Legislative Update from Rep. Tom Young – July 31, 2012 to August 13, 2012

The House of Representatives is out of session for the rest of the year.  I hope that you find this update helpful and informative:

2012 Legislative Session – Detailed Legislation Summary:  Recently, staff at the House of Representatives prepared a comprehensive summary of significant legislation passed by the General Assembly during the 2012 session.  To see that summary, go here.

Yucca Mountain Update:  The Federal Government’s decision to abandon the Yucca Mountain project as a final repository for nuclear waste is a big issue to those of us in Aiken County and South Carolina. Two years ago, Aiken County and the State of South Carolina took legal action to prevent any federal government action to stop the Yucca Mountain program without congressional approval.   On August 3, a federal appeals court ruled that Congress has until December 14 to clarify whether or not it will appropriate more money to the Yucca project.  If Congress does not act or does not appropriate more money, then the appeals court will rule whether the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must move forward with its responsibilities as to Yucca Mountain.  This is positive news for Aiken County and South Carolina as many people work to ensure that high level spent nuclear waste currently stored at SRS does not remain there permanently.

Technical Colleges:  South Carolina has several technical colleges located around the state.  These colleges are critical in preparing our state’s workforce for maintaining existing industry and attracting new companies to our state. Some interesting statistics about our S.C. Technical Colleges are as follows:

  • 2010-2011 annualized total enrollment was 210,948;
  • 52% of all undergraduates in SC public higher education were enrolled in a SC Technical College in Fall 2011;
  • 96% of all students enrolled in SC Technical Colleges in Fall 2011 were SC residents;
  • 85% of Technical College students remain in SC upon graduation.

Great Advice for New College Students:  Last August, I posted an article about advice that Coach Jay Mills, Head Football Coach at Charleston Southern University in Charleston, S.C., provided to his son as he went off to college.  Many parents and grandparents thanked me for sharing it so I am posting it again this August.  I think it is very good advice for any young person going out on his or her own.  To see the article, go here.

Grass Cutting in the SCDOT Right of Way:  Grass is growing in right of ways around our district.  DOT has staff cutting the grass.  If you are aware of an area where high grass is obstructing vision for drivers as they enter or exit certain roads in our County, please call the SCDOT at 641-7665 or let me know and I will pass on the information.

Senate Campaign Update
Senate Campaign:  As reported last Monday, we were successful in our Petition Campaign in June and early July!  As of right now, I will be listed as both the Republican nominee and as a Petition candidate for Senate District 24.  Thus, even if another court decision between now and the November 6 election removes more candidates from the ballot and I am impacted by that decision as the Republican nominee, then I will still be on the ballot as a Petition candidate for Senate District 24.

THANK YOU!:  Thank you to everyone who helped in my campaign’s petition drive to remain on the ballot for the November 6 election for State Senate.

Other Topics of Interest
End of Session Town Meetings:  Like the past three years, I plan to hold end of session town meetings around the district.   Based on constituent requests, I will hold those after the summer vacation season ends.  The dates, times, and locations will be provided in future updates.

Congratulations to Aiken’s The Willcox!:  Recently, The Willcox in Aiken was named number 32 on the list of the World’s Best Hotels by Travel & Leisure magazine.  The property was also chosen as one of the Top 50 Small Hotels in America by Conde Nast Traveler magazine. To learn more about The Willcox, go here: www.thewillcox.com.

Aiken Senior Extravaganza 2012:  The City of Aiken will have its annual Aiken Senior Extravaganza again on Wednesday, September 19 at the H. Odell Weeks Center from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  The event offers seniors, and those interested in issues facing seniors, an opportunity to spend a day in educational seminars and to browse the display fair. The educational seminars will be limited to the first 300 people to register including a t-shirt and catered lunch with Keynote speaker. The Health Fair and displays will be open to the public and pre-registration is not required. Age: 50 and over: Cost: FREE : Wednesday, September 19, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  For more information, please call 642-7631.

Leadership Aiken County:  This group of leaders from across Aiken County is hosting a fundraiser this Thursday, August 16 at Newberry Hall to raise money to provide (1) grants of up to $500 for secondary education teachers to encourage the study of science, math, engineering and technology and (2) engineering scholarships to Aiken Tech. To learn more, go here.

Police Athletic League 5K:  The Aiken Young Professionals and the Aiken Dept of Public Safety will host a 5k this Friday night, August 17th at Citizens Park in Aiken.  The proceeds from this event will go to the Police Athletic League, a charity created by ADPS to get kids into sports.  To learn more, go here.

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

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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