More on Cyber Attack – Special Update from Rep. Tom Young – November 1, 2012

Here is the latest information on the cyber attack on the S.C. Department of Revenue:

What Happened?: Last Friday, the Governor and Chief of SLED announced that someone from an international email address gained access to personal information of taxpayers at the SC Department of Revenue. Law enforcement is working to capture the hacker(s).

Individuals and Businesses – What to Do?

Individuals — What Should You Do?: Anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 should take the following steps:

Enroll by Internet: Visit and enter the code “scdor123” to enroll in one year of credit monitoring provided by Experian


Enroll by Phone: Call 1-866-578-5422 to determine if your information is affected and to enroll in one year of credit monitoring provided by Experian.

According to the Governor’s office, Experian’s ProtectMyID™ Alert is designed to detect, protect, and resolve potential identity theft and includes daily monitoring of all three credit bureaus. The alerts and daily monitoring services are provided for one year, and consumers will continue to have access to fraud resolution agents and services beyond the first year.

Businesses – What Should They Do?: Governor Haley announced late yesterday afternoon that up to 657,000 businesses in South Carolina may be affected in the hacking attack. The Governor said that Dun and Bradstreet, a company that provides credit monitoring and protection for businesses, has agreed to assist SC business owners at no charge to the business or the state. Any business that filed a tax return since 1998 should sign up starting tomorrow — Friday, November 2, at 8 am by visiting or calling 1-800-279-9881.

Also, Experian is offering impacted South Carolina businesses Business Credit AdvantageSM – a self-monitoring service that allows unlimited access to a company’s business credit report and score. Beginning today, South Carolina businesses can sign up for Business Credit AdvantageSM at

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

When were elected officials notified? The Governor’s office did not notify members of the General Assembly until last Friday afternoon when the press conference was held.

Are young adults who previously filed in SC covered?  If a tax return was filed from 1998 until the present and a person’s SS# was listed on the return as the filer or a dependent, they can sign up for the protection.  Individuals currently 18 and older must enroll themselves.  Individuals currently 17 and younger must be added on the family plan by their parent or legal guardian. According to the Governor’s office, after the parent or legal guardian has enrolled, then Experian will contact the parent or legal guardian by email within two weeks to allow the enrollment of dependent children.  Laws do not allow them to consent to this agreement on their own.  SCDOR will cross check SS#s with all enrollments.

Why doesn’t SCDOR just enroll taxpayers?  It is against the law to enroll taxpayers without their consent.

What is the cost to the State for the protection for affected citizens provided by Experian? According to the Governor’s office, the State has negotiated a fee for the first year’s worth of protection of $12 Million.

For individuals to enroll in credit protection offered by the state, is there an internet portal to allow quicker, more direct and easier access than calling the toll free number?  Experian has a South Carolina portal/page located at the following: .  The activation code is SCDOR123 (not case sensitive) to enroll.  A way to confirm that you are on the correct page is the picture of the person/model on the page should be a female. Some people are being bounced directly to the Experian home page (the picture on this page is a male). If this happens, this is a problem on the user’s end not Experian’s end.  If a person does not have internet access, the person can call 1-866-578-5422.  Experian is working to address wait times and as of Wednesday, no waits should be more than 12 to 15 minutes.

How much time should deployed, overseas military personnel expect to wait before they are contacted?  The State is working with the Department of Defense to make the notification enrollment process as easy as possible for active military personnel.  Details will be released when confirmed.

Were checking account routing numbers compromised?  Of the files accessed, an individual’s entire return many have been accessed.  The Social Security #’s and bank information were not encrypted.  Credit cards were encrypted on returns older 2003.  Any unencrypted credit card information would be for cards that have expired.

How can I get a free credit report?    Under the Federal Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, you can get a free credit report through the Federal Trade Commission at   or call (877) 322-8228. The law entitles you to a free report from each of the three major credit-reporting companies every 12 months. You may choose to order one report every four months. Further, the site contains tips on steps you can take to prevent identity theft as well as what to do if your identity has been stolen.

What does it mean to “freeze my credit report?” A credit freeze simply means that new credit accounts will not be approved and your credit file cannot be accessed by anyone without your approval. Therefore, even if thieves have all of your personal identifying information, they still will not be allowed to get credit in your name. However, freezing your credit account may slow down the process of obtaining credit legitimately.

How can I freeze my credit report? Call one of the three credit-reporting companies if you want to freeze your credit, which privacy advocates say is the surest way to protect against identity theft. Your answers to security questions will tell the credit agencies that you live in South Carolina, which entitles you to a freeze at no charge to you. However, if spouses have joint accounts, each spouse must seek a freeze independently of the other. You will be provided a PIN so that you can lift the freeze when you decide. Be sure to ask whether a freeze with one reporting agency freezes all your credit with the two others. The credit agencies names and numbers are: Experian, (888) 397-3742; Equifax, (800) 525-6285; and TransUnion, (800) 680-7289.

Is there a charge to freeze my credit report? There should not be a charge to do this under S.C. state law. If the credit-reporting agency charges you a fee to freeze your credit records, which is barred by state law, contact the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs at (800) 922-1594.

Are there protective measures available short of implementing a credit freeze? Ask about a less aggressive “fraud alert” that requires credit companies to monitor your credit for any unusual activity for 90 days. A fraud alert requires the credit company, with which you filed the alert, to share that request with the two other credit companies.

Where can I get a summary of South Carolina’s credit freeze law?  To learn more about South Carolina’s credit freeze law which started in 2008, go here.

What can parents do to protect their children from identity theft? The Federal Trade Commission has an excellent summary on this topic which includes steps for how to freeze your child’s credit. To see that summary, go here.

Questions? If you have other questions, I will do my best to get you an answer. Please be patient as I do my best to get information for you. You can email me at or call me at (803) 215-3631.

More Information? I will provide more information to you by email as I learn it.

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.

Young to run for Ryberg’s Senate seat

S.C. Rep. Tom Young said Saturday he will seek election to the S.C. Senate District 24 seat of Greg Ryberg, who announced earlier this week he will not seek re-election.

Young, a Republican who has represented the 81st House District since 2008, looks to take over the Senate seat Ryberg has held for the past 20 years. An Aiken attorney, Young serves on the House judiciary committee.

He said he opted to seek the Senate post after seeing repeated House measures go nowhere in the state Senate.

“Time after time, we have advanced pro-taxpayer reforms and legislation good for South Carolina that have died or stalled in the state Senate,” Young said.

Young has cosponsored several government restructuring bills, including moving several currently elected positions to governor appointments. Those include secretary of agriculture, secretary of state, superintendent of education, treasurer and adjutant general. He also cosponsored a bill that would call for the joint election of the governor and lieutenant governor.

The secretary of state bill cleared the House in 2010 but died when the 2010 Senate session expired with the bill not being addressed during the session. All of the other bills cleared the House in 2011 and are in the hands of the Senate.

Young also co-authored a bill that would strip the driving privilege to high school dropouts under the age of 18. The House passed that in 2010, but it, too, died when the Senate term expired. The bill passed against in 2011 and was passed unanimously last week by the Senate education committee. The bill is on the Senate calendar for this term.

Young said his conservative credentials in the House would transfer to the Senate.

“Aiken County wants and deserves a strong and consistent voice in the Senate for lower taxes, smaller government, less spending and balanced budgets. I look forward to showing the citizens of Aiken County that I will be the same kind of conservative, constituent-focused senator that I have been as a House member,” he said.

Young lauded Ryberg’s fiscal conservatism and said he will uphold that stance.

“He’s been a strong advocate for the taxpayers, and I intend to continue to be a strong advocate of the taxpayer,” he said.

Young is the first to announce intentions to run for Ryberg’s senate seat.

As for who will replace him in the House, Young said he has no particular individual in mind but rather a general philosophy.

“I would like to see someone represent the voters of District 81 who is conservative and focused on constituent service,” he said.

Young replaced Rep. Skipper Perry in the 2008 election after Perry announced he would not seek re-election after nine years of service in the Statehouse.

Young is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the USC School of Law. He lives in Aiken with his wife and two daughters.

Filing for those intending to run for office opens March 16 at noon and closes March 30 at noon. The state primaries will be held June 12, and the general election is Nov. 6.

Source: Aiken Standard

Reps. give overview of legislative session

The S.C. General Assembly is going to have to find a way to provide reform measures for the state’s retirement system, said S.C. Rep. Tom Young, R-Aiken.

He and S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken, discussed the 2012 legislative session, which starts today, at an Aiken Rotary Club meeting on Monday.

A study by Clemson University several years ago projected that the unfunded mandate for the retirement system would be $6.2 billion by 2010. Actually, it’s now closer to $17 billion, Young said, and such shortfalls are occurring in 46 states. In the fairly recent past, there were 3.36 state employees working for every retiree. Now the number is 1.71 employees.

“People are living longer, and the system wasn’t designed for that,” Young said. “That’s one of the reasons so much is unfunded.”

Using the telephone greeting imposed on state employees by Gov. Nikki Haley, Taylor said, “It is a great day in South Carolina.” He noted that the economic forecast is not nearly as pessimistic as it was a year ago. Revenue could increase in 2012 by $950 million to $1.3 billion, he said.

“If the U.S. economy rebounds somewhat, South Carolina is in a position to take advantage of that,” Taylor said. “Bridgestone (expansion) was one of the biggest buzzes in 2011, and manufacturing is coming back in large amounts.”

During the last session, the House approved an ambitious conservative agenda. Many didn’t make it through the Senate, but those that did were important, said Taylor. They include government transparency, point-of-sale changes to bring more fairness to property taxes and voter ID measures.

South Carolina has provided $1.3 billion toward the prospective Yucca Mountain site for radioactive waste disposal, including spent fuel at the Savannah River Site. However, that project has been shelved, at least for now. The state’s legislative delegation has asked President Barack Obama and Secretary of Energy Steven Chu about returning those funds to ratepayers, Young said.

“If you have paid utility bills for many years, a portion of that money has gone to develop the Yucca Mountain site,” he said. “We think the federal government should return that money if it’s not going to be used as originally intended.”

People know that Democrats oppose Yucca Mountain, “but the Republican candidates have not responded to this question, either,” Taylor said.

Courtesy of the Aiken Standard

Governor Nikki Haley Speaks at Aiken Republican Club

While speaking at the Aiken Republican Club, Governor Nikki Haley was asked a question from the audience about government restructuring. The gentleman stated how as his state house representative, I have championed government restructuring in South Carolina. He asked her what her thoughts were on this important issue. Please watch this video to hear how Governor Haley responded to this question.

Click here to watch the video!

2011 Legislative Scorecard

Conservative Republican Tom Young once again comes through with a strong showing in the annual legislative scorecard. This year, Representative Young received an “A+” rating of 100.

This latest report only confirms how dedicated Representative Young is to tackling the important issues facing our state and district. Please visit his Facebook page now to leave a comment or question.

Click here to view the full report!

Young says still many things to consider regarding Caley’s law

There is a nationwide push for a new bill called Caylee’s Law. It’s creating a buzz in state capitols around the country.

Supporters hope it will close loopholes that led to a “not guilty” verdict for the 2-year-old’s mother, Casey Anthony, but not everyone agrees that a new law is needed.

It may be the most telling piece of evidence when Casey Anthony failed to report her missing daughter for more than a month. Now, people across the country want to make that a felony offense and state lawmakers are listening.

The images of Casey Anthony partying in the days of Caylee’s disappearance and this week’s surprising verdict have people asking for a change.

Rep. Tom Young Jr., R-Aiken, said he’s received emails from people in his district that have asked him to consider Caylee’s Law.

This law would make it a felony if a parent or legal guardian fails to report a missing child within 24 hours or a child’s death within an hour.

“That’s the proposal I’ve received by several folks in the wake of the verdict, and the question is if that will that be filed in South Carolina and if so, when?” Young said.

Young said there are still many things to consider.

“Does it apply just to children who are under the age of 10 or does it apply to children who are 16, 17, 18 years old who may run away from home, who may be away for a long period of time. Do you go and prosecute the parents?” Ford asked.

Some argue that we may not really need another law like Children’s Place Executive Director Peggy Ford.

“I just think we need a minute to look,” Ford said. “Do we need more laws before we think we need another law? Were the laws not applied in this particular case? Could they have applied them differently?”

As the director of a nonprofit group, Ford sees this often. She thinks what was done was neglect, and acts of neglect and abuse are already against the law.

“There is a law, it’s just not a law specifically about reporting,” Ford said. “It’s a law about taking care of your children and knowing where they are.”

People are signing petitions online for a federal and/or state law.

Some of these websites like have seen hundreds of signatures for a Caylee’s Law in a matter of minutes, resulting in a national campaign.

Support it or not, if we were going to see anything in Georgia or South Carolina, the new session doesn’t start until January so it would be several months before a bill could even be filed.

Some Florida lawmakers are drafting a version of Caylee’s law. Representatives in Oklahoma, New York, and West Virginia have also announced they will be proposing a similar bill.

Courtesy of

Hundreds of high-paying jobs may disappear at SRS after DOE cut

People form Aiken, Augusta, even Washington, D.C. piled into the Bell Auditorium Thursday night for a meeting about Savannah River Site. Meanwhile, nuclear waste continues to pile up at SRS.

“We’ve got about 10 metric tons thus far,” said David Moody. He’s the Department of Energy Manager at Savannah River Site. He says the public hearing tonight was to discuss what to do with all that waste.

One of the old answers is off the table now.

“H Canyon is not only important to this area, but it’s important to the United States. It’s a national resource,” said Representative Tom Young, Jr. (R – Aiken).

H Canyon is a massive facility at SRS with a special goal.

“It’s the only facility in the United States that has the ability to reprocess certain types of used nuclear fuel,” said Young.

In its 2012 budget, the U.S. Department of Energy removed $100 million of funding from H Canyon. Young fears the impact it’ll have on this area.

“There are approximately 655 people, I believe, that work at H Canyon, and all of these are very good high-paying jobs. Many of these people live in Aiken County and in Richmond and Columbia Counties in the CSRA,” said Young.

Young says the lay-offs will come at a bad time. SRS is already facing lay-offs after the stimulus money dried up this year. Moody, however, is optimistic.

“We are going to enable a nuclear future for this country,” he said.

As for the future, Moody says we’ll have to find other ways of getting rid of the nuclear waste piling up at SRS. H Canyon would have taken care of some of it, but with it off the table, what’s the alternative?

“There isn’t one,” says Moody “Unless someone has in the neighborhood of $10 billion to build a new one. It really is a national resource.”

He says the H Canyon facility won’t be torn down. It’ll instead be used for Research and Development purposes.

Representative Young says there’s already a place laid-off workers can go in Aiken to find related work. The to that information is below.

From Representative Tom Young, Jr.:

“Help for Displaced SRS Workers: If you or someone you know lost a job at SRS, there is a One-Stop Transition Center open in downtown Aiken at Park Avenue and Laurens Street to assist workers displaced at SRS with finding new work. The Center is open from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. For more information, visit”

Courtesy of

Bill to suspend licenses of dropouts advances

South Carolina teens younger than 18 will lose driving privileges if they drop out of school or skip too many classes under a bill heading to the House floor for debate.

The House Education and Public Works Committee unanimously approved on Tuesday a measure that would suspend licenses until the student reaches 18.

Members of the committee said the legislation will encourage students to think seriously about the consequences they’ll face if they don’t stay in school.

The House passed the same legislation last year. But that action came too late to meet a procedural deadline for bills to reach the Senate.

Courtesy of The Post & Courier

Dropouts would lose their licenses

Teens who drop out of school or miss too many classes could lose the right to drive under a bill working its way through the S.C. General Assembly.

A House subcommittee Tuesday approved a proposal to revoke the driver’s licenses or learner’s permits of teens – ages 15, 16 and 17 – who are expelled or drop out of school. North Carolina and Georgia already have similar laws.

Students who have seven or more unexcused absences from school also would lose their driving rights.

Waivers would be granted to teens who drop out to go to work and support themselves or their families, as well as teens enrolled in high-school equivalency – or General Educational Development – programs.

Any teen would be eligible for a driver’s license once he or she turns 18.

The bill was one of three concerning driving that came before House subcommittees. Panels also:

• Rejected a proposal to ban S.C. smokers from lighting up in cars when children are present

• Agreed to reclassify mo-peds as motor vehicles so that mo-ped drivers could be charged with driving under the influence

However, the drop-out driver bill received the most attention.

“This is not the silver bullet to the drop-out problem,” said state Rep. Tom Young, R-Aiken. “But if we can stop just some kids from dropping out, it benefits society.”

About one in four S.C. high school students does not graduate four years after entering high school, according to 2010 state Department of Education data released last month.

The bill, which passed the House last year but failed to get a hearing before the state Senate, is backed by new state Superintendent of Education Mick Zais.

Still, some Democrats and Republicans have concerns.

“This is more government regulation, and everyone is going to say, ‘It’s a hardship (and request a waiver),’” said state Rep. Anne Thayer, R-Anderson, who voted against the bill.

The bill squeaked through, by a 3-2 vote. It next heads to a full House Education Committee for consideration.

State Rep. Harold Mitchell, D-Spartanburg, the other dissenting voter, said the bill only would affect middle- and upper-class families. “If you’re poor and living in the projects, nine times out of 10 you don’t have a car anyway,” Mitchell said.

Families should discipline their drop-out children, rather than ask the state to do it, he added. “As much as we say to not let government rule the family, here we’re talking about letting the government teach a certain class of kids lessons.”

House subcommittee members unanimously opposed a proposal by state Rep. Joan Brady, R-Richland, to ban drivers and passengers from smoking when a child younger than 6 in a car seat is present.

Four states and Puerto Rico have similar laws.

Brady unsuccessfully argued the bill would help educate parents about the increased risks of asthma, ear infections and other childhood illnesses caused by second-hand smoke.

“We have to educate parents that it’s not just what they’re doing to themselves but what they’re doing to children,” Brady said.

But panel members called the bill overreaching and unenforceable.

“It would just clog the courts, trying to decide if they were smoking,” said state Rep. Ralph Norman, R-York. “If parents don’t know that smoking is bad (by) now, passing a law isn’t going to change that.”

But the panel unanimously approved closing a loophole in the state’s drunken-driving laws.

The bill would reclassify mo-peds as motor vehicles so that mo-ped drivers could be charged with driving under the influence.

“They (law enforcement) need to have this tool in their arsenal … to keep the roads safe,” said the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Derham Cole, R-Spartanburg.

“You can be impaired and drive a mo-ped, and we can’t charge you with a DUI,” said Department of Public Safety Director Mark Keel, who supports the bill. “It doesn’t make sense to me you can get charged (with a DUI) while driving a tractor or a riding lawn mower but not when you’re on a mo-ped.”

Mo-peds have been involved in more than 1,300 wrecks in the past three years in South Carolina, according to data from Public Safety Department. Those wrecks left 41 dead. It is not known how many of the wrecks involved a drunken person.

Courtesy of The State

Rep. Young brings dropout bill back to S.C. House

If a student wants to drop out of high school or just not go to class, he can do so, but it could come at the cost of losing his driver’s license.

South Carolina Rep. Tom Young, R-Aiken, hopes a bill he’s co-sponsoring can get through the General Assembly during the current session in order for it to take effect during the 2012-13 school year.

Under the provisions of the proposed legislation, a 15- to 17-year-old student with a full or restricted driver’s license would lose driving privileges if he leaves his public, private or home school or has seven unexcused absences in a specific time frame.

Students attending adult education classes and making progress toward their GEDs would not be considered dropouts.

“It’s a short-term answer to a long-term problem,” said Young. “It’s not the silver bullet by any means but is part of a long-term solution.”

The District 81 House member talked with students in third through 12th grades. The responses from middle and high school students were especially illuminating, Young said.

“I asked them if losing their driving privileges would keep their peers from dropping out of school,” he said. “The response was amazing. Students in the Junior Leadership program agreed that they knew children who would think twice about dropping out.”

School attendance would also be a condition of getting a beginner’s permit, a conditional or special restricted license or a regular license for teenagers younger than 18. The person could not be expelled from school. The bill does provide opportunities for parents to appeal such an action.

If a student has a personal or family hardship that requires him to have a driver’s license, a waiver could be granted by the Office of Motor Vehicle Hearings. Such hardships would include a job held by the student that is needed to support himself or his family. Similarly, a waiver could be issued if the student or a family member has a medical condition that requires him to provide transportation for treatment.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Aiken County School District attendance supervisor Lise Birak said of the bill. “Teenagers don’t always look at a lack of education and how it will impact the rest of their lives. This will affect them now.”

Birak has spoken with school officials in other areas with such a law. All agreed that the legislation makes a significant difference in dropout rates, she said.

The school absences provision doesn’t apply to medically excused absences. Students who have three consecutive unexcused absences or a total of seven such absences are considered habitually truant and can get referrals to Family Court.

Dropout and absentee numbers are beginning to decrease with the implementation of school-based intervention programs, Birak said. She hopes the new legislation, if approved, will extend that impact.

Young’s bill was approved by the S.C. House in 2010 but bogged down in the Senate. The proposal now in the House is the same and will come up for a subcommittee hearing on Tuesday.

The idea actually dates back to a Governor’s Commission report on the state’s future, which was ordered by Gov. Carroll Campbell in 1989.

The report, in part, called high school dropouts a drag on the economy, with many of them ending up in prison or having families living in poverty. The state could not afford that in 1989 and can’t afford it now, Young said.

Courtesy of The Aiken Standard