Voter ID and High School Drop Outs – Weekly Update from Rep. Tom Young

Update – April 5 to April 11, 2011

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

Voter ID Bill:  The House debated this legislation (H. 3003) this week and passed it again for at least the sixth time since I have started in the House in 2009.  The House amended the Senate version of the bill and has made the bill exactly what is in the title – a voter identification bill requiring photo identification to be presented when voting.  The Senate’s version had an early voting provision.  The House amendment deletes that provision.  Now, the Senate has to concur with or reject the House amendment.

Roll Call Voting Bill:  Now that the Senate has joined the House in passing this legislation, Governor Haley is expected to sign this legislation into state law on Tuesday, April 12 at 11:30 a.m.

High School Dropout Bill: A House Education subcommittee passed this bill last Tuesday.  The bill (H. 3164) is now on the calendar for the full House Education Committee this Tuesday afternoon (April 12).This bill 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.  Several articles about the bill were in the media across the state this past week.  An article about the bill was in the Aiken Standard this past week.  If you missed it, that article is 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  tonight (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.

House Redistricting Hearings Last Week:  Last week, I attended redistricting hearings in Beaufort, Florence, Rock Hill, and Myrtle Beach.  This week, the hearings are in Aiken (April 11), Denmark (April 12), Greenville (April 13), and Summerville (April 14).

More on H-Canyon at SRS:  Last week, Governor Haley sent a letter to Secretary Chu at the Department of Energy regarding H-Canyon.  That letter can be seen here.  As recently reported, our legislative delegation has also sent 2 letters to Secretary Chu on this topic since early March.

Good News at SRS for Now:  Last week, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) announced that no more job reductions are needed right now on top of the up to 1,400 which had been projected several months ago.  In view of the recent DOE decision about H-Canyon, there was concern that the H-Canyon decision would mean more job losses at the Site.  For now, SRNS officials believe that the necessary restructuring can be done under the current reduction in force plan.

Governor Signs Law Ending Dual Office Holding:  On Thursday, Governor Haley signed a bill that was sponsored by Rep. Roland Smith and the rest of the Aiken County House delegation.  The law is aimed to end dual office holding.  It is significant because the bill started out as a local law and the Governor vetoed it.  However, she did so because she thought it should apply statewide.  Rep. Smith prepared it to do so and it passed as a statewide bill.  The Governor’s press release about the bill can be seen here.

Interstate Wildlife Compact Bill Passed:  The House gave final approval to this bill (H.3374) which requires that South Carolina join the Interstate Wildlife Compact. South Carolina has been one of a very few states not to have joined the Compact.  Under the Compact, wildlife law violations by a non-resident from a member state are handled as if the person were a resident, meaning they can be served a ticket rather than being arrested, booked, and bonded.  This process is a convenience for hunters, fishermen, and trappers of member states, and increases efficiency of wildlife officers by allowing more time for enforcement duties rather than violator processing procedures.  Rep. Bill Hixon from North Augusta sponsored the bill.

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.  The full Judiciary Committee passed this bill this past week.  It is now on the House calendar.

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. Apparently, a fiscal impact report was released late last week.  I will post that in next week’s update.  A House Education subcommittee is planning another hearing on this in the coming weeks. I welcome your feedback on this legislation.

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.

Small Business Development Work Shop:  The Aiken Small Business Development Center is offering a FREE tax work shop for prospective and new small business owners. The workshop will be held from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Wednesday, May 4, 2011, in the Penland Admin Building Conference Room 110 at USC Aiken.  For more information on registration, etc., please see here.

You may also find out more via e-mail: or by telephone: 803-641-3646.

Report Waste, Fraud and Abuse in State Government: There is a toll free phone number that South Carolinians can call anonymously to report waste, fraud and abuse they see in state government: 1-855-SC-FRAUD.

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 and the honor 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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