House Reconvenes this Week – Weekly Update from Rep. Tom Young

Update – March 22 to March 28, 2011

The House of Representatives is in session for 2011. The House did not meet last week but returns to session this week on Tuesday, March 29.  I hope that you find this update helpful and informative:

Town Meeting: Last Wednesday, about 50 people attended the town meeting which I held at Odell Weeks.  During the meeting, I provided a legislative update and discussed issues of importance to those attending.

Aiken Standard article: Yesterday, an article that I wrote about reforms at the State House was in the Aiken Standard.  If you missed it, you can see it here.

High School Dropout Bill: The House Education Committee has set this bill for a subcommittee hearing this Wednesday, March 30.This bill (H.3164) prohibits possession of a driver’s license until age 18 unless the young person is enrolled in, or has completed, high school.  The bill does have a hardship provision for some limited exceptions including where the young person has to go to work to support himself or his immediate family. Although this bill is not the “silver bullet” to the high school dropout problem, it is part of the solution in our effort to combat the high school dropout rate in the short term. Georgia and North Carolina have similar requirements in their state law.

High School Graduation Rate Declines from 2009 to 2010:  According to the State Department of Education, the state’s 2010 graduation rate of 72.1% declined 1.6% from the 2009 rate of 73.7%.  The article can be seen here.

SRS, H-Canyon, and Department of Energy:  Last week, our county legislative delegation sent another letter to Secretary Chu of the Department of Energy (DOE) as to the DOE directive to SRNS to take H-Canyon to a “safe minimum operating level.” A copy of that letter can be seen here.  It is important that the DOE use H Area as a processing facility to dispose of spent fuels as well as a research and development center for Savannah River National Laboratory to immediately and aggressively identify technologies to solve the “back-end” of the nuclear fuel cycle and reduce the risks presented to our communities from the storage of spent nuclear fuel.

School Choice Bill:  This bill (H. 3407) will allow state tax credits in certain circumstances to qualifying families for children to attend non-public schools.  The bill is modeled after a similar law which passed in Florida about 10 years ago.  For frequently asked questions on the bill, go here. The subcommittee will take additional testimony within the next couple of weeks.  I welcome your feedback on this legislation.

Governor Issues Executive Order as to Health Exchanges:  On March 10, Governor Haley issued an Executive Order establishing the South Carolina Health Exchange Planning Committee.  If South Carolina is not able to opt out successfully from the mandates of the new Federal Health Care law pushed by President Obama; if the law is not ruled unconstitutional; or if Congress does not repeal it, then the new federal law will affect all of us here in South Carolina.  The Governor’s Committee is required to recommend by October 28, 2011 whether or not the State should establish a health insurance exchange.  A copy of the Executive Order can be seen here.

SC Retirement System:  Some people in our district have contacted me asking about the different plans under the SC Retirement System.   A good place to learn more about the SC Retirement Systems plans is the annual comprehensive update for the plans which you can access by clicking here.  A summary of the basic provisions of the five plans operated by the System can be found here.

Conservation Bank Funding in State Budget: The State Conservation Bank will receive $750,000.00 in the House version of the 2011/2012 state budget.  The Conservation Bank assists in purchasing easements and fee simple interests for the preservation of open space throughout the State.  The Aiken Land Conservancy has benefitted from the receipt of Conservation Bank funds with its acquisition of properties including the Boyd Pond tract and a portion of the Heritage Trust Gopher Tortoise tract.

In-Home Care Licensure Bill Passes:  The House passed this bill (H. 3012) recently.  The bill proposes the licensing of agencies that provide in-home adult care services to the public.  The legislation requires the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to establish a licensure program for in-home care providers. “In-home care” means assistance with activities of daily living and personal care. An in-home care provider is defined as a person or business that directly provides in-home care services through its own employees or through contractual arrangements. DHEC must include standards for liability insurance in in-home care regulations. The legislation requires drug testing for licensed in-home care providers and for their employees and makes them subject to random drug testing. In-home care provider exceptions include a licensed home health agency or hospice; in-home care service obtained through churches and other religious institutions as long as the care is provided without compensation or for a nominal fee to cover incidental expenses; or individuals hired directly by the person receiving care or by his family.  With full passage of the bill, the public will be able to verify through a licensing board an agency’s licensure and “good-standing” status in regards to general training and screenings of caregivers employed by an agency.

Movie about Graniteville: This Thursday, March 31, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.,  the GVW Community Investment Corporation will present a movie about Graniteville:  Past, Present, and Future.  The show will be at Hickman Mill at 133 Marshall Street in Graniteville.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $5.00 for children and adults 65 years old and up.  Children 3 and under are free.  Tickets can be purchased from Security Federal Bank, Plum Pudding in Aiken, and Napier’s Hardware in Graniteville.  Call 663-3995, ext. 222 for more information.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month:  March is colorectal cancer awareness month.  Colorectal cancer is the #2 cause of cancer death in the U.S.  My family has been affected by this.  I encourage others to be screened and to promote awareness of colorectal cancer.  Locally, to learn more in Aiken, there is a public awareness presentation by the Savannah River Cancer Foundation on Tuesday, March 29 at 10 am at the Aiken County Library.  Also, you can learn more by visiting this website:

Speaking with Area Students:  This past week, I spoke with students at USC Aiken.  Additionally, I visited with the Junior Leadership Aiken County class on Friday.

Thoroughbred Country – South Carolina Regional Tourism Organization: If you are interested in learning more about tourism attractions, services, and programs in the four county region of Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, and Barnwell, visit or see their recent newsletter here.

Roll Call Voting: There is a new link available to keep up with all the roll call votes in the S.C. House.  That link can be accessed at either my website at or at the website.

Facebook: I now have a Facebook page for Representative Tom Young. Please “like” the page to receive updates during the week from me on Facebook.

Tom Young’s New Website: I also have a new and updated website. The site can be reached at There are links to a variety of constituent services; the status of sponsored bills; and roll call votes. Please add my web site as a bookmark on your computer.

State House Tours:  Tours are available for the S.C. State House.  If you are interested, please call (803) 734-2430.  Additionally, if you schedule your tour on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday between now and early June, please let me know so I can make every effort to see you during your tour.

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 or call me.  In general terms, most paved roads in the County are maintained by SCDOT and are identified on the road- sign poles by a small black and white sign listing the road number, such as S-2-1669.  On the other hand,  nearly all unpaved roads in the County are maintained by the County.

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.


Tom Young
649-0000 (o)
215-3631 (cell)

P.S. Please visit for more posts, news, video updates, and, if you have Twitter, please click here to start following me!


  1. Carol McNulta says

    We were recently informed that our State Unimployment Insurance rate has DOUBLED for our teeny tiny business. We have paid into it for 23 years and have had only 2 claims!! What in the heck is going on? On the surface, it sounds like the workers are being forced to bail out the slackers. That can’t be, can it? The only winners these days are the people who don’t work. We certainly won’t be considering hiring anyone any time soon. It seems that the people who have struggled through this economic downturn and somehow made it (so far) are the ones being penalized – for tightening their belts and not giving up. No wonder so many people are throwing in the towel! Socialism – what a scarey thought.
    Any information re: who is responsible for this big idea, how they computed the new rates, and what we can do about it would be greatly appreciated.

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