Ethics, Identify Theft, and MOX Project — Weekly Update from Sen. Tom Young – February 5, 2013 to February 11, 2013

The Senate is in session for 2013.  I hope that you find this update helpful and informative.  If I can help you with an issue, please let me know.
Remember to Vote:  Residents in North Augusta can vote tomorrow in the City Council election. If you live in this area, please remember to vote.
Commission on Ethics Reform Report Reviewed:  On Wednesday afternoon, former Attorney Generals Henry McMaster and Travis Medlock met with several senators including me to discuss the recently released report from the South Carolina Commission on Ethics Reform.   Mr. McMaster and Mr. Medlock co-chaired the Commission.
Ethics Reform Bills Filed:  Three ethics reform bills were filed last week in the Senate aimed at closing campaign finance loopholes and providing a higher level of accountability and transparency in state government. The bills would create a constitutionally sound definition of “committees” to strengthen the legislative intent that they operate within the law as to spending and reporting limits in elections; require elected officials and those seeking office to disclose all sources of income; and clarify requirements related to filing of Statements of Economic Interest. The proposed legislation would tighten conflict of interest laws to prohibit a public official from awarding, or participating in discussions regarding the awarding of, a state contract to any business associated with that public official or a member of the official’s immediate family. Additionally, these bills will abolish Leadership PACs and take the responsibility of ethics oversight of the House and Senate from existing, internal committees and move that oversight under the State Ethics Commission.
Ethics Insight:  Ethics Reform is a top issue for the General Assembly this year.  The last major ethics overhaul in South Carolina occurred in 1991.  Much more will be written and said about this over the coming months.
Identify Theft Protection Bill Filed:  Senators conducting hearings in the wake of the data breach at the Department of Revenue introduced legislation (1) to address the need for identify theft protections for affected citizens beyond the expiration of the one year Experian contract and (2) to address the need for a centralized statewide cyber security program with standard practices and policies among all state agencies.  The bill (S.334) requires the Governor to develop a protection plan with “identify theft” services free of charge to eligible taxpayers for 5 years beyond the one year provided by the current Experian contract.  Eligible taxpayers, not including those enrolled in free state protection or those claiming as a business expense (cannot double dip), can claim a tax deduction if they purchase their own protection (capped at $200 for individuals and $300 for joint returns or returns with dependents.)  This deduction sunsets after the 2018 tax year.  In addition, the bill mandates that the Department of Revenue implement a policy to make enrollment as simple as possible for each eligible taxpayer which may be automatic enrollment or some other type of simple enrollment authorization that is allowed under existing privacy laws.  Finally, the bill creates an Identity Theft Unit within the Department of Consumer Affairs, and creates a Department of Information Security. The Identity Theft Unit would educate the public about identity theft and fraud and provide fraud resolution services to victims. The Department of Information Security would develop statewide policies, standards, programs, and services related to cyber security.
MOX Project:  Our local legislative delegation wrote a letter requesting continued support of this project in Washington.  Our entire congressional delegation also signed a letter in support last week.  To see the local delegation’s letter, go here.
National Guard:  Last Wednesday, I met with National Guard leadership about issues important to those serving in the Guard in our state.
USC Day at the State House:  Last Wednesday, hundreds of supporters of the University of South Carolina system visited the State House.  During the day, I visited with USCA students, Chancellor Sandra Jordan, staff, and interested citizens.
USC and Aiken County Data:  Last week, USC provided data as to the University’s impact on Aiken County (725 jobs and $17.27 Million in payroll, purchased goods and services, and sponsored research expenditures).  To see more statistics in this area, go here.
Early Voting:  The full Senate considers a bill this week that will allow South Carolinians to vote starting 10 days before an election and direct election officials to set up at least one early voting center in each county. For any election that is not a statewide primary or general election, the county board of registration and elections shall determine whether or not to open the early voting centers on Saturdays during the early voting period.  No changes will be made to in-person absentee voting.
Hitchcock Parkway Update: Last Thursday, SCDOT reported on the status of this project to the Augusta Regional Transportation Study Committee.  DOT reported that 250 people attended the November 8 public meeting at South Aiken High School with many of those providing comments.   From the comments, 75% opposed the initial project design and 70% of those opposing supported doing something with lesser impact.  DOT is working on revisions in view of the comments received with input from the City of Aiken.  DOT committed to holding another public meeting later this year to receive comments on its redesign.  This will be a long process and the final product is expected to be substantially different from what DOT originally proposed in scope, character, and cost.
Chukker Creek School Traffic Update:  The Aiken County School District, SCDOT, and the Aiken County Transportation Committee jointly developed a plan to address traffic congestion. The proposal is to lengthen the car pick up and drop off line. The 1,800-foot-long extension to the existing car line allows for two more lanes as well as 40 additional parking spaces. The Aiken City Council must give final approval tonight.
Important Cyber Attack Information
Experian Credit Monitoring Deadline Extended:  Taxpayers now have until March 31, 2013 to sign up for protection and unlimited fraud resolution.
Notification Letters:  The Governor’s office says that about 100,000 letters are being sent every day to affected taxpayers.  Approximately 3.8 million letters will be sent (includes both in-state and out-of-state affected taxpayers) by late January.  Some letters are being sent by email if a taxpayer has already enrolled in identity theft protection services (ProtectMyID) and provided an email address to Experian. The deadline to enroll in ProtectMyID was extended to March 31, 2013.  The deadline to enroll minor dependents, whose social security numbers may have been compromised, in Experian’s Family Secure plan is May 31, 2013.  To see a sample notification letter, go here.
Consumer Affairs Recommendations:  To see the SC Department of Consumer Affairs’ recommendations for what to do when there is a security breach impacting your personal identity information, go here.
Frequently Asked Questions:  The Governor’s office has prepared several groups of questions and answers as indicated below by category:
  • Experian Family Secure – To see those, go here.
  • Cyber Attack – To see those, go here and here.
  • Senior Citizens — To see those, go here.
  • How to Place a Security Freeze:  To see how to place a security freeze, go here.
Constituent Information
Legislative Email Updates:  Locally, three members of the House of Representatives, who represent portions of Aiken County within Senate District 24, send regular email updates.  Their respective contact information to get on their email lists to receive their email updates are as follows:
  1. Rep. Bill Hixon (Dist. 83):
  2. Rep. Bill Taylor (Dist. 86):
  3. Rep. Don Wells (Dist. 81):
Speaking with Groups Around the District: If you are involved with a local group that would like for me to attend a meeting to provide a legislative update, 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 Senator 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
Save for College – Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan:  South Carolina’s 529 College Savings Plan Future Scholar offers special tax benefits for South Carolina residents. To learn more or to enroll, go to
Request a Flag:  If you would like to request a state or U.S. flag flown over the State Capitol in Columbia, please let me know at   Flags vary in cost according to their size and their material from which they are made.
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 24 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.

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