Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young – November 8 to Nov. 15, 2011

November 8 to Nov. 15, 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:

Another “Top States for Business” Article:  Yesterday, the National Conference of State Legislatures released a report summarizing the various recent articles which have listed the best states for business.  South Carolina is listed in the top states in several of the publications. Notably, the article states that several factors play a role in a state’s business climate including operation costs, workforce skills, taxes and regulation, cost of living, and quality of life. The article can be seen here.

State Retirement System:  Last week, the S.C. State Senate Special Retirement Subcommittee posted on the state government website a link to a good article summarizing pension reform at the state level across the nation since January 2010.  During the past twenty-two months, 40 states have enacted some type of reform of their state government retirement systems.  To see the article, go here.

Heart Gallery – Foster Care Children:  In South Carolina, there are hundreds of children in foster care who are in need of adoption.  Heart Gallery is a program of the Children’s Foster Care Review Board in conjunction with the Office of the Governor and the S.C. Department of Social Services.  The goal is to enhance the adoption recruitment opportunities for waiting children.  Interested adults seeking to adopt a child can learn more by going to www.scheartgallery.org or contacting Millie Qualls in Columbia at (803) 734-2595 or mqualls@oepp.sc.gov.

Technical Colleges and Local Company MTU:  With a current enrollment exceeded 242,000 students, South Carolina’s technical colleges are critical in preparing our state’s workforce for maintaining existing industry and attracting new companies to our state. In the current technical college quarterly, there is an excellent article about local company MTU Detroit Diesel and another on Boeing.  To see the publication, go here.

Veterans Day: Last Friday, November 11, on Veterans Day, I attended the service at the Aiken County Veterans’ Park which was held by our local James L. Hammons Marine Corps Detachment.  I hope that you were able to attend one of the many programs honoring our veterans and thanking both them and their families for their service and sacrifice.

SRS Citizens Advisory Board:  Yesterday, I visited with the SRS Citizens Advisory Board to discuss issues surrounding Yucca Mountain, H-Canyon, and the disposal of used nuclear fuel.  These are significant issues to those of us in Aiken County, and I appreciate the feedback and ideas which the Board provided on these important issues.

Congratulations to Dogwood Stable and Cot Campbell!:  Aiken’s own Dogwood Stable headed by Aiken resident Cot Campbell recently received the Keeneland Gold Tray.  This award is given to a stable only after the stable has won at least 8 stakes victories at historic Keeneland race track in Lexington, Kentucky.  Dogwood Stable is only the 17th owner to receive this award.  This recognition adds to Aiken’s rich horse community heritage and we should all be proud of this accomplishment. To see the full story, go here.

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 month and a half of this year, my legislative updates may not come every week.

SCDOT Weekly Update:  The Department of Transportation started a weekly update about three and a half 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.lswia.org.

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 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 get them, 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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