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Mike Reese

59th Legislative District

January 2010 Bad Budgeting
Creates Fiscal Challenges
Dear Friends, That Must be Faced
It is an honor to represent you in Har- There were many financial threats leveled against Pennsylvania taxpayers this past
risburg. I am sending you this newsletter year. In the state budget battle that started last February and lasted until December,
to share information with you on what is there were threats of tax increases to both individuals and businesses that would have
happening in state government, and to only made the recession that much worse. The spending plan put forward early last
inform you of events that will be taking year totaled $29 billion, which is more than was spent in the previous fiscal year.
place in the near future. I hope you will
find this to be helpful and informative. Many of you were clear in expressing to me that there should be no income tax
To say that this has been a frustrat- increase, and we succeeded in preventing that. However, the governor of this state,
ing year in Pennsylvania would be a aided at times by his supporters in the Legislature, decided to use various “hostages”
severe understatement. When I started in an effort to get the spending they wanted. As a result of this, a spending plan was
my tenure in Harrisburg, I found a state crafted that drained nearly all of the reserve funds, including the entire Rainy Day
government process that is in grave Fund, and set up additional problems that will be faced in the new budget debate that
disrepair and set to work trying to make begins shortly in Harrisburg.
it better. This is an ongoing effort, as we
face many challenges in the days and The spending plan that was passed (which I vehemently opposed), totaled nearly
months ahead. $28 billion. This type of spending, even coupled with the federal stimulus dollars, was,
Many of you have shared your thoughts and is, wholly unacceptable. I supported a House Republican plan that would have
and concerns with me in the past year, cut spending. The total proposal, including state spending and the federal stimulus
and I will work to make 2010 a better year, dollars would have been $27.2 billion, but this effort was rejected by the governor and
and make this decade one that will see his supporters in the Legislature.There will surely be a fight to spend more money this
progress in the 59th Legislative District and year, and I fear that there will be yet another effort to raise taxes, despite the fact that
throughout our Commonwealth. the economic recovery has yet to kick into full-gear. I fully intend to continue the fight
against higher taxes and more spending in Harrisburg.

Best Wishes,
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State Representative Mike Reese
409 Irvis Office Building / PO Box 202059 / Harrisburg, PA 17120-2059
(717) 783-9311 / Fax: (717) 260-6502
Legislative Update
Gambling Expansion Legislative
Adds Insult to Injury in Effort
Pennsylvania Focused on
The primary responsibility of government, on any level, is to protect our citizens, Reform
provide basic services and to make our communities, Commonwealth and nation a bet-
ter place to live. This should be done through the implementation of wise public policy, There have been a number of bills
financed by a sound economic plan that protects the hard-working taxpayers. An issue introduced into the General Assembly that
that burned throughout the budget debate of 2009 is a direct violation of every tenet of focused on reforming the way business is
good government. done in Harrisburg. It is my belief that we
The expansion of gambling in Pennsylvania from slot machines to the so-called Las must reduce the size of the Legislature, and
Vegas-style “table games” took root with this budget debate and, sadly, ended in passage I have co-sponsored a bill to do just that.
of Senate Bill 711 earlier this month. House Bill 55 contains a proposed amend-
I opposed this legislation for some very simple reasons. There is a fundamental ment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that
problem when government expands the use of gambling revenue as a method to support would effectively reduce the number of
state spending. There is also the moral issue that is involved. There is proof that gambling Senate districts from the current 50 to 37,
does great harm to individuals and families, and the group that seems to encounter the and the number of House districts from 203
highest amount of problems is the lower-income demographic. Government should not to 185. I have joined with my colleague,
be in the business of encouraging an activity that causes damage to a significant seg- Rep. Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny), in spon-
ment of our society. soring this legislation which is pending in
In addition to those reasons, I object to the fact that there is no property tax relief the House State Government Committee.
in this table games bill. Gambling was sold to our Commonwealth on the premise that In addition to reforming the structure
property tax relief would be provided. The slots law does little to fulfill that promise, itself, we must also bring solid economic
and the table games law does nothing at all. This is unacceptable. changes to our tax structure in order to
The construction of the legislation was heavily flawed as well. When the original put our residents back to work. To do that,
slot machine gaming bill passed in 2004, there were a number of “special favors” put we must make our business climate more
in to it, and Senate Bill 711 had the same result. There was funding put into the bill for attractive to job-creators. To that end, I am
special projects for certain legislators in exchange for their support. I have been working a co-sponsor of bills that would reduce the
to eliminate these “special favors” that have been referred to as “WAMS,” and this bill tax burden on businesses, and also sup-
merely brought back that funding in a different form. port a reduction in the Personal Income
Sadly, this is yet another symptom of the bigger problem of proper budgeting in state Tax (PIT). Larger businesses are impacted
government. This must change, and I will continue my efforts to see to it that it does. heavily by the myriad of taxes levied in
Pennsylvania, and smaller businesses
are hit by the more direct impact of the
PIT. There are two bills in particular that
I have co-sponsored along this line. The
first is House Bill 980, which would cut the
PIT back to 2.99 percent, and after that I
would seek to reduce that tax rate further.
Also, House Bills 710 and 411 would go a
long way in reforming our business climate
through tax reform.
I invite you to follow my voting record
in the House by visiting my Web site at The link will direct you
immediately to the roll call votes taken in
the House on a specific day, and you can
also view individual bills and resolutions at
your convenience.

Web Site For
Unclaimed Property Available
With a click of the mouse, computer users worldwide can now search more than 1.2 million unclaimed property accounts
to find out if the Pennsylvania Treasury has money or assets that might belong to them.
The database currently lists 1.2 million names of people who are believed to have legal claim to a share of unclaimed
money and assets held by the department – the accounts total more than a half billion dollars.
Treasury personnel estimated that one in every 14 Pennsylvanians has unclaimed property. The average claim amount
is $1,000. The online database has accounts ranging in amounts from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars and ac-
counts dating as far back as the 1960s.
The list includes the name and last known address of the rightful owner. Users also can access information on the nature
of the property in the account and who turned it in to the Treasury Department.
The assets represent dormant bank accounts, stocks, and other abandoned property. In today’s highly mobile society,
people often move from their last known address, making it difficult for the department to locate rightful owners. Now, with
this Internet search, anyone anywhere in the world can access the database and check to see if his/her name is on it.
If so, that person can download an unclaimed property claim form from the Web site, complete it, and mail it in. Every
month, an estimated $1 million in unclaimed property is return to its rightful owner.
The site is


Low-Income Home Energy Assistance
Program (LIHEAP) Extended
I am pleased that an extension has been granted until April 2 for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
(LIHEAP), which helps income-eligible households pay for heat during these harsh winter months. The original closing
date for the program was March 15, but additional funding is allowing for the extension.
For more information, contact the district office, or visit the Department of Public Welfare Web site at http://www.

Visit the
Historic & Beautiful
State Capitol
Guided tours of the Capitol are offered every half hour Monday through Friday
from 8:30 a.m. through 4 p.m., and on the hour Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to
11 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Groups of 10 or more are asked to make reservations
with the tour desk by calling 1-800-TOUR N PA (868-7672).
During a visit, tourists will be able to view the newly restored Capitol rotunda,
House chamber and Supreme Court chambers, as well as the famous statue “Com-
monwealth,” which has been carefully restored and returned to its traditional place
high atop the dome.
In addition to the tours, children and adults can explore Pennsylvania’s government
at work by visiting the Welcome Center at the Capitol. Visitors have the opportunity to
view and interact with 18 colorful and informative exhibits. The center is in the East
Wing and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The Capitol and Welcome Center are accessible for individuals with special
For more information about Capitol tours contact my district office.
State Representative Mark Your Calendar
Mike Reese
for These
Upcoming Events
2230 Mount Pleasant Road
Mount Pleasant, PA 15666 ‘Sportsmen’s Saturday’
(724) 423-6503 / Fax: (724) 423-2812 at Foggy Mountain Lodge
104 White School Road
Dryridge Fire Hall
Greensburg, PA 15601 Saturday, April 10
(724) 837-5678 / Fax: (724) 832-5379 from 1p.m. to 4 p.m.

Ligonier Town Hall
120 East Main Street Annual Children’s Day
Ligonier, PA
3. 15658 at the Donohoe Center
(724) 238-2155 / Fax: (724) 832-5381
Saturday, June 5
SATELLITE OFFICES: from 1p.m. to 4 p.m.
Laurel Valley Senior Center
216 Ligonier Street
New Florence, PA 15944 Senior Expo at the
9 a.m. to Noon first and third Donegal Community Center
Tuesday of each month Donegal
Saltlick Township Municipal Building
Thursday, Oct. 21,
147 Municipal Building Road
Melcroft, PA 15462 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. first and third
Thursday of each month

CAPITOL OFFICE: Coming soon!
409 Irvis Office Building
PO Box 202059 Your chance to participate in an online survey on
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2059 the Second Amendment. Watch
(717) 783-9311 / Fax: (717) 260-6502 for more details.

District Office Services
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 (lost cards, changes, corrections, special registration plates,
vanity plates, and temporary placards for disabled persons);
 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;
 Free state maps;
 Copies of legislation;
 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 one of my district offices.