Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young

August 23 to August 29, 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:

Unemployment Rate Information: While the unemployment rate statewide rose, Aiken is 2nd in the State with the lowest unemployment rate. To see the latest details across the state, please click here.

SCDOT Weekly Update:  The Department of Transportation started a weekly update last week to inform the public about what is going on at the agency as to its financial situation and other matters.  To see the latest, go here.

Federal Debt Crisis: Recently, someone sent me the following video which is excellent in putting the federal debt crisis and its impact on future generations in perspective.  To see it, go here.

Interesting Article on States with Economic Growth: Recently, an article was in Investor’s Business Daily about the five factors that most drove net migration into a state from 2004 to 2008.  Those five factors are as follows:  income tax rates; labor union power and influence; state spending growth; public school quality; and home prices. South Carolina should continue to focus on these areas to improve our state.  To see the article, go here.

Aiken County Property Taxes: Tomorrow, on Tuesday, Aug. 30th at 6:30 p.m., taxpayers will have another opportunity to voice concerns regarding the recent property tax assessment process. The session will be held at the Aiken Electric Co-op on Wagener Road.   Also, county representatives will be present from 1:00 to 6:00 to answer questions about reassessment as to specific properties.  For a primer on property tax reassessments from the Aiken Standard, go to this article.  Also, Councilman Gary Bunker provided this list of questions and answers last week on this topic.

No Email Update Next Week: With the Labor Day holiday next Monday, I will not send an email update next week.  I will send one on Monday, September 12.  Hope that you and your family enjoy the Labor Day weekend!

Planning for the 2012 Legislative Session:  The 2012 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; economic development; job growth; and the underfunded 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.
Non-Partisan Volunteer Election Polling Place Training:  On Thursday, September 8 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm at the Aiken County Council Building, you can learn how to manage, open and run an Election Polling Place and how to certify the Vote Count.  Many volunteers are needed for the upcoming City elections and the elections on the local, state, and national levels next year.  To participate, you must be over 18 and an American citizen.  To register or learn more, please email Jane Page Thompson at janepagethompson@gmail.com or call Diane Giddings at 803-341-9543.

Graniteville Train Wreck Study:  A research team from USC; MUSC; UGA; Georgia’s medical school; and Tulane is working to identify long-term lung health problems that have occurred since the 2005 chlorine spill.  To learn more and to find out if you may qualify as a participant, please go here.

Free Small Business Workshop:  The Aiken Small Business Development Center is offering a FREE tax workshop for prospective and new small business owners. The workshop will be held from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Wednesday, September 7, 2011, in the Business and Education Building, Conference Room 124 at USC Aiken.  The Small Business Tax Workshop contains general information about different types of business organizations, record keeping requirements and business tax returns.  The employment tax segment provides an overview of Forms 940, 941 & 944, including e-file and EFTPS due dates. There is also a discussion on Employee Classification (Employee vs. Independent Contractor). Classes are taught by instructors who are qualified to practice before the IRS (Enrolled Agents and Certified Public Accountants) and by SCDOR and SCDEW Revenue Agents.  The morning session will cover federal tax requirements for small businesses and the afternoon session will cover state tax and employment security obligations. A packet of very helpful publications is given to each participant.  Registration is necessary by Monday, September 5, 2011. To register for the workshop or for more information, please contact the Small Business Development Center via e-mail: SBDC@usca.edu or by telephone: 803-641-3646.

SRS Draft Strategic Plan:   Last month, 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 through the end of August 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

Grass Cutting in the SCDOT Right of Way:  Grass is growing in right of ways around our district.  DOT has hired a contractor to cut the grass.  If you are aware of an area where high grass is obstructing vision for drivers as they enter or exit certain roads in our County, please call the SCDOT at 641-7665 or let me know and I will pass on the information.

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 Labor Day.  The dates, times, and locations will be provided in future updates.

Aiken Senior Extravaganza 2011:  The City of Aiken will have its annual Aiken Senior Extravaganza again on Wednesday, September 21 at the H. Odell Weeks Center from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  The event offers seniors, and those interested in issues facing seniors, an opportunity to spend a day in educational seminars and to browse the display fair. The educational seminars will be limited to the first 300 people to register including a t-shirt and catered lunch with Keynote speaker. The Health Fair and displays will be open to the public and pre-registration is not required. Age: 50 and over: Cost: FREE : Wednesday, September 21, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  For more information, please call 642-7631.

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.  If you have a group that would like for me to come to a meeting during the next few months, please let me know.

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.

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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