Weekly Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young – May 22, 2012 to May 28, 2012

The House of Representatives is in session for 2012. The regular session will conclude Thursday, June 7. The House will meet later in June to address any budget vetoes and other potentially unfinished business. I hope that you find the following information helpful and informative:

Memorial Day: On Saturday, my family and I participated in the Aiken Memorial Day Parade. The Aiken Memorial Day Parade is the largest parade of its kind in the State and the local Marine Corps League does a great job with making sure that it goes well. I hope that you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend and paused to think about those who gave themselves in the service of our nation and those who risk their lives each day so that we can enjoy freedom and the blessings we have in the United States.

Last Week’s Legislative Session

Public Safety Officer Scotty Richardson and Master Corporal Sandy Rogers Honored: On Wednesday, the General Assembly honored both of these Aiken police officers who died serving our community. Concurrent resolutions expressing the appreciation of our state for their dedication, service, and sacrifice were presented to their respective families. A lengthy standing ovation also occurred. The House adjourned Wednesday in memory of both officers.

Senate Passes $6.6 Billion State Budget: The Senate spent the week debating amendments to the $6.6 billion state budget and passed it Thursday by a vote of 27-10. The budget includes $180 million for the Harbor Deepening Reserve Fund and $80 million for Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax relief. The Senate also included raises for teachers, law enforcement officers, and other state employees. The budget now goes back to the House where the House will probably non-concur with amendments resulting in the budget going to a House/Senate Conference Committee later this week.

State Retirement System: The House special subcommittee on the State Retirement System reviewed the Senate changes last week. Action is expected this week on that bill.

Restructuring — Department of Administration: A conference committee has been appointed to work out differences in H.3066 — legislation eliminating the South Carolina Budget and Control Board and transferring the responsibilities to three offices, including the Department of Administration. House conferees are Reps. Jim Harrison (Richland), Brian White (Anderson) and Jay Lucas (Darlington), and Senate conferees are Sens. Larry Martin (Pickens), Gerald Malloy (Darlington) and Shane Massey (Edgefield). This is a major bill to finalize this year.

Help with Gas Prices — Splash Blending Bill: The House concurred with Senate amendments to H.3478 this past Wednesday. The House passed this bill in March 2011. In 2010, a bill allowing small gas and oil companies and distributors to blend ethanol in South Carolina within certain standards passed. The then current law only permitted large companies like BP and Exxon to blend ethanol in South Carolina. The large companies uncovered a loophole in the new law to allow them to continue maintaining a strong monopoly on this practice despite the 2010 law. The current bill is intended to close this loophole. The expectation is that by closing the loophole, this bill should help lower the price of some types of gas in our state.

Improvements at State Department of Employment and Workforce: Recently, DEW implemented several improvements at the agency, including releasing a Dedicated Business Services Line just for businesses. In addition, should a hearing arise, DEW will send employers a “Hearing Notification” letter. The letter notifies the employer that an in-person hearing has been scheduled, but the employer has the right to call in rather attend in-person. Employers may contact the Appellate Division at 803-737-2520 to notify DEW that they cannot attend in-person. Notification from the employer should come in advance of the hearing. The employer representative will then be instructed on next steps. To learn more about business assistance at DEW, go here: http://dew.sc.gov/emp-land.asp#Business

This Week’s Legislative Session

Bills on House Calendar: The full House may debate several bills this week including the following:

• State Retirement System Changes;

• State Budget coming from the Senate; and

• Several other bills which have come from the Senate in recent weeks.

Senate Campaign Update

Senate Campaign: Here is the latest on the Campaign for Senate District 24:

• Bumper stickers for “Tom Young for Senate” are available. They may be picked up at my office downtown at 409 Park Avenue SW; at the Tom Young Allstate agency on Whiskey Road next to Home Depot; or at Hixon Insurance in North Augusta. If you prefer, I can send a sticker to you. Just let me know.

• Because no one else filed to run in the Republican primary for June 12, neither the office nor my name will be on that ballot. However, both the office and my name will be on the November 6 general election ballot.

• The following communities in Aiken County are in Senate District 24: most of Aiken, North Augusta, Warrenville, Gloverville, Montmorenci, Couchton, New Ellenton, Jackson, Windsor, and Beech Island.

• To learn more about my campaign for State Senate, go to www.tomyoungforsenate.com, email me at tom@tomyoungforsenate.com, or call me at 215-3631.

Other Topics of Interest

Aiken County Public Library Summer Reading Program: The annual summer reading program for children through the 5th grade has started at the Aiken County Public Library. The Program runs through early August. Children who read the required number of books will receive a medal and a certificate of completion. Reading is essential to doing well in school. Please encourage as many young people as you can to read this summer. For more information, call the Aiken County Public Library at 642- 2020 or go here: http://www.abbe-lib.org/.

Palmetto Amateur Tournament in Aiken: The 2012 Palmetto Amateur golf tournament will be in Aiken at the Palmetto Golf Club from June 4 to 10. The event is one of the top amateur golf events in the United States. To learn more about the event, go here: www.palmettoamateur.com.

Hitchcock Woods Spring Newsletter: To see the current newsletter, go to the Woods website by clicking here.

Visitors to the State House: Last week, the third graders from St. Mary’s School visited the State House. We were glad to see them and hope they enjoyed the visit.

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.

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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