Te Senate is in session or 2013 withJune 6 as the last day o regular session. Ihope that you nd this update helpul andinormative. I I can help you with anissue, please let me know.
SRS - Workforce Impact Update
As you know, SavannahRiver Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) hasurloughed 2500 employees to 32 hourweeks with a 20% reduction in pay. Lastweek, the impact o that pay cut was elt by aected SRNS workers in their paychecks.Te short term x to the problem is orthere to be reprogramming o unds atthe ederal level. Tis has to start with theOce o Management and Budget (OMB).I reprogramming o some money isdone, those 2500 employees get to returnto ull time work. Afer OMB allows thereprogramming, the request has to gobeore Congress or approval or whichthe Congressional delegation is waiting.My understanding is that the process iscurrently stonewalled in OMB or somereason (see below or what you can do). I the reprogramming does not occur beoreMay 22, then 700-900 people will be laido until the beginning o the next FederalFiscal year. Tis would be very harmul tothe economic vitality o Aiken County, theCSRA, and the state o South Carolina.
Most amiliescannot sustain a twenty percentreduction in pay or an extended period o time especially with little advance notice.As it stands right now with the urloughs,the aected workorce is losing collectively about $3 million per week. Tat loss o income ripples into the community atabout 2.3 times. Eventually, i 700-900 arelaid o and 1600-1800 remain in 32 hourweek, this will be an even greater nancialloss.
Te situation atSRS is a statewide problem. Many o thesub-contractors serving the site in someorm are rom other parts o the state. Teloss o personal income in the workorcewill cause state sales tax dollars to godown. Further, the recently downsizedDepartment o Employment andWorkorce will have to set up in AikenCounty to handle all the unemploymentclaims although they are now doneelectronically.
What Can You Do?:
Our locallegislative delegation continues to work onthis issue. However, you can help by doingthe ollowing:
elephone Sally Ericsson at OMBat (202) 395-3120 and Sherron White at(202) 395-9145 to request that they authorize reprogramming o unds atSavannah River Site.
elephone the ollowing members o our Congressional delegation:Senator Lindsey Graham– (202) 224-5972Senator im Scott– (202) 224-6121Congressman Jim Clyburn– (202) 225-3315Congressman Joe Wilson– (202) 225-2452Congressman Je Duncan-- (202) 225-5301ogether, we must be vigilant in our eortsto encourage ederal policy makers toallow the transer o unds at SRS toalleviate the impact o the urloughs onour state and our community.
Bridgestone – Opening of Expansion:
Early last month, Bridgestone producedthe rst tire in its new 740,000 square ootexpansion o its passenger tire plant nearGraniteville. Te expansion will increaseproduction capacity at the plant by 12,750tires to a total o 37,750 tires per day and13.4 million tires annually. We areortunate to have Bridgestone located inAiken County.
Boeing announcedon April 9 that it will create an additional2,000 jobs and invest another $1 Billionin South Carolina between now and 2020.Te company plans to move more o itsproduction operations and part o its Iworkorce to our state. Many o the jobswill be in engineering and the creationo an inormation technology center o excellence. Te state’s incentives packageincludes $120 Million in inrastructureimprovements or the land whereBoeing’s expansion will be located. Testate will own the land where theinrastructure improvements will be madeand Boeing will enter a long term lease onthe property. With the expansion, Boeingwill have 8,000 employees and will haveinvested $2 Billion in our state sinceannouncing the plant in 2009.
State Economic Outlook:
TeDepartment o Commerce released areport in mid April stating that the state’seconomic indicators are the best since2008. Some o the positives in the reportinclude the ollowing:
1.7% increase in personal income inthe ourth quarter o 2012. otal personalincome grew to $164.8 billion.
5.3% gain in the S.C. stock index.
1% increase in nonarm employment.
0.1% increase in the labor orce to2.179 million.
0.1% drop in the unemploymentrate or February, down to 8.6% rom theprevious month.
1.4% increase in manuacturinghours, which averaged 42.1 hours perweek.
1.2% increase in available online jobpostings.
Prevent High School Dropouts –Volunteers Needed:
Te Choicesprogram is a local program being used inAiken County middle schools with eighthgraders to encourage more children tonish high school. Several localbusinesses and individuals have volunteered their time. Te programneeds more volunteers. I you are willingto volunteer, please email Debbie Hubbardat email@example.com or call her at593-7300.
Road Infrastructure Update:
In lateApril, the Senate Finance transportationsubcommittee met three times and took testimony on various inrastructure billspending in the Senate. Tey planpresent a comprehensive proposal to theull committee by May 7. According to theSCDO Inrastructure ask Force reportreleased last December, the state needs$600 million more a year in state unds orthe next twenty years to meet projectedinrastructure needs.
Extended Credit Protection:
On April10, the ull Senate gave second reading tolegislation authorizing the Governor’soce to negotiate up to 10 years o identity thef protection or S.C. taxpayersthrough the state’s competitive bid process.In its negotiations, the Governor’s sta is to consider oering saeguards againstraud involving banks, phone and utility services, government benets, andgovernment documents such as taxreturns. Te bill needs one more readingand then it goes to the House. Te bill alsoincludes the ollowing:
Centralizes responsibility or cyber-security within state government under aDepartment o Inormation Security thatreports to the governor;
ax credits or South Carolinataxpayers to buy additional creditprotection on top o or in lieu o whatthe state oers afer the competitive bidprocess is complete;
An identity-thef unit at the S.C.Department o Consumer Aairs;
A committee to recommend statewidetechnology and cyber-security policies;and
A und to reimburse taxpayers orsome costs associated with identiy thefi aected taxpayers can prove that theirlosses occurred as a result o the state’scyber breach last October.
Appraisal Management LegislationPassed:
On April 24, the Senate passedlegislation relating to state oversight o appraisal management companies by thestate appraisal board. Tis move isnecessary in order to keep our statein compliance under the Dodd Frank Consumer Protection Act. Failure to doso would mean that lenders in our statewill not be able to market their bundledloans to the secondary market. Te resultwould be that banks in our state wouldhave limited capital to loan money to ourstate’s citizens. Passage o this legislationwas necessary to head o these potentialproblems.
Concealed Weapons Permit –Restaurant Carry:
On April 23, the Senatepassed this bill (S.308) with anamendment prohibiting concealed carry into restaurants serving alcohol afermidnight and beore 5 am; increasing thepenalty to up to 3 years in prison or violat-ing; and not allowing carrying a concealedhandgun and lingering in the bar section o a restaurant serving alcohol -- doing so is a violation. Now it goes to the House.continued to page 4
PAGE 2MAY 2013
by SC Rep. Tom Young, R-District 81