Across the Region

Dropouts' license bill advances in House


COLUMBIA --- South Carolina teens who drop out of school or skip too many classes would lose their driving privileges until they're 18 under a bill that narrowly cleared a key subcommittee on Tuesday, as one legislator argued it's not the government's job to raise children.

The bill is meant to encourage students to stay in school and graduate, said its sponsor, Rep. Tom Young.

"This is not the silver bullet to the problem. It's not the cure-all. But it is part of a process of addressing the issue," said Young, R-Aiken.

A House subcommittee voted 3-2 to advance the bill to the full Education and Public Works Committee. The full House passed the identical bill 62-33 last May, but the vote came late in the session, missing a deadline, and died in the Senate.

In other news

THE STATE'S TOP UTILITY regulators indefinitely postponed a big financial decision Tuesday that could have trimmed Georgia Power's earnings if it cannot control its costs while building a nuclear power plant. The elected members of the Public Service Commission voted unanimously to allow another delay so the subsidiary of the Atlanta-based Southern Co. can file its own risk-sharing plan and testify on accounting rules.