Bridgestone, Veterans’ Center, and Concealed Weapons — Weekly Update from Sen. Tom Young – April 2, 2013 to April 8, 2013

Bridgestone, Veterans’ Center, and Concealed Weapons — Weekly Update from Sen. Tom Young – April 2, 2013 to April 8, 2013

The State Senate returns to session this Tuesday, April 9, after not meeting the past two weeks. Regular session ends on Thursday, June 6. I hope that you find this update helpful and informative. If I can help you with an issue, please let me know.

Bridgestone – Opening of Expansion: Last week, Bridgestone produced the first tire in its new 740,000 square foot expansion of its passenger tire plant near Graniteville. The expansion will increase production capacity at the plant by 12,750 tires to a total of 37,750 tires per day and 13.4 million tires annually. We are fortunate to have Bridgestone located in Aiken County.

This Week in the Senate

Concealed Weapons Permit — Handguns: Either Tuesday or Wednesday, the full Senate will debate S.308 allowing concealed weapons permit (CWP) holders to carry their handgun into a restaurant which serves alcohol as long as the permit holder does not consume any alcohol while there. Restaurants have the option to post a sign not allowing concealable weapons on the premises; if that is done, then CWP holders cannot carry legally into such restaurants. The bill has a zero tolerance threshold for alcohol consumption and stiff penalties for violating including prison sentence of up to two years and revocation of the concealed weapons permit. I have supported this bill in the past and plan to vote for this bill on the Senate floor.

Extended Credit Protection: The full Senate is set to consider a bill that will offer credit-fraud protection for 10 years to S.C. taxpayers. The bill also includes the following:

  •  Creation of a department of information security that reports to the governor
  • A tax credit of $300 for individual filers and $1,000 for joint filers to buy credit protection
  • An identity-theft unit at the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs
  • A pair of committees to recommend statewide technology and cyber-security policies.

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

  • Restructuring – Adjutant General to be appointed by the Governor (S.173);
  • Public School Choice program (S.313);
  • Tax Credits for Investing in Abandoned Commercial Buildings (S.234).
Other State Government News

Government Spending Transparency in SC: State Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom maintains an online database of government spending in South Carolina. The searchable transparency website contains detailed data on expenditures by most state agencies, all school districts, many local governments, public colleges and universities, and the state’s stimulus funds. To visit Eckstrom’s transparency site, go here.

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

Other Local News

Prevent High School Dropouts – Volunteers Needed: The Choices program is a local program being used in Aiken County middle schools with eighth graders to encourage more children to finish high school. Several local businesses and individuals have volunteered their time. The program needs more volunteers. If you are willing to volunteer, please email Debbie Hubbard at or call her at 593-7300. To learn more about the program, go here.

USC Aiken Veterans’ Student Success Center: Last night, I attended the official opening of the USCA Veterans’ Student Success Center. The Aiken Warrior Project is assisting with the Center. To learn more, go here.

Tax Workshop Offered: The Aiken Area Small Business Development Center will offer a free “Startup Business Tax Workshop” on Wednesday, May 1, 2013. For more information, 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 theiremail 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 here.

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 here.

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 here.

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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