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PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID HARRISBURG, PA PERMIT NO.

529

Fall 2009

Congress Urged to Recognize Honor and Remember Flag as National Symbol of Service and Sacrifice of Our Fallen Soldiers
This spring I authored a House resolution urging Congress to adopt legislation that would officially recognize the “Honor and Remember” flag as the national symbol of the brave men and women in the United States Armed Forces who gave their lives in the line of duty. This flag is a simple, yet powerful, symbol of the great sacrifice so many men and women have made in our nation’s wars. For the families of these soldiers, the adoption of legislation recognizing the flag is an important step in their healing process and a way for them to forever show their pride for a loved one no longer with them. There have been an estimated 1.6 million fallen servicepersons throughout this nation’s history. Among them is Private First Class Aaron Genevie, formerly of Chambersburg, whom I posthumously honored on the state House floor with a condolence resolution. On April 10, his mother, Patricia Genevie, became the first Central Pennsylvania person to receive an Honor and Remember flag on behalf of the supreme sacrifice of her son while serving in Iraq. Aaron was tragically killed on April 16, 2007, when his humvee hit an improvised explosive device while serving in Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his service. The idea for the flag came from a father who lost his son in the Iraq War. The flag’s design holds great significance: • The red field represents the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for freedom. • The blue star is a symbol of active service in military conflict. • The white border recognizes the purity of sacrifice. • The gold star signifies the ultimate sacrifice of a warrior in active service who is not returning home and reflects the value of the life given. • The folded flag highlights this nation’s final tribute to a fallen serviceperson and a family’s sacrifice. • The red flame symbolizes the eternal spirit of the departed. House Resolution 275, which urges Congress to officially recognize The state House unanimously voted in favor of legislation the Honor and Remember flag as a authored by Rep. Rob Kauffman urging Congress to officially recognize the “Honor and Remember” flag as the national symbol of our country’s fallen national symbol of the brave men and women in the United soldiers, was unanimously passed by States Armed Forces who have given their lives in the line the House of Representatives.
of duty.

2009-10 State Budget Wrap Up
While most Pennsylvanians were relieved when Gov. Ed Rendell ended a more than 100day-long stalemate by signing a state budget into law, I voted no due to the tax hikes and excessive spending in the final budget agreement. Tax Hikes The budget includes a 25-centper-pack increase in the state tax on cigarettes and creates a new tax on “little cigars” at $1.60 per pack. The state spending plan also calls for a $374 million tax on Pennsylvania employers at a time when the Commonwealth’s workers and job creators are reeling from the international economic recession. In addition, the budget includes a tax on Medicaid Managed Care Organizations (MCOs). The good news is that while the state spending plan includes the targeted tax increases above, House Republicans were able to block several new or increased taxes proposed by Rendell. At various points during the budget process, the governor called for both a Personal Income Tax (PIT) increase and an expansion of the state Sales and Use Tax (SUT). We were able to block both of these broad-based tax increases.
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 State Budget Wrap Up continued from page 1
In addition, the governor proposed a severance tax on natural gas harvested in Pennsylvania. This would have stunted the growth of Pennsylvania’s emerging Marcellus Shale natural gas industry, resulting in fewer good-paying jobs for Pennsylvania workers. We were also successful in averting this job-killing tax proposal. Draining the Reserve Accounts Budget negotiators balanced the state spending plan, in part, by draining several reserve accounts. The Commonwealth had built up a $755 million Rainy Day Fund that is intended to help the state pay for unanticipated expenses. That fund will be completely depleted during the current budget year. The budget also calls for depleting the $708 million Health Care Provider Retention Account and taking $100 million from the MCare Fund. Both of these funds are used to help cover the cost of medical malpractice for the health care industry. Furthermore, $150 million would be taken from the Tobacco Settlement fund, which receives money from a federal lawsuit and allocates those funds for tobacco prevention and statewide health care programs. By draining the state’s reserve accounts, nothing will be available next year. This could be devastating in the event the economy does not turn around. Given the fact that state revenues are already $140 million short for the year, this is a serious concern. Federal Bailout Dollars After being sworn into office, President Barack Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress in Washington, D.C., acted swiftly to approve several bailout measures. One of those was the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which, among other things, provided federal dollars to subsidize state budgets. The Pennsylvania state budget includes more than $2.6 billion in federal bailout money. Added to the nearly $25.2 billion in state dollars in the final budget, this means the Commonwealth will spend approximately $27.8 billion in the current spending plan. Due, in part, to the extensive use of federal dollars for education, school districts in the 89th Legislative District received large increases in funding within the state budget. Although I am an advocate for education, this level of spending cannot be maintained once the federal money runs out in a couple of years, which means taxpayers will have to make up the difference. This, in my opinion, is not an ideal situation.

2009-10 Education Funding for 89th Legislative District
*Special education funding will remain the same as last year. Federal funding will provide additional money; however, this funding is only available for three years.
School District Basic Education Funding Basic Education Percentage Increase Federal Stimulus Funding

Shippensburg Chambersburg Area Fannett-Metal Greencastle-Antrim Tuscarora Waynesboro Area

$8.84 million $19.46 million $2.21 million $5.7 million $8.12 million $12.9 million

8.44% 4.58% 2% 4.80% 5.50% 4.49%

$1 million $2.74 million $346,873 $650,640 $724,218 $985,912

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Now Accepting Applications
The Pennsylvania’s Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is now accepting applications for cash grants. Crisis grants will be available on Jan. 4, 2010. LIHEAP helps low-income people pay their heating bills through home energy assistance grants and crisis grants. Cash grants are awarded based on household income, family size, type of heating fuel and region. Crisis grants are provided in the event of a heating emergency, including broken heating equipment or leaking lines that must be fixed or replaced, lack of fuel, termination of utility service or danger of being without fuel or of having utility service terminated. In most counties, assistance with home heating crisis situations is available 24 hours a day. Applications are available by contacting local county assistance offices in Cumberland County at 1800-269-0173 and Franklin County at (717) 262-6579. Applications are also available from local utility companies and community service agencies, such as Area Agencies on Aging or community action agencies. LIHEAP cash grant applications are available online at compass.state.pa.us. Income eligibility for cash grants begins at $33,075 for a family of four. For complete eligibility requirements and additional information on LIHEAP, visit my Web site at RepKauffman.com and click on “LIHEAP Information.”

www.RepKa

House Republican Plan House Republicans presented several spending plans through the budget process, including the most comprehensive plan created with the input of several key House Democrats (House Bill 1943). Only partial withdrawls from the reserve accounts and none of these new and increased taxes would have been necessary under the House Republican budget proposal, which was never brought before the General Assembly for consideration by the Democrat-controlled House.

2010-11 Budget Process We will be working on the 2010-11 budget in less than three months, and we must follow our constitutional obligation to get a state budget passed on time. There are several legislative proposals currently being circulated that might help expedite the process and put measures in place to hold the General Assembly more accountable. Those initiatives should be coming before the House and Senate in the next few months.

Hunters Encouraged to ‘Share the Harvest’
With hunting season in full swing, I am asking successful hunters to consider sharing a portion of their catch with those in need. Every year, Pennsylvania deer hunters donate tens of thousands of pounds of venison, or deer meat, to local food banks and soup kitchens through the Hunters Sharing the Harvest (HSH) program. Established in 1991, HSH is sponsored by Pennsylvanians for the Responsible Use of Animals and operates with the cooperation of the Pennsylvania Game Commission and state Department of Agriculture, along with several state sportsmen’s organizations. The HSH program calls upon hunters to donate anything from a few pounds of venison to a whole deer to help needy Pennsylvanians. On average, the meat from one deer can provide 200 meals for hungry Pennsylvanians. Venison is a good source of protein, low in fat and eagerly sought after by food banks for its nutritional value. With more than 1 million deer currently living in Pennsylvania, it comes as no surprise that hunters have managed to donate more than 80,000 pounds of venison a year to needy individuals and families through food banks and soup kitchens. One of the group’s largest costs is the result of processor reimbursements, which is why HSH continually accepts monetary contributions year-round for its services. Hunters donating their harvest voluntarily pay a $15 tax-deductable fee toward each processed deer. The remainder of the processing fee is covered through HSH sponsors and generous donations of individuals across the state. Anyone interested in contributing venison to the HSH program should call 1-866-4742141. Information can also be found by visiting my Web site at RepKauffman.com and clicking on “Sharing the Harvest.”

Local Students Participate in Guest Page Program

Rep. Rob Kauffman posed for a picture with Matthew Brockman, a senior at Shalom Christian Academy, on June 23.

Brendan Bittle and Brenton Miller, pictured with Rep. Rob Kauffman, participated as guest pages on June 16.

auffman.com

Take Precautions to Prepare Yourself for H1N1
There has been a lot of information about the H1N1 virus in the news lately. The most important piece of information to discern from the wealth of statistics, precautions and myths about H1N1 is that it appears to be no more dangerous that the seasonal strain of influenza each year. H1N1 causes symptoms similar to seasonal flu and can include a fever over 100 degrees, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. In some cases, individuals with the virus may experience vomiting and diarrhea. People infected with H1N1 are contagious one day before getting sick and up to seven days after that. This time period can be even longer in children and people with weakened immune systems. The Pennsylvania Department of Health cautions anyone with the above symptoms to stay at home (except to get medical care) until at least 24 hours after the fever ends naturally (without the use of fever-reducing medication). The department also advises individuals who believe they have H1N1 not to go to school or work because doing so could spread the virus to those who are otherwise well. In addition to practicing good hygiene – washing your hands frequently and coughing into a tissue or into the crook of your arm – there are some precautions you can take, including finding out if H1N1 vaccinations will be distributed in your area. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has identified five targeted groups that should receive the H1N1 vaccine: • Pregnant women. • Persons 6 months to 24 years of age. • Health care providers and EMS personnel. • Individuals caring for infants under 6 months of age. • Individuals under age 65 with underlying medical conditions. These groups have been targeted for various reasons, including controlling spread and decreasing hospitalizations and complications from H1N1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls for children under 10 to receive two doses of the vaccine administered 28 days apart OR a minimum of 21 days apart. Individuals over the age of 10 will receive one dose of the vaccine. The vaccine is an intra-nasal vaccine that is a spray. Parents are asked to check with their providers and/or schools, who will be responsible for administering the vaccines. It is important to note that this vaccine DOES NOT replace the seasonal influenza vaccine. If you received a flu vaccine last year or you fall into an atrisk category, you should obtain one this year as well. For more information on where to get vaccines, call 1-877-PA HEALTH or visit my Web site at RepKauffman. RepKauffman. com and click on the “Flu Season: Stay Informed” link.

Around the 89th District

Rep. Kauffman at the Cumberland Valley Amateur Radio Club’s Field Day in July.

Rep. Rob Kauffman presented Hazel McNew of Chambersburg with a citation in honor of her 98th birthday on March 16. The citation was presented to Hazel on the floor of the House of Representatives during her first visit to the state Capitol. She has five children, 11 grandchildren, 22 greatgrandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

Rep. Rob Kauffman was presented with an award from the Pennsylvania Families for Public Cyber Schools in recognition of his support and dedication to public cyber schools. Pictured left to right are Rebecca Bradmon, Linda Dupes, Kauffman and Rachel Bradmon.

My district offices are here to help you. Services my staff and I provide include:
Driver’s license and vehicle registration applications and renewals  Assistance with PennDOT paperwork  Copies of birth and death certificates  PACE and PACENET applications for seniors  Property Tax and Rent Rebate forms and applications  Voter registration forms and absentee ballot applications  State tax forms  Student aid applications  Free state maps, state park information, and PA Vacation Guides  Copies of legislation  Tours of the State Capitol  Referrals to agencies to resolve state-related matters If you need help with any of the above or with any other state-related matter, please do not hesitate to call my offices: Chambersburg Office 166 South Main Street Chambersburg, PA 17201 Phone: (717) 264-3943 Fax: (717) 264-2893 Shippensburg Office 9974 Molly Pitcher Highway Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: (717) 532-1707 Fax: (717) 532-5043 Capitol Office Room B13 Main Capitol Harrisburg, PA 17120-2089 Phone: (717) 705-2004 Fax: (717) 783-1341

District Office Services

www.RepKauffman.com