Veto Recap and July 4th — Weekly Update from Sen. Tom Young — June 25, 2013- July 1, 2013

The State Senate is now out of session until January 2014.  I hope that you find this update helpful and informative.  If I can help you with an issue, please let me know.

Happy Independence Day!:  I hope that you and your family enjoy the July 4th holiday and reflect on how blessed that we are to live in the United States of America.  If you are in Aiken County, there are at least two July 4th celebrations planned as follows:

  • July 4th Celebration at Gaston Livery:  starting at 4:00 pm at the Gaston Livery and Aiken Veteran’s Park on Richland Avenue.  The event is free and open to the public.
  • Village at Woodside Beach Blast: starting at 5:00 pm. Cost is $5.00 per car and proceeds go to the Aiken-Augusta Wounded Warriors Project.  The location is 230 Village Green Drive in Aiken.
  • North Augusta contributes toward the fireworks show in Augusta.  Many residents will gather on the hill or at the Municipal Center to watch Thursday evening.

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.  As I wrote in my June 10 update, Consumers have one month to comment on the request and those comments are due no later than today – July 1.  (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.

Pepperidge Farm Plant Closing:  As you may know, last Thursday, Pepperidge Farm announced plans to close its Aiken County production bakery at the industrial park by the airport.  The first layoffs will come in September with the final phase out in March 2014.  The plant has operated in Aiken since 1976. Our legislative delegation is working with state and local economic development staff to alleviate the impact on our area.  We are also working with the State Department of Employment and Workforce to assist impacted workers.

Last Week in the Senate – Vetoes Considered

Governor Haley’s Vetoes:  Last Tuesday, Governor Haley vetoed 81 line items and provisos in this year’s budget totaling about $94 Million collectively.  To see her veto messages, go here for the general budget.  For the capital reserve fund, go here.

Clarification – Sustaining versus Overriding Budget Vetoes:  When a budget veto is sustained, that means the vetoed appropriation is not part of the final budget.  When a budget veto is overridden, that means the vetoed appropriation is part of the final budget despite the Governor’s veto.  At least a two thirds vote in both the House and the Senate is needed for an override. All the budget veto votes start in the House.  If the House sustains a veto, then the Senate does not vote on that vetoed appropriation.

General Budget Veto Comments: The House of Representatives met last Wednesday and the Senate met last Thursday to consider whether to sustain or to override the Governor’s vetoes.  The House voted to sustain 28 of the 81 vetoes.  The Senate voted to sustain 4 more for a total of 32 vetoes being sustained. The Senate only considers any veto that the House overrides.  Of the 53 vetoes that the House overrode, I voted to sustain 40 of the 53 vetoes based on the best information available to me at the time.  If you have a particular veto for which you want to know more about, please let me know.

Governor Haley’s Budget Vetoes — Sustained:  The House sustained 28 of Governor Haley’s 81 vetoes.  Of the remaining 53, the Senate sustained 4.  Those that were sustained included money for DNR outreach programs; for the Department of Mental Health’s Seahaven facility; for a visitor’s center in Orangeburg; and for soccer field lighting on Daniel Island.  I voted to sustain these vetoes in addition to 36 others.

Governor Haley’s Budget Vetoes – Overrides:  The House overrode 53 of Governor Haley’s 81 vetoes.  Of the remaining 53, the Senate overrode 49.  I voted to override 13.   Those that were overridden included funding for the caregivers program assisting homebound senior citizens across the state; for screenings for cancer including colon and breast cancer; for hemophilia and sickle cell health programs; for a public/private partnership focused on reforming public education; for deferred maintenance and construction at public colleges and technical schools; and for a manufacturing skills training program through the technical colleges.   I voted to override these vetoes.

Arts Commission Veto and Audit Report:  Unlike the last two years, Governor Haley did not veto the entire budget for the Arts Commission.  Rather, she vetoed a portion of the operating funds and left all of the money available for grants intact. I voted to sustain this veto.  Here is why:  In this budget, the Arts Commission will receive $1 Million more than last year for grants to support arts organizations, arts activities, arts education, and tourism across the state. (This additional funding nearly doubles this allocation from the past budget.) The Governor did not veto these funds.  Earlier last week, the Legislative Audit Council released its report on the Arts Commission. The report showed that of the states with an arts agency, the average state arts agency manages 35% more funding than the South Carolina’s Arts Commission with 29% fewer full time positions and no part time staff (SC Arts has 3 part time staff).  If sustained, Governor Haley’s veto would have impacted a portion of the operating expenses at the agency and NOT the grant funds which were increased in this budget.  Nearly every person who contacted me about overriding this veto mentioned that he or she did not want the grant funding impacted.  In this budget, the grant funding increased substantially and the veto did not impact that.  I voted to sustain the veto after knowing all of the above.  However, the Senate overrode the veto.  To see the audit report, go here.

Other Local Topics of Interest

Hitchcock Parkway Update:  Tomorrow night, July 2, the City of Aiken SCDOT will hold another public input meeting to present its alternative design concept for this proposed road project.  The meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 2 at 6:00 pm at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.  The City will present its concept plan to City Council on Monday, July 8 at 7:00 pm.  Public input is important on this project.

End of Session Town Meetings:  Like the past four years, I plan to hold end of session town meetings around the district.   Based on constituent requests, I will hold those after the summer vacation season ends.  The dates, times, and locations will be provided in future email updates.

Email Updates:  While I send these email updates every week during the legislative session, I will not send them as often between now and January since the legislature is out of session.  I plan to send at least two a month between now and January. I will not send one next week.

Teens and Texting:  Texting while driving amongst young drivers is a real problem.  There is an anti-texting app which parents can use to keep their teen from texting while driving.  To learn more, 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.

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:

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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