Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young – Nov. 22 to Nov. 29, 2011

November 22 to November 29, 2011

The House of Representatives returns to session in six weeks on January 10, 2012. I hope that you find this update helpful and informative:

Yucca Mountain Update: Many people in District 81 have been following the Yucca Mountain issue closely. In July, 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.  Because both the June and September deadlines for Yucca Mountain’s license passed without any action by the NRC, Aiken County and the states filed a new petition seeking a “writ of mandamus.” In other words, the states and others want the district court to order the NRC to make a decision about Yucca Mountain’s license. On November 4, 2011, the federal court set the schedule for this action which seeks to force the NRC to reopen its review of the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste site. The deadline for final legal briefs in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is set for February 13, 2012.

Latest Unemployment Numbers: The state’s unemployment rate has gone down and Aiken County is 5th lowest in the State with an unemployment rate of 8.5%. To see the latest details across the state, please click here.

Who Prepares this Email Update?: Many people have asked me who prepares this update. The answer is that I do each week and I do not have a staff which does this for me. I find that it is a very good way to update folks in and around the district and to obtain feedback on important topics affecting our district and our state. If you have a friend who does not receive this but would like to, please send me the name and email information.

Republican Presidential Primary: South Carolina held its first Republican Presidential primary in March 1980. Since that time, the winner of the S.C. Republican Presidential primary has eventually won the Republican nomination for President. Recently, State Senator John Courson computed the vote details for the six presidential primaries since 1980 which can be seen here. South Carolina’s next Republican Presidential primary will be on Saturday, January 21, 2012.

Feedback Requested — Planning for the 2012 Legislative Session: The 2012 legislative session will convene in six weeks on January 10. 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 unfunded 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.

Thoroughbred Country– South Carolina Regional Tourism Organization: To learn more about holiday events in the tourism four county region of Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, and Barnwell, visit www.tbredcountry.org or see their recent holiday update.

SCDOT Weekly Update: The Department of Transportation started a weekly update about four 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.

Speaking to Groups Around the District: Several local groups have invited me to attend one of their meetings to provide a legislative update.  If you have a group that would like for me to come to a meeting, 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

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