Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young

July 13 to July 19, 2011

The House of Representatives is out of session for 2011. I hope that you find this update about information around District 81 and at the State House helpful and informative:

Yucca Mountain: Many people in District 81 have been following the Yucca Mountain issue closely.  Recently, the federal appeals court in the District of Columbia ruled that the suit brought by Aiken County, the State of South Carolina, and other states to challenge the federal government’s decision to shut down Yucca Mountain is premature.  The Court ruled that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (“NRC”) has to act before the suit brought by the County, the State, and other states can move forward. However, the Court also said that the County and the states can revive their lawsuit if the NRC fails to act soon, noting that a three-year deadline for either approving or rejecting the application is “at hand,” since the application was formally registered at the NRC in September 2008. “We will not permit an agency to insulate itself from judicial review by refusing to act,” the Court said.  What this means is that the battle over Yucca Mountain is not over despite the Court’s decision.

SRS Draft Strategic Plan: Last week, the DOE released the draft 2011 SRS Strategic Plan with further details regarding how DOE will start moving toward and achieving a future vision for SRS. The plan can be seen on the SRS website by accessing the link on the right hand side of this website: www.srs.gov.  According to DOE, the plan outlines how current missions support Site operations and identifies high level assumptions and strategic objectives that will drive DOE’s planning as DOE looks to transform SRS for future missions that effectively utilize the site’s physical, technological and human assets. DOE seeks your input and welcomes your comments which may be sent electronically to Richard.Olsen@srs.gov or mailed to his attention at:

Richard Olsen
U.S. Department of Energy
Building 730-B, Room 3468
Aiken, S.C. 29803

Comments will be accepted through the end of August and the final plan released in early fall.

House Returns on July 26:  Next Tuesday, July 26, the House of Representatives returns to session to consider Congressional redistricting plans.

CNBC Top States for Business: CNBC released its 2011 annual rankings of the 50 states as to which are the best for business.  South Carolina moved down from 31 in 2010 to 39 in 2010 (Number 37 in 2009).  Our neighboring states North Carolina and Georgia are ranked number 3 and 4 respectively. The following article explains the rankings and the criteria used in coming to the rankings: click here to view the article and the 50 state rankings.

Avondale Water System Update:  As to the water system updates in Graniteville, the water line contractor is finishing phase 1 this week.  Phase 2 which is water line work in the New Town and Vaucluse areas will be bid in early September with work expected to begin in October.  If you have questions, please call Calvin Smith at Valley Public Service Authority at 593-2053.

Caylee’s Law:  In the wake of the verdict in Florida two weeks ago, I have received hundreds of emails from concerned area citizens about a proposed new law to make it a felony for a parent or guardian (1) not to report a missing child within 24 hours of learning that the child is missing and/or (2) not to report within 1 hour of learning that a child is deceased.   Most of these emails were generated from the petition website (change.org).  Many other House members have received the same requests.  We are working with legislative staff to research what is currently on the books in South Carolina. When the House returns for the 2012 session in January, we will be ready to address this if current law does not suffice.

End of Session Town Meetings:  Like the past two years, I plan to hold end of session town meetings around the district.   Based on constituent requests, I will hold those after the summer vacation season ends.  The dates, times, and locations will be provided in future updates.

Palmetto Amateur Tournament in Aiken: The 2011 Palmetto Amateur golf tournament will be in Aiken at the Palmetto Golf Club this week from July 20 to 23.  The event is one of the top amateur golf events in the United States.  To learn more about the event, go here: www.palmettoamateur.com. The public is invited.

Aiken County Animal Shelter & SPCA: You may have read about the overcrowding at the Aiken County Animal Shelter in the paper last week.  You can follow this weblink at http://aikenspca.org/adopt to see a list of adoptable pets at both the Aiken SPCA and the Aiken County Animal Shelter.

Aiken Young Professionals 5th Friday Event:  The Aiken Young Professionals and The City of Aiken are cosponsoring a community event to be held every Fifth Friday of the year.  The first 5th Friday event will be held July 29, 2011 in The Alley and will feature live music by the band “Anybody’s Guess” along with games for children and specials at participating restaurants.  This event is for all ages.  To learn more, go to http://www.aiken-yp.com/5thfriday/

Help for Displaced SRS Workers: If you or someone you know lost a job at SRS, there is a One-Stop Transition Center open in downtown Aiken at Park Avenue and Laurens Street to assist workers displaced at SRS with finding new work.  The Center is open from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. For more information, visit www.workforce.psa-inc.com.

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 30.  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 at 642-2020 or go to this link:  http://www.abbe-lib.org/ . This program is paid for with private donations from the Friends of the Public Library.

Report Waste, Fraud and Abuse in State Government: To report waste, fraud and abuse in state government, you can call: 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 www.reptomyoung.com or at the www.scstatehouse.gov website.

Facebook:  I 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 Website: My updated website can be reached at www.reptomyoung.com. 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 by calling (803) 734-2430.

Email Updates:  If you know of people in or around District 81 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, 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. Generally, 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. Most 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)

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

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