Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young – October 11 to October 17, 2011

October 11 to October 17, 2011

The House of Representatives is out of session for 2011 and returns to session on January 10, 2012. Nevertheless, a lot is happening around District 81 and in Columbia. I hope that you find this update helpful and informative:

End of Session Town Meetings Tonight and Next Week: Like the past two years, I have set town meetings in our district where I will review the past legislative session and discuss the upcoming session. The public is invited. I have two remaining town meetings set as follows:

  • Monday, October 17 at 6:00 pm at Leavelle McCampbell Middle School Cafeteria in Graniteville;
  • Monday, October 24 at 4:00 pm at Woodside Plantation Reserve Club House in Aiken.

State Retirement System Public Hearing in Aiken This Wednesday: The Senate subcommittee working on possible revisions to the State Retirement System will hold a public hearing this Wednesday, October 19 at 5:00 p.m. at the Aiken Technical College ampitheater Room 701. To see the official notice, go here. The public is invited.

Town Meeting Last Week: I held a town meeting on Wednesday, October 13 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Odell Weeks Center in Aiken.  We had a good discussion about what did and did not pass this past session at the State House and several people provided their thoughts on ways to make our state government better.

Texting While Driving:  This topic is one which generated lots of feedback to me last year with nearly every person letting me know that they want a ban on texting while driving. South Carolina and Florida are the only states in the Southeast with no ban on texting while driving. In the 2010 session, the House passed a bill that would ban both texting and hand held cell phone use while driving. The session ended with the Senate not passing the bill.  This year, two separate but similar bills to do this are pending in the House. I expect the bills to receive a hearing when the House returns in January. To see a list of all 50 states and the restrictions on texting and cell phone use while driving, go here. To see a map of the 50 states and which states have a ban, go here.

Light at Cemetery Hill Road and 118 By Pass:  SCDOT has started work to add a traffic light and turning lanes at the intersection of Cemetery Hill Road (also known as Gregg Highway) and 118 By Pass.

Feedback Requested — 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.

Frequency of Legislative Updates: Over the remaining 2.5 months of this year, my legislative updates may not come every week. Rather, I will strive to send them every other week.

SCDOT Weekly Update: The Department of Transportation started a weekly update two months ago 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.

One Table Thanksgiving in Aiken: On Thanksgiving Day, many churches and non-profit organizations within greater Aiken are sponsoring a community-wide Thanksgiving celebration called One Table in The Alley in downtown Aiken.  Food will be served at noon.  To learn more, go here: www.onetable.org.

Speaking to Groups Around the District: Several local groups have invited 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 couple of 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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