SRS Workforce Impacts and Adjutant General – Weekly Update from Sen. Tom Young – March 12, 2013 to March 18, 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.

SRS – Workforce Impacts:  Our delegation continues to work on this issue which will affect 2,000 workers with reduced hours and a 20% reduction in pay and 150 workers with furloughs with no pay.  Last week, we talked with members of our congressional delegation about the importance of heading off the reductions in work hours and furloughs.  Most families cannot sustain a twenty percent reduction in pay for an extended period of time with little advance notice.  We are vigilant in our efforts to encourage federal policy makers to allow the transfer of funds at SRS which, if allowed, is expected to alleviate the need for the coming furloughs.

Governor’s Nuclear Advisory Council:  The Council met on Thursday in Columbia for its quarterly meeting.  During the meeting, we questioned Department of Energy (DOE) manager Dave Moody about the budget reductions at SRS.  He said that the DOE has issued a formal request for reprogramming funds to alleviate the impact of the anticipated 2000 workload reductions and 150 total furloughs starting April 1.  Upon questioning from Rep. Don Wells and me, he encouraged our legislative delegation communicate with federal lawmakers about the importance of removing program restrictions on funding and to expedite such requests.

Last Week’s Senate Session

Early Voting:  The Senate gave second reading to the early voting bill on Thursday.  Third and final reading will come up this week.  Then the bill will head to the House of Representatives before coming back to the Senate with expected changes if it passes the House.  The current version allows 7 days of early voting before election day beginning on the second Saturday before an election day which is ten days later on Tuesday.  I anticipate more discussion about the length of time that the polls will be open before traditional election day as the bill continues in the Senate and then is debated in the House.  (Note:  The Aiken Standard misquoted me in this morning’s paper with their quote of my observation that some concern lies with the length of time polls will be open before election day – not on election day as reported in this morning’s paper.)

Restructuring – State Superintendent of Education:  Last Wednesday, the Senate failed by two votes to get the necessary 31 votes to pass this legislation (two thirds of Senate necessary to support since it is a constitutional amendment).   Because the vote was on third reading, the Motion to Reconsider was not able to keep the bill in its priority status on the Senate calendar.  The bill now is on the regular contested calendar and needs to be set again for Special Order to have a chance to pass with the necessary two thirds support.  Companion legislation setting the qualifications for the State Superintendent if appointed passed the Senate on Wednesday with second reading and third reading is still pending.

Restructuring – Adjutant General:  South Carolina is the only state that popularly elects the head of its National Guard (Adjutant General).  A senate subcommittee approved S. 173 on Thursday allowing the Governor to appoint the Adjutant General.  A separate bill for the enabling legislation including the qualifications for the position also passed.  If passed and approved by voters, the Governor would appoint from a pool of qualified military candidates.  Current Adjutant General Bob Livingston and members of the National Guard support this proposal.  I am the primary sponsor.  To see the article in support of this constitutional change in yesterday’s The State newspaper, go here.

Angel Investor Bill:  Last Tuesday, the Senate passed legislation (S.262) creating an angel investment fund and providing limited tax credits to qualifying private investors to help start up ventures flourish.  I have heard since 2010 from many constituents about the need for South Carolina to encourage more business growth and job expansion in our state by improving the state’s existing laws to encourage angel investments by private investors.

“Read to Succeed” Legislation Filed:  Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler (Cherokee) filed this legislation modeled after an initiative implemented in Florida. The program would screen children for readiness in 4K and 5K to identify potential learning barriers; provide intensive in-class and supplemental reading instruction; revise in-service requirements concerning teaching reading skills; and, beginning in the 2015-2016 school year, retain 3rd graders who cannot read on grade level unless they meet an exemption. The bill calls for moving a portion of the $6 million earmarked for reading improvement under the Education Improvement Act to the “Read to Succeed” program.

Leadership Aiken County:  The 2013 class of Leadership Aiken County visited the State House last week.  They visited with Senators, House members, and the Governor’s Chief of Staff to discuss issues including economic development, taxes, and education.

Students Visit State House: Some of the third graders from Chukker Creek School visited the State House last week on Tuesday and Thursday. Mossy Creek Elementary third grade students visited on Tuesday also. I was able to see the Thursday group but was unable to see the Tuesday groups due to an ongoing debate in the Senate.

This Week’s Legislative Session

Bills on Senate Calendar:  The full Senate may debate the following bills this week:

  • Ensuring state constitutional protections in view of the National Defense Authorization Act;
  • Concealed Weapons Permit Expansion;
  • Tax Credits for Motion Picture Companies in South Carolina;
  • Tax Credits for Investing in Abandoned Commercial Buildings.

Other Local News

Aiken County Republican Party Precinct Reorganization: This Thursday, March 21, 2013, is make up day for Aiken County Republican bi-annual precinct reorganization meetings. Please go to the web site for further details.

Proud of Aiken County’s Own – Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown: Last week, both Kevin Kisner (Aiken native) and Scott Brown (North Augusta native) won professional golf tournaments. Kevin won on the tour in Chile and Scott won on the PGA Tour in Puerto Rico. Great coverage about their accomplishments was on the Golf Channel last week. To see the clip, go here.

Experian Credit Monitoring Deadline Extended:  Taxpayers now have until March 31, 2013 to sign up for protection and unlimited fraud resolution.
Deadline to Enroll Dependents:  The deadline to enroll minor dependents, whose social security numbers may have been compromised, in Experian’s Family Secure plan is May 31, 2013.
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:
Congressman Joe Wilson Contact Information:  Congressman Wilson now represents all of Aiken County.  He has staff in Aiken County with office hours in Aiken and in North Augusta.  His office number is 608-9747.
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 such as a pothole needing repair, 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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