Roll Call Voting and Fair Tax – Weekly Update from Rep. Tom Young

Update – March 29 to April 4, 2011

The House of Representatives is in session for 2011. The House meets this week and next before being on furlough the week before Easter.  I hope that you find this update helpful and informative:

Roll Call Voting Bill:  With Governor Haley approving, the House concurred in the Senate’s amendments to the roll call voting bill this past week.  The requirements of the legislation have no further hurdles to become state law.

Fair Tax Bill Filed:  The S.C. Fair Tax bill was filed this past week with 63 cosponsors.  Rep. Bill Taylor from the Aiken delegation should be commended both for his efforts in getting the bill drafted and in getting over the half of the House of Representatives to sign on as cosponsors at the time of filing. I am a cosponsor. For answers to frequently asked questions on the bill, go here.

Voter ID Bill:  The House is set to debate this legislation (H. 3003) this week.  As you may recall, the House passed this earlier in the session.  Now, the Senate has passed the bill with several amendments.  As amended by the Senate, the bill has both (1) a photo identification requirement and (2) an early voting provision.  The Senate’s list of the types of photo identification to be accepted is broader than the House version.

High School Dropout Bill: The House Education Committee has set this bill for a subcommittee hearing this Tuesday, April 5.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.  An article about the bill was in the Aiken Standard this week.  If you missed it, here it is.

Merger of Departments of Probation, Pardon, and Parole and Corrections:  The House approved legislation this past week which will merge the Departments of Corrections and Probation, Pardon, and Parole.  The merger is intended to streamline some functions of state government and to save money over the long term.

Graniteville Community Meeting: This past Thursday, March 31, 2011, there was a community meeting to celebrate the historic past of Graniteville, Warrenville, and Vaucluse and the unveiling of a new film about the area’s past, present, and future. The turn out of 500 people exceeded all expectations of those organizing the event. The revitalization of the Graniteville, Warrenville, and Vaucluse communities and their respective economies is critical to the long term future of Aiken County.  I am confident that the area can be transformed with new economic investment from the private sector.

Ethics and Lobbying Reform Bill:  Last year, I filed this bill (H. 3183) and the House passed it but the session ended before the Senate considered it. I refiled it this year and a House subcommittee advanced the bill this past week to the full Judiciary Committee.  The bill makes several changes to state law which the State Ethics Commission has advocated for some time.  In case you missed the article about the bill in the Augusta Chronicle, here it is.

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.

Aiken County SCDOT Projects Update:  The SCDOT recently provided a written report detailing the highway construction projects currently underway in Aiken County and a list of the projects completed in the past 10 years.  See the report here.

SC Education Oversight Report:  Recently, the 2010 Annual School and District Ratings were released by the SC Education Oversight Committee.  Notably, many of the Aiken County schools saw improvement.  Also, over half (60%) of all South Carolina public schools had at least 70% of their students living in poverty in 2010.  In 2010, one quarter (25%) of the state’s public schools served a population of students where 90% or more were living in poverty. Last Fall, I wrote about the challenges of generational poverty in South Carolina.  These statistics reflect how widespread this issue is in our state.  To see the report, go here.

House Redistricting Panel Public Hearing:  The House Judiciary Elections Laws Subcommittee will hold a public hearing regarding both House of Representatives and Congressional district reapportionment/redistricting on Monday, April 11 at 5:30 p.m. at Aiken Technical College.  The panel will listen to any interested citizen who would like to provide input for the House to consider as to the drawing of Congressional and House districts for the next decade in South Carolina. For more information, please call (803) 734-3120.

Helping Local Children with Hunger: With both the Aiken County Schools and Golden Harvest Food Bank, the 2010-2011 Leadership Aiken County class is sponsoring a group project to raise both awareness of and funds for children in Aiken County who are at risk for hunger.  To learn more, go here or call (803) 641-2856.

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)

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