Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young – Jan. 17, 2012 to Jan. 23, 2012

The House of Representatives is back in session for the 2012. I hope that you find this update helpful and informative.

Last Week’s Legislative Session

Governor Haley’s State of the State Address: On Wednesday, Governor Haley delivered her State of the State address. She emphasized strengthening South Carolina’s right to work laws; restructuring including the elimination of the Budget and Control Board; dissolving the Commission as the governing body at the State Department of Transportation; and reforming the state retirement systems.

Budget – Education: State Superintendent Mick Zais appeared before a House subcommittee last week and outlined his budget requests for K-12 education. He also asked for additional funding in some areas. To see his letter and attachments summarizing what he discussed, go here.

Education – Performance and Poverty Level in Schools: State Superintendent Zais also provided two charts during the budget hearing last week. One of the charts shows the amount of money (from all sources including state, local, and federal) spent per student in school districts and the percentage of children in that district at or below the poverty level. That can be seen here. The other chart shows the academic performance of each school district and the percentage of children in that district at or below the poverty level. That data can be seen here.

Budget – Department of Transportation (DOT): The DOT made its budget presentation to the full Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. The presentation focused on efforts to keep DOT’s cash flow positive in the wake of financial problems at the Department last summer. The full DOT presentation can be seen here .

Restructuring – Department of Transportation (DOT): I joined over 65 other members of the House last Wednesday in filing legislation to restructure governance of DOT. The bill can be seen here.

Lottery Commission: Also, on Thursday, the S.C. Lottery Commission made a presentation to the full Ways and Means Committee. The presentation showed that the lottery had total sales revenue of $530.4 Million for the first six months of fiscal year 2012 with net revenue of $140.6 Million representing an increase of $11.9 Million over the same time last year. To see the presentation data, go here.

Health and Human Services – Medicaid Payments: In the wake of a recent federal audit which showed that $406 Million in Medicaid payments may have been paid improperly under previous leadership at Health and Human Services from October 2009 to September 2010, the new Department leadership announced a list of measures taken immediately to ensure that this does not happen again. Fraud investigations are underway at the state level in the wake of this report. The announcement can be seen here.

Business Advocate Award from State Chamber of Commerce: On Tuesday, I was one of several legislators who received the Business Advocate Award from the State Chamber of Commerce for our work during the 2011 legislative session.

Other Topics of Interest

Breast Cancer Awareness: Recently, I attended a breast cancer awareness meeting at the State House. In the meeting, I learned that only half of the women over 40 in our state who have health insurance get annual breast mammograms. 53% of all breast cancers in women in South Carolina occur in women between the ages of 40 and 64. To learn more, go to www.komenscmm.org.

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.

Constituent Information

Speaking with 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.

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. If you set a tour between January and June and it is on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, please let me know so I can do my best to see you.

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