the new Wal Mart on Richland Avenue; and its new facility which it will open in Graniteville in November. To volunteer with Christ Central, please contact Judy Floyd at (803) 640-1708, Pat Sauls at (803) 257-3013, or visit the website, www.christcentralaiken.com, for more information including obtaining a volunteer application.

State Constitutional Amendments on Election Ballot on Election Day: On November 2, four constitutional amendments will be considered by all of those voting in South Carolina. For a look at what those amendments are, please click here: http://www.scvotes.org/2010/07/27/2010_constitutional_amendment_questions

Planning for the 2011 Legislative Session: The 2011 legislative session will convene on the second Tuesday in January. I am seeking input from constituents on the critical issues facing our state and area including tax reform; spending reform; K-12 education; the costs of higher education; health care; immigration; economic development; job growth; and the underfund liabilities in our state’s retirement systems. Your input is welcome on any issue important to you. Please email me back or contact me by phone or in person at your convenience.

Aiken High School Band Booster Club Fundraiser: The Aiken High School – Band Booster Club is sponsoring “A Night of Jazz”; Dinner, Music by the AHS Jazz Band, Dancing, and a Silent Auction on Thursday, October 21, at 6:00 pm at the Municipal Building in The Alley. Tickets are $35 each and are available at the Band website www.aikenbands.tk or by calling 641-9614, 642-2836 or 648-4733.

Frequency of My Updates: Since the legislature is not in session, my updates will not come every Monday as they do during session. I will strive to provide an update each week. However, there may be some weeks where I combine two weeks of updates into one. The frequency will be back to every week when the legislature reconvenes in January.

Speaking to Groups Around the District: Several local groups have asked me to attend 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. Recently, I spoke to the Aiken Sertoma Club.

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 nine 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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