Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young – Mar. 27, 2012 to April 2, 2012

Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young – Mar. 27, 2012 to April 2, 2012

Happy Easter to you and your family!  The House of Representatives is in session for 2012. The House is on furlough this week. I hope that you find this update helpful and informative:

Senate Campaign – Thank you!: On  Friday, I learned that no one else filed to run as a Republican or Democrat for Senate District 24 which represents a large part of Aiken County including Aiken, North Augusta, Warrenville, Gloverville, Montmorenci, Couchton, New Ellenton, Jackson, Windsor, and Beech Island.  As a result, my name will be on the ballot for the November election but neither the office nor my name will be on the Republican primary ballot on June 12.  My family and I are extremely grateful for the enthusiastic and tremendous support from people all over the district.  During the next few months, I will be visiting many areas around the district.  Thank you for the honor and the privilege to serve!  To learn more about my campaign for State Senate, go to www.tomyoungforsenate.com or email me back.

Last Week’s Legislative Session

Drug Test Results and Unemployment Benefits:  By a vote of 70-24, the full House on Thursday passed a bill which states that if a person receiving unemployment benefits applies for a job and as a condition to an offer of an employment the person (1) takes a drug test required by the prospective employer and fails it OR (2) refuses to take a drug test as required by the prospective employer, then the employer can report the failure or refusal to the Department of Employment and Workforce. If that happens, then the person can no longer receive unemployment benefits until he goes back to work for the period of time required to requalify. State law already disqualifies workers fired for illegal drug use from collecting unemployment benefits.  The bill now heads to the Senate.  To see my editorial in last week’s paper in support of this bill, go here.  To see the television news story on the bill, go here.

School Choice Bill: On Wednesday, the House voted to approve a compromise proposal on school choice.  The bill provides a limited number of privately funded scholarships to children living in poverty and children with special needs, as well as offering small tax deductions (not tax credits) for parents paying across district public school, independent, or home school expenses out of pocket.  Additionally, the state Education Oversight Committee is charged with providing a report on the effectiveness of the program at both the 3 year and the 7 year intervals. Members of the General Assembly are not eligible for tax deductions for the first 4 years of the program.  To see a summary of the legislation, go here.  The bill now heads to the Senate.

Concealed Weapons Permit:  The House approved a change to existing law as to concealed weapons permits (CWP).  The approved bill will allow CWP holders to carry their handgun into a restaurant which serves alcohol as long as the permit holder does not consume any alcohol while there. If the restaurant posts a sign not allowing concealable weapons on the premises, that has to be honored. I voted for the bill.

This Week’s Legislative Session

House on Furlough:  The House will be on furlough for the next two weeks and will return to Columbia April 17. The Senate will furlough next week and return to Columbia April 10.

Other Topics of Interest

Laurens Street Bridge Closed: The bridge on Laurens Street between Park Avenue and South Boundary is indefinitely closed.  SCDOT advises that the bridge is being examined and may need substantial repairs.  I will provide more information as I learn it from the Department and local officials.  To see the article in today’s Aiken paper, go here.

SRS Retiree’s Association Annual Meeting:  This meeting will be next Tuesday, April 10 at 1:30 pm at St. Angela’s Hall on York Street.

USC Honors College: In the first-ever ranking of public university honors colleges, the USC Honors College was ranked No. 1, according to the soon-to-be published guide, “A Review of Fifty Public University Honors Programs.”  The ranking is based on honors curriculum, honors retention and graduation rates, honors housing, study abroad programs and priority registration. USC led the universities of Texas at Austin, Michigan, Virginia, Georgia, Penn State and Minnesota.  The story can be seen here.  I am very proud to report this news since I graduated from the USC Honors College in Columbia in 1993.

Fallen Heroes Memorial 5K: This 5K race supporting the Wounded Warrior Project and the USC Naval ROTC Unit is Saturday, April 7 in Columbia. Aiken native Ryan Wisz is in charge of this race.  For more information, call Ryan at (803) 640-5944 or go to www.fallenheroes5k.com.

Small Business Development Work Shop:  The Aiken Small Business Development Center is offering a FREE tax work shop for prospective and new small business owners. The workshop will be held from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM on Wednesday, May 2 2012, in the Penland Admin Building Conference Room 110 at USC Aiken.  For more information and to register, call 641-3646 or email at sbdc@usca.edu.

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.tomyoungforsenate.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 tom@tomyoungforsenate.com 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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