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Dick Stevenson

PO Box 202008 Harrisburg, PA 17170-2008

State Representative

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID HARRISBURG, PA PERMIT NO 529

Dear Friends,
With the 2007-08 budget debate now behind us and a spending plan in place, I wanted to provide you with an update of other news from Harrisburg and around the 8th District. In addition to information on my perspective of the final budget, this fall edition of my newsletter includes information about legislation I’ve sponsored to help local businesses and organizations recoup money they’ve lost from bad checks, and information about upcoming legislative meetings. You’ll also find a new feature I’m introducing in this newsletter, called “Cheers,” that recognizes people and organizations for their accomplishments. All of those listed received citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. If you have any questions about any of the information contained in the newsletter or about state government, please get in touch with my district offices in Grove City or Butler, or visit my Web site at DickStevenson.com. Sincerely,

Dick Stevenson

Stevenson Joins Effort to Reduce State Borrowing
Part of my responsibility as a state legislator is to ensure that your tax dollars are being spent wisely. Unfortunately, the past five years of the Rendell Administration has led to a historic increase in the amount of borrowing. Through the end of the current fiscal year, Pennsylvania’s outstanding debt will have increased by $2.4 billion. If this trend in borrowing continues, at the end of Rendell’s second term in office in December 2010, debt will have increased to $11.5 billion, more than any other governor in state history to date. This borrowing translates into long-term debt that will have to be paid by our children and grandchildren, when the state’s debt service will take up a larger chunk of state spending. A simple analogy is found in people’s own households. If people spend their paychecks, exhaust their savings and max out their credit cards, and then ask for their credit lines to be extended, any responsible credit company would consider this to be too risky to make financial sense. And it’s too risky for Pennsylvania. We cannot afford this borrow-now, pay-later attitude. That is why I have joined with colleagues in the House Republican Policy Committee to serve as vice chairman of a special task force studying the Commonwealth’s debt. We will be examining this issue as the months progress, and I am hopeful our efforts will result in limiting Pennsylvania’s increasing burden of debt.

During a Capitol press conference, I discussed the level of the state’s debt that has accrued over the past five years. As a fiscal conservative who believes that government should live within its means, such borrowing sets a wrong direction for our state.

DICKSTEVENSON.COM

The 2007-08 state budget this year came down to a battle of wills, with 25,000 state workers furloughed and a partial shutdown of state government occurring for one day. Although I am pleased the stalemate is over, I could not lend my support to the final spending plan. We fought off the governor’s seven proposed new taxes, but still, I am disappointed that spending is far above the rate of inflation. As a government, we should be looking at ways to contain spending, not add to it. The final budget was more than 3.7 percent more than last year, totaling nearly $27 billion. My first budget in 2001 was nearly $20 billion. In six years, the budget has grown more than 35 percent. With a $650 million surplus at the end of the 2006-07 fiscal year, we should be finding ways to return that money to the taxpayer, not add new government programs that will only lead to even greater state spending in the future. In addition, I continue to be appalled at the level of borrowing our governor insists is needed to move Pennsylvania forward. Many members of the agriculture community called my attention to the importance of retaining the $3 million budget item to supplement crop insurance premiums. I and many of my counterparts from rural areas of the state also recognize the importance of this budget item as an essential risk management tool to help protect farmers, and the state’s economy, from the effects of devastating crop losses. Unfortunately, even though I consider it one of the most successful programs the state has ever embarked upon by using state dollars as an incentive for private sector investment, and even though I conveyed this message during budget negotiations, my efforts were only marginally successful. The governor proposed to cut this funding by two-thirds to only $1 million. While the goal was to restore this funding to the $3 million level of past years, we were only able to get agreement with the administration to fund the program at $1.5 million for fiscal year 2007-08. For this reason, combined with concerns about increased spending and borrowing, as well as other ill-advised priorities reflected in the budget, I was a “no” vote on final passage of the budget. Nonetheless, it did pass and we will have to work within its limits for the next year.

Stevenson Votes ‘No’ House OKs Bill to Increase to Inflated State Bad Check Service Charge Budget Businesses would be better able to recover costs from writers of bad checks under legislation I have introduced that recently won the

support of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Bad checks cost businesses millions of dollars each year, but because of current state law, merchants’ hands are tied when it comes to recovering their costs. When a business or organization deposits or cashes a bad check, its account is charged the bank’s processing fee, and this legislation will allow it to recoup the loss it has encountered by raising its service fee from $20 to $50. House Bill 296 allows individuals, organizations and businesses to charge a service fee of $50 when a bad check has been passed to them. If the actual amount of service charges incurred by the payee is more than $50, then the actual amount will be assessed against the bad check writer. It is against the law in Pennsylvania for a person to knowingly and intentionally write a check for which there are not sufficient funds to cover and he or she fails to make good within 10 days after receiving notice of the refusal of the check. Upon conviction, the person who wrote the bad check must reimburse the payee or such other party the face amount of the check, as well as any service charge if written notice of the service charge was conspicuously displayed on the payee’s premises when the check was issued. A written notice of the service charge amount must still be conspicuously displayed at the place of business. The legislation is now with the state Senate for consideration.

Time to Renew Do Not Call Registration
Some Pennsylvania residents need to renew their registration on the state’s Do Not Call list to continue avoiding telemarketing calls. Registration for the Do Not Call list is only valid for five years from the date of initial registration. The list is updated quarterly, so if you registered when the list first came out in 2002, your listing expires Nov. 1. If you were not able to re-register by the Sept. 15 deadline, you can still re-register. You may, however, experience some telemarketing calls for a couple of months until your registration is updated. Phone subscribers should be aware of several exceptions to the Do Not Call law by which telemarketers may call your home even if it is registered on the Do Not call list. The exceptions include calls from: • Telemarketers who have had an established business relationship with you up to 12 months prior to the call. • Tax-exempt charitable organizations, veteran’s organizations chartered by the U.S. Congress and calls made on behalf of a political candidate or political party. • Telemarketers calling at the express request of the residential telephone customer. For more information on how to be placed on the Do Not Call list or to renew your registration, visit my Web site at DickStevenson. com, or call the Office of the Attorney General at 1-888-777-3406.

Legislative Meetings Set for Fall
Please join me this fall at one of three legislative meetings I have scheduled around the 8th District. This is an opportunity for me to give you an update on legislative activity in the Capitol, hear your concerns about issues in our area, and to answer your questions about state government. The meetings are scheduled for: • Friday, Sept. 28, 8 to 9:30 a.m. – Doc Stewart Hall, Harmony. • Thursday, Oct. 25, 6 to 8 p.m. – Pine Grove Community Center, North Street in Grove City. • Friday, Oct. 26, 8 to 9:30 a.m. – West Sunbury Firehall, 772 Hall Road, West Sunbury. Please let us know if you can come so we can plan for your attendance. You may call my Grove City office at (724) 458-4911 or my Butler office at (724) 284-1431. I hope to see you there!

Students from Moniteau High School’s Future Farmers of America program traveled to the State Capitol on March 27 to learn more about state government and the legislative process. The group consisted of (front row) student Amber Foulk and teacher Brian Dean; and (back row) Tim Ealy, Travis Steele and Brian Benson. While there, they had this photograph taken on the historic Capitol Rotunda staircase with me.

During the Mercer Memorial 500 weekend, I joined with local residents to unveil three 45 foot by 90 foot, 300pound American flags. The weekend event celebrates the lives of the men and women from Mercer County who died in our nation’s wars and all of the county’s veterans. I’d like to commend all of the organizers and volunteers for the Mercer Memorial 500 for yet another successful event. Several students from the Moniteau School District traveled to Harrisburg in April to participate in the Teens Against Tobacco Use rally at the state Capitol. During their visit, they had this photo taken on the historic Capitol Rotunda steps. Pictured are: Jennifer Kelly, Justin Castello, Gabriel Alcorn, Christopher Cokan, Samantha Ambuster, Jessie Flaherty, Stephanie Bonzo and Michael Kosick. Accompanying them on the trip was Kristi McEwen; Sharon Maxwell from the Moniteau School District nurses office; and Dr. Donald Gibala, executive director of Community Health Challenge.

During Heritage Week at the state Capitol in March, I had the opportunity to welcome Mercer County couple, Mark and Linda Brown, who served as Penn Ambassadors. Penn Ambassadors are nominated by a member of the Legislature and participate in a series of events sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). This year, Penn Ambassadors had the opportunity to examine the PHMC’s Civil War Muster Rolls conservation project as well as behind-the-scenes tours of the State Museum and the State Archives. Pictured with us is Debi Dodson with PHMC. As a member of the House Republican Policy Committee, I recently took part in a public hearing on the governor’s proposed health care coverage plan and its impact in the insurance marketplace. Testifying were officials with the Insurance Federation of Pennsylvania. Pictured with Stevenson are (from left): Rep. Gordon Denlinger (R-Lancaster) and Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Forest/McKean).

Butler County Man First to Receive Specialty License Plate
Constituent suggested the idea for special veterans plate
Butler County resident Dave Stoops was the first resident in Pennsylvania to receive a specialized veterans recognition license plate. Stoops, who lives in Harrisville, first suggested the idea of a license plate for veterans of general service to me a couple of years ago. I was happy to create legislation necessary for such a specialty plate, and when the bill was signed into law, I requested that Stoops be the first to receive it. Stoops is a 40-plus year, life member of the American Legion, Post 852 of Harrisville. Act 50 of 2005 established three specialty license plates for automobiles and light trucks: the Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans’ plate; the Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan) veterans’ plate; and a special plate for veterans of general service. Each license plate costs $20 in addition to the normal annual registration fee to obtain. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is required to certify those veterans applying for such plates as serving in one of the abovementioned military campaigns, or in the case of the veteran plate, any military service by the applicant. Presently, several military plates for veterans of various conflicts already are issued and include Pearl Harbor Survivors, Korean War, Vietnam Conflict, World War II, and the Persian Gulf War.
Dave Stoops, a 40-plus year member of the American Legion Post 852 of Harrisville, poses with his new license plate, which was created under Act 50 of 2005. Stoops suggested the idea to Rep. Dick Stevenson (R-Mercer/Butler) that a special license plate should be created to honor veterans who participated in general military service.

The following individuals, couples and organizations were honored with citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Cheers

James and Ruth McKinley Milford C. and Hope K. Dennison Ralph and Loretta Groves Robert and Marilyn Cranmer Carol and Shirley Flory Donald and Ruby Fair Leroy and Margaret Leise Wilson and Evelyn Weissert William and Carol McBride Franklin and Meryl Fugini Raymond and Sylvia Campbell Paul and June Ondic Lawrence and Christine Baptiste Fred and Suzanne Barron James Sr. and Carol Clemente

50th Wedding Anniversaries
Dayne and Shirley Wahl Clarence and Patricia Bishop Merle and Marilyn Hughes Fred and Carol White Robert K. and Ellen-Marie Hughes Gale and Barbara McFadden Robert and Gwedolyn Follweiler Kenneth and Donna Bryan Robert H. and Carmella J. Critchlow Jim and Viola Maletta James and Joyce Wigton Paul M. and Lois Gilmore Abraham and Dolores Smith Don and Betty Himes L. James and Mabel Vensel Joshua R. Schepp Adam Stillwagon Brian Pavkovich Darren D. Weaver Ann Margaret Bartman Elizabeth Weyman Joshua Edward Dietrich Derrick L. Orloski Carl Wagner

Norman and Virginia Turner Lawrence and Ruth Whitehouse Donald Scott and Mary L. Frampton Cletus and Mary Ann Birckbichler William and Marjorie Giesler Frederick and Carole Schmidt Howard and Agnes Brehm Dave and Dottie Kelly William and Barbara McLaughlin Ronald and Shirley Faull Allan and Meredith Daum Richard C. and Myrtle McGill James and Veva Martsolf Robert and Glenda Miller

Patrick Moran Van Arsdale Benjamin A. Clark Kendall Francis Greene Kristopher Rhodaberger Jordan Richard Williams Robert Daniel Karns Andrew David Fenstermacher Aaron Joseph Keck Eric Hartle Zach David

Eagle Scout and Gold Awards

Rachel A. Opp Amanda Edwards Alexandros Petridis Audrianna Daniels Christopher Ross Williams Tyler Truman Garrett David Evans Elizabeth Kerr Ashley Faherty

Please mark your calendar for Friday, Oct. 19, when my annual Senior Expo will be held in the intramural room at Grove City College from 9 a.m. until noon. In recent years, more than 45 vendors and organizations provided a wealth of information on health care, prescriptions, long-term care, safe driving, Meals on Wheels, and post-retirement living. This year, our 2007 Senior Expo promises to be yet another enjoyable and informative social event. My staff and I always look forward to meeting with local seniors and their families during the Senior Expo, and we hope to see all of you there! For more information, contact my district office in Grove City at (724) 458-4911 or in Butler at (724) 284-1431.
During annual Senior Expo last year, I was able to meet with hundreds of local constituents and hear their thoughts and concerns about state-related issues. One of those attending my expo last year was George Patterson of Grove City. This year’s event will be held Friday, Oct. 19, in the intramural room at Grove City College from 9 a.m. until noon. During a recent Boy Scout Breakfast, I joined with members of the French Creek Council to honor Doug Thomas (second from right), honoree of this year’s breakfast. Pictured with us are Cliff Hovis (far left), district chairman of the French Creek Council, and Dan Lindh Sr., district scout executive of the French Creek Council.

Seventh Annual Senior Expo to be Held Oct. 19

Representative Dick Stevenson
HARRISBURG OFFICE: 155B East Wing / PO Box 202008 / Harrisburg, PA 17120-2008 / Phone: (717) 783-6438 / FAX: (717) 705-1949 DISTRICT OFFICES: 234 West Pine Street / Grove City, PA 16127 / Phone: (724) 458-4911 / 1-800-287-0085 / FAX: (724) 450-4104 1771 North Main Street Ext. / Butler, PA 16001 / Phone: (724) 284-1431 / FAX: (724) 284-1518

Visit Rep. Stevenson on the Web at DickStevenson.com