Regular Session Ends, Flooding, and Palace Malice! — Weekly Update from Sen. Tom Young –June 3, 2013 to June 10, 2013

The State Senate’s regular session ended this past 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.

North Augusta Flooding:  On Friday, I joined Rep. Roland Smith, Rep. Bill Hixon, and officials from SCDOT in visiting several locations of flood damage from last week’s rains in the North Augusta area.  SCDOT is repairing damaged roads and backed up drainpipes.  Equipment has been brought in from other parts of the state to assist.  If you are aware of a problem from last week’s rains that needs attention from state road officials, please let me know or call SCDOT at 641-7665.

Congratulations to Palace Malice and Dogwood Stables!:  Locally owned and trained Palace Malice won the Belmont this past Saturday.  Dogwood Stables’ Cot Campbell and his team are to be congratulated on this wonderful accomplishment in which Aiken County takes great pride.

Last Week in the Senate

Regular Session Concludes:  The Senate’s regular session concluded on June 6 with a number of bills having to wait until the Senate returns in January.  Those bills include Ethics Reform; Affordable Care Act Nullification; Concealed Weapons – Restaurant Carry; and Read to Succeed.  Nevertheless, some high profile bills reached final passage including the Election Law Fix.  Some are in conference committees with final passage to occur when the Senate returns later in June including the Department of Administration/Elimination of Budget and Control Board.

Elections – Ballot Upheaval Fix:  Final approval was given to legislation (S.2) to correct the election issues which we saw across the state last year.  Incumbents and non-incumbents will have the same filing requirements.  Also, a candidate who fails to file a Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) must be fined but the candidate remains on the ballot – unlike we saw last year after current law was interpreted by the State Supreme Court.

State Budget:  The budget is now in a conference committee composed of three House conferees and three Senate conferees.  A conference report will be presented to both the House and the Senate most likely on June 18.  After the conference report is adopted, the budget will go to the Governor for her consideration.  The General Assembly will then return on June 25 to consider any gubernatorial vetoes.

Angel Investor Bill Passes:  Final passage occurred this week with legislation designed to encourage private investors to help start up companies.  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.” The legislation includes a $5 Million cap in tax credits per year and will sunset in six years.  Also, the S.C. Department of Commerce will issue an annual report with information on utilization of the angel investment fund.

Abandoned Commercial Buildings:  The Senate unanimously passed H.3093 which is legislation intended to provide limited tax credits for the revitalization of abandoned commercial buildings around the state.

High School and College Graduations

Congratulations Graduates!:  Congratulations to the hundreds of  high school and college graduates in Aiken County in recent weeks!  We are proud of them!Best wishes as they go to work or continue their education!

Great Advice for Graduates:  During the last two months of August when students are headed to college, I posted an article about advice that Coach Jay Mills, Head Football Coach at Charleston Southern University in Charleston, S.C., provided to his son as he went off to college.  Many parents and grandparents thanked me for sharing it and asked that I post it at graduation time too.  I think it is very good advice for any young person going out on his or her own.  To see the article, go here.

SRS News

President’s Budget:  Local concerns exist as to the President’s budget allocations for liquid waste disposition and MOX Facility construction in the 2014 budget request.  As reported here last month, our local legislative delegation remains engaged in working with state officials and our congressional delegation to address these areas of concern.

Other Local Topics of Interest

SCE&G Rate Hike Request:  Several Aiken County residents have contacted me and others on the legislative delegation about SCE&G’s proposed rate hike request.  The State Public Service Commission (PSC) will have to approve the request.  Consumers have one month to comment on the request and those comments are due no later than the end of June.  (The State Office of Regulatory Staff will issue a report at the end of July and comments can be submitted in August for that report too.)  Current comments should be emailed to Dukes Scott at  To file a letter of protest, go here.

Grass Cutting in the SCDOT Right of Way:  Grass is growing in right of ways around our district.  DOT has staff cutting the grass.  If you are aware of an area where high grass is obstructing vision for drivers as they enter or exit certain roads in our County, please call the SCDOT at 641-7665 or let me know and I will pass on the information.

Belvedere/Clearwater Road Proposed Widening:  SCDOT proposes widening 2.15 miles of Belvedere/Clearwater Road and seeks comments over the next 30 days.  To see the letter with details and how to comment, go here.

Hitchcock Woods Newsletter: To see the current newsletter, click here.

Aiken County Public Library Summer Reading Program: The annual summer reading program for children through the 5th grade has started at the Aiken County Public Library. The Program runs through early August. Children who read the required number of books will receive a medal and a certificate of completion. Reading is essential to doing well in school. Please encourage as many young people as you can to read this summer. For more information, call the Aiken County Public Library at 642- 2020 or go here.

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 or call her at 593-7300.  To learn more about the program, go here.

Regulations –Comments Encouraged:  Governor Haley recently issued an Executive Order requiring all state agencies to review statutes, rules, regulations and policies for their effects on South Carolina’s economy. The Governor also set up a task force to review regulations and to recommend ways to reduce, improve, and simplify regulatory burdens.  The group’s report is due November 15, 2013.  Public comments are encouraged.  To provide comments to the Governor’s Task Force on any regulation, email the task force at

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:

·      Rep. Bill Hixon (Dist. 83):

·      Rep. Bill Taylor (Dist. 86):

·      Rep. Don Wells (Dist. 81):

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 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 to 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,

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.


Tom Young

649-0000 (Office)

215-3631 (Cell)

Leave a Comment