Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young – Nov. 30 to Dec. 5, 2011

November 30 to December 5, 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:

Congressional Super Committee:  Recently, we all learned that the Congressional Super Committee charged with addressing the national debt problem reached an impasse. As a result, automatic across the board cuts of $1.2 Trillion are set to take effect one year later than hoped in January 2013.  Meanwhile, the national debt continues to grow and is the greatest threat to the future of the United States.  For over a quarter of a century, the Federal Government has spent more than it takes in.  Eventually, the chickens will come home to roost. To read about this problem and solutions, please read the Preamble to the National Debt Commission Report seen here.  The debt problem described in this report underscores why it is so important for South Carolina to keep a balanced budget; build up the state’s cash reserves; address the unfunded liabilities in the state pension system; and do everything that we can to keep the state’s bond rating as high as possible.

Avondale Water System Update: As to the water system updates in Graniteville and portions of Vaucluse and Warrenville, Phase 2 bids are completed and work is expected to start on January 3.  Phase 2 is water line work in the New Town and Vaucluse areas.  If you have questions, please call Calvin Smith at Valley Public Service Authority at 593-2053.

Combat Identity Theft:  Forty-seven (47) states including South Carolina allow citizens of that state to freeze their credit to prevent identity theft. A credit freeze simply means that new credit accounts will not be approved and your credit file cannot be accessed by anyone without your approval. Therefore, even if thieves have all of your personal identifying information, they still will not be allowed to get credit in your name. However, freezing your credit account may slow down the process of obtaining credit legitimately. To learn more about South Carolina’s credit freeze law which started in 2008, go here.

Protect Your Child from Identity Theft:  There is a growing trend of identity thieves stealing the identities of children – even infants.  In particular, the Social Security numbers of children are considered very valuable by identity thieves as parents are unlikely to check the credit reports of their children.  Parents can take steps to protect their child’s identity.  To see one of the best summaries that I have found for what a parent can do, go here.

High Visibility Road Sign Update in Aiken: Last April and May, I received numerous complaints about the large yellow signs put up by the SC DOT in Aiken in the downtown historic district.  Many of those complaints came from elected city officials; downtown business owners; downtown residents; and others in Aiken.  During several discussions with SC DOT, DOT officials told me that (1) they had not talked with the City before putting the signs up in downtown Aiken and (2) the signs are possibly more than is needed for downtown and designed to be effective in less urban areas than downtown Aiken.  DOT requested a list of the locations about which I received complaints.  I sent that list of 9 locations to the DOT with a request that the current signs at those locations be removed.  DOT then met several times with City officials to address the many concerns and questions with the signs erected in several places in downtown. As a result of those meetings, DOT removed signs from 8 different locations in downtown. Those locations can be seen here.  My understanding is that the DOT and the City have reached a resolution which both respects Aiken’s downtown and meets the DOT’s goals in implementing the sign project. Additionally, DOT has committed to contacting the City for input before spending money on similar projects in the future.

Aiken County School District:  Last Tuesday, the School District presented a presentation entitled “Budget 101” regarding the District’s budget.  A copy can be seen by going here.

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.

SCDOT Weekly Update:  The Department of Transportation started a weekly update in August 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

Leave a Comment