Commerce, Jobs, Bonded Debt, and Liquid Waste — Weekly Update from Sen. Tom Young –September 4, 2013 to September 9, 2013


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


SRS – Liquid Waste Update


Last week, I provided an update on this issue with links to the letters written by our legislative delegation and Catherine Templeton, Director of SC DHEC.  Since last week, here is the latest information and what you can do:

Liquid Waste and the Federal Budget: Under the current proposed budget in Congress, Savannah River Remediation’s (SRR) budget will be cut by about $100 Million.  This means that there will be substantial cutbacks in the workforce at SRS and the ongoing efforts to clean up the liquid waste at SRS will be delayed.  None of this is good for our community. This issue has significant implications as to our community, its workforce, and the cleanup of SRS.

Current Status with SRR:  SRR is currently working with local DOE on its workforce reduction plan.  The plan is scheduled to be implemented within the next 10 days.

Governor Haley’s Letter:  Last Friday, Governor Haley wrote a letter to DOE requesting additional funding in the budget for the cleanup of SRS.  To see that letter, go here.

What Can You Do?: You can help by calling the following people at the Department of Energy and the following members of our Congressional delegation and ask them to fully fund liquid waste cleanup at the Savannah River Site:

Together, we must work to encourage federal policy makers and DOE to fund liquid waste cleanup efforts at SRS.


State Government News


Annual Report — Department of Commerce:  In 2012, the State Department of  Commerce recruited $4 billion in capital investments and brought more than 14,000 jobs into the state.   To see the major project announcements that helped secure South Carolina as one of the top states to do business and the top state for jobs created through foreign investment, go here:

South Carolina Receives High Rankings from Business Consultants:   South Carolina has earned a #2 ranking among the top states for key site selection criteria, according to Area Development magazine’s recent survey of site consultants. South Carolina tied with Georgia for second overall in meeting key location requirements.  Area Development surveyed a select group of site consultants who are hired by corporations to scout locations nationwide that meet a company’s investment requirements. States were ranked in each of 17 categories based on the number of times they were named as a “top-5” choice by the responding consultants. South Carolina received more than 200 mentions.  South Carolina was the consultants’ top choice in both the certified shovel-ready sites and right-to-work environment and was among their top-five picks in cost of doing business (#2), corporate tax environment (#2), and nine other categories.   To learn more, go here:

State’s Bonded Debt Report:  The State Treasurer’s Office publishes a report each year on the bonded debt owed by the State of South Carolina.  The latest report shows that as of June 30, 2011, the state had $9.6 Billion in outstanding principal on bonded debt across all revenue classes. There has not been a default by the State on bonded debt since 1879 in the wake of Reconstruction.   To see the full report, go here.

Regulations –Comments Encouraged:  Governor’s task force is meeting  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

Planning for 2014 Legislative Session:  The 2014 legislative session convenes on the second Tuesday in January.  I appreciate input from constituents on the critical issues facing our state and area including tax reform; spending reform; K-12 education; the costs of higher education; health care; economic development; job growth; and the underfunded liabilities in our state’s health insurance program for state retirees.  Your input is welcome on any issue important to you.  Please email me back or contact me by phone or in person at your convenience.


Education Related News


Volunteer in Local Schools: If you would like to help with educating our children, consider volunteering in our local schools.  To learn more, please click here.  Thank you to the Aiken Downtown Rotary Club for putting together this list of opportunities.

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.

Special Needs Children:  Recently, the SC Bar developed a handbook for parents of special needs children.  An online version of the handbook is available here at

Clemson – Helping At Risk High School Students:  Clemson’s Emerging Scholars program works make higher education a reality for students who might not have seen college in their future. The program, started in 2002, helps students from three Low Country counties to learn more about the basics of applying to college and to develop their skills in reading, writing and math through summer experiences and academic year activities.  To learn more , go here:


Upcoming Meetings


End of Session Town Meetings:  Like the past four years, I plan to hold end of session town meetings around the district.   Currently, I have one set for Tuesday, September 17 at 4:00 pm at the Woodside Reserve Club.  The dates, times, and locations of others will be provided in future email updates as they are set.Rep. Bill Hixon and I are jointly presenting to the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce on September 25 at the Chamber’s monthly breakfast that morning.

North Augusta Business and Community Expo:  The North Augusta Chamber of Commerce will host a business and community expo at the N.A. Community Center on Thursday, September 12 from 1:00 to 7:00 pm.  To learn more, go here:

Greater Aiken Senior Extravaganza 2013:  The City of Aiken will have its annual Aiken Senior Extravaganza again on Wednesday, September 18 at the H. Odell Weeks Center from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.  The event offers seniors, and those interested in issues facing seniors, an opportunity to spend a day in educational seminars and to browse the display fair. The educational seminars will be limited to the first 325 people to register. The Health Fair and displays will be open to the public and pre-registration is not required. Age: 50 and over: Cost: FREE : Wednesday, September 19, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  For more information, please call 642-7631.


Other Local Topics of Interest


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.

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; email Paulette Morphy at;  or let me know and I will pass on the information.


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

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.


Tom Young
215-3631 (cell)



Paid for by Tom Young for Senate




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