State Retiree Health Care and Voter ID — Weekly Update from Rep. Tom Young – October 2, 2012 to October 15, 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:

State Retiree Health Care Benefits: For the past several months when I have provided legislative updates to various groups around our district and in my town meetings, I have noted that even though the General Assembly addressed unfunded liabilities in the state retirement system during the past session, the bigger problem facing the state is the unfunded liability in state retiree health benefits. Although nearly every state faces the problem, few have tackled it. In South Carolina, we must address it during the next two year session of the General Assembly. The estimated unfunded liability exceeds $10 Billion. Yesterday, the lead story in The State newspaper was about this issue. To see the article, go here.

Voter ID Law Upheld: Last week, a panel of three federal judges in Washington, DC ruled that South Carolina’s voter identification law can be implemented starting in 2013. The panel allowed the law to be implemented stating that the new law does not create an undue burden to vote. Furthermore, the judges said the state has made it easier and cheaper to obtain photo identification. To see the full decision, go here.

Town Meetings Concluded: On October 2 and 3, I held town meetings at Odell Weeks Center and at Woodside Reserve Club. I appreciate the feedback and ideas from those who attended the meetings. If you could not attend but would like for me to know about an issue important to you, please email me or call me at 215-3631.

Texting and Driving: This issue continues to be one that I am asked about a lot. Did you know that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that individuals who text while driving are 23 times mores likely to have a wreck than those who do not text while driving? Currently, 39 states have banned the act of texting while driving. Most recently, Alabama implemented a ban effective August 1, 2012. South Carolina’s House of Representatives passed a ban in 2010; however, the bill did not pass the State Senate. For an interactive map of the law in all 50 states, go here.

Alzheimer’s Disease in South Carolina: On Saturday, I participated in the Alzheimer’s Walk at Odell Weeks. There are currently over 80,000 people living in S.C. with Alzheimer’s disease. The State funds the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Respite Program through the Department of Mental Health. This program provided 3,000 vouchers for respite care to S.C. families in 2010. 114 of those vouchers were issued to families in Aiken County in 2010. To learn more about the Caregiver Respite Program and how to apply, go here.

Child Passenger Safety: To learn more about ways to keep your children or grandchildren safe in your car, go to The information at this link is provided in part by the South Carolina Department of Public Safety.

Legislative Scorecards: Based on my voting record during the past session, I received an “A” from the National Rifle Association (NRA); a “100” from the State Chamber of Commerce; a “97.85” from S.C Business and Industry Political Education Committee; and a “100” from the Palmetto Family Alliance which works to promote, protect, and preserve family values in South Carolina.

Planning for the 2013 Legislative Session: The 2013 legislative session begins on the second Tuesday in January. If elected to the State Senate, I appreciate 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 underfunded 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.

Other Local News

Hitchcock Parkway Widening – Public Input Meeting: SCDOT has begun design work and has scheduled a discussion session to hear comments on November 8 from 5-7 pm at South Aiken High School.

Chukker Creek School Traffic: The Aiken County School District, SCDOT, and the Aiken County Transportation Committee are jointly addressing additional improvements. There is review and approval of plans; bid document preparation; advertising; and bidding which has to be done before the work can commence. My understanding is that those improvements will be complete some time next semester in 2013. I will continue to push on this issue.

One Table Thanksgiving in Aiken: On Thanksgiving Day, many churches and non-profit organizations within greater Aiken are sponsoring a community-wide Thanksgiving celebration called One Table in The Alley in downtown Aiken. Food will be served at noon. To learn more, go here:

SC Traveler: To learn more about some of the unique places, fall festivals, and events in South Carolina, go here.

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.
  • 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, email me at, or call me at 215-3631.

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 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.

Small Business Help – SC Dept. of Commerce: The South Carolina Department of Commerce has helpful information for small business owners and employees. To learn more, go to

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.

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

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 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
215-3631 (cell)

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