Boeing’s Expansion and State Infrastructure Proposal — Weekly Update from Sen. Tom Young – April 9, 2013 to April 15, 2013

The State Senate is in session with regular session ending 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.

Boeing Expansion: Boeing announced last Tuesday that it will create an additional 2,000 jobs and invest another $1 Billion in South Carolina between now and 2020. The company plans to move more of its production operations and part of its IT workforce to our state. Many of the jobs will be in engineering and the creation of an information technology center of excellence. The state’s incentives package includes $120 Million in infrastructure improvements for the land where Boeing’s expansion will be located. The state will own the land where the infrastructure improvements will be made and Boeing will enter a long term lease on the property. With the expansion, Boeing will have 8,000 employees and will have invested $2 Billion in our state since announcing the plant in 2009.

State Economic Outlook: The Department of Commerce released a report last week stating that the state’s economic indicators are the best since 2008. To see the report, go here. Some of the positives in the report include the following:

  • 1.7% increase in personal income in the fourth quarter of 2012. Total personal income grew to $164.8 billion.
  • 5.3% gain in the S.C. stock index.
  • 1% increase in nonfarm employment.
  • 0.1% increase in the labor force to 2.179 million.
  • 0.1% drop in the unemployment rate for February, down to 8.6% from the previous month.
  • 1.4% increase in manufacturing hours, which averaged 42.1 hours per week.
  • .2% increase in available online job postings.
State Infrastructure Pool Proposal: Last Thursday, Governor Haley proposed the creation of an infrastructure pool to fund repairs and improvements for state roads. Governor Haley proposed that 100% of the gas tax go to SCDOT for roads and infrastructure. She also advocated that all of the excess money from the state’s general fund budget each year go toward the infrastructure pool and that all of the sales tax on vehicles go to fund infrastructure. To learn more, go here.

Gas Tax Money — Where It Goes: South Carolina’s state gas tax is 16.75 cents per gallon. In Fiscal Year 2011-2012, the gross collections from the state gas tax on gasoline and diesel fuel were $563.8 Million. The net portion of this going to SCDOT for its budget was $418.8 Million. To see a breakdown of where it went, go here.

Responding to Your Emails: In the past two weeks, I have received a flood of constituent emails on a variety of issues. I am behind on responding and working to catch up. Thank you for your patience.

Last Week in the Senate

Extended Credit Protection: The full Senate gave second reading to legislation authorizing the Governor’s office to negotiate up to 10 years of identity theft protection for S.C. taxpayers through the state’s competitive bid process. In its negotiations, the Governor’s staff is to consider offering safeguards against fraud involving banks, phone and utility services, government benefits, and government documents such as tax returns. The bill needs one more reading and then it goes to the House. The bill also includes the following:

  • Centralizes responsibility for cyber-security within state government under a Department of Information Security that reports to the governor;
  • Tax credits for South Carolina taxpayers to buy additional credit protection on top ofor in lieu of what the state offers after the competitive bid process is complete;
  • An identity-theft unit at the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs;
  • A committee to recommend statewide technology and cyber-security policies; and
  • A fund to reimburse taxpayers for some costs associated with identify theft if affected taxpayers can prove that their losses occurred as a result of the state’s cyber breachlast October.
Mental Health Reporting – Purchase of Guns: The Senate Judiciary Committee passed S.413 which establishes a system in South Carolina for reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) those who have been adjudicated a mental defective or committed to a mental institution. These individuals are already prohibited under federal law from possessing, receiving, transporting, or shipping a firearm. Reporting to NICS ensures such people are not able to lawfully purchase a firearm through a Federal Firearms License Holder. The bill also establishes also establishes a system through which such individuals may seek relief in the courts from the restrictions on firearms related to an adjudication as a mental defective or commitment to a mental institution. The bill has widespread support including from Attorney General Alan Wilson and the National Rifle Association.

Road Infrastructure Bill Filed: Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler filed legislation transferring half of vehicle sales taxes to the State Highway Fund and half to the State Infrastructure Bank as well as using 20 percent of General Fund growth from the previous year for bridge maintenance. The legislation also moves the State Infrastructure Bank to the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) with the intent to increase accountability of dollars spent on road construction. The proposal would add about $225 million for roads. The state needs $600 million more a year in state funds for the next twenty years to meet projected infrastructure needs.

This Week in the Senate

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

  • Concealed Weapons Permit (S.308);
  • 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 Local Topics of Interest

Veterans’ Fair: Congressman Joe Wilson is hosting a Veterans’ Fair at Aiken Tech on April 22 from 10 am to 2 pm. To learn more, go here.

Honor Flight for WWII Vets: There will be an Honor Flight #6 leaving from Myrtle Beach on Aug 28th for WWII vets. Details are in the attached documents. Please get the word out to any WWII vet who has not been to the WWII Memorial in DC. There is no cost to the WWII for this trip. To learn more, go here.

National Day of Prayer: Thursday, May 2 is the National Day of Prayer. The Greater Aiken area will recognize this day with a service in Aiken the H. Odell Weeks Center from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm on Friday, May 3. For more information about this event, call 640-4689. Whether you can go or not, please know that prayer works and our state and nation need our prayers not just on May 2 and 3, but every day.

Aiken County Teacher of the Year Banquet: Aiken County’s teacher of the year banquet will be Monday, April 29 at 6:30 pm at the USC Aiken Convocation Center. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online by going here. To learn more, call 649-9040.

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.

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 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 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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