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Dear Neighbor, The Budget Challenge for 2010

We’ve started a new year, one filled The budget debate of 2009 will long be remembered in Pennsylvania, but not in a
with challenges to be faced, especially positive way. There were competing proposals, threats of an income tax hike, layoffs
the way in which we budget funds that of state workers, closing of state parks and the issue of federal stimulus dollars being
come from the hard-working taxpayers added to the mix. In early August, a bipartisan budget proposal was derailed by politi-
of Pennsylvania. The debate over that cal pressure. In October, an agreement was finally reached that resulted in a total state
central issue is getting underway, and spending plan of just under $27.8 billion. The final figure was arrived at by combining
I’m hopeful that the small signs of eco- state spending of $25.1 billion with $2.62 billion in federal stimulus funds. As a bot-
nomic recovery continue for the ben- tom line, it still spent too much money, considering that our revenues were $3.2 billion
efit of all of our residents. less than expected.
In this newsletter, I report on sev- The budget process started with the governor’s address in February 2009. There were
eral issues we’ve taken on, and there’s “tentative” agreements reached several times through the summer and into the fall, but
information on some state programs it took until October to finally pass a budget. This is simply and obviously unaccept-
and services. able.
Like you, I wasn’t happy with the The problems that
way the budget for fiscal year 2009-10 led to that final bud-
was handled, nor the resulting spend- get continue. The
ing plan. There was little in the way economy has been
of overall cooperation, and that has to slow to recover and,
change. Starting the discussions sooner as a result, revenue
(they’re already underway), rather than collections are lag-
delaying until close to the fiscal year ging behind. We face a
deadline, will help in crafting a bud- deficit that is currently
get to provide the essential services our forecast at $500 mil-
residents need, while holding the line lion (better than last
on taxes and spending. year, but still bad).
Please feel free to contact me Rep. Hennessey questions a witness at a recent House Republican
The shortfall will need
at one of the district offices listed Policy Committee hearing. Seated with Rep. Hennessey, at left, to be faced head-on,
in this newsletter, or Email me at Rep. William Adolph (R-Delaware) and at right, Rep. John Payne without the benefit (R-Dauphin). of a Rainy Day Fund,
which was drained of
all of its $755 million to close the current budget.
A major concern in this process will be the management of our debt load as a Com-
monwealth. The increase of debt (from $6 billion to more than $10 billion) is a grave
concern. It’s bad enough that the state budget has increased from $20 billion to $29
billion over the past seven years (a 45 percent increase), but the debt that we are passing
on to the next generation has to be confronted, and that debt has grown to more than
60 percent in this administration.
We need to create a budget plan that doesn’t tax our residents and businesses more,
DISTRICT OFFICE: and yet maintains our level of basic government services. This can be done, but it will
1038 East Lincoln Highway take a concerted effort from everyone involved. People are tired of partisan gridlock in
Coatesville, PA 19320 Harrisburg, and this budget effort will take a strong spirit of cooperation. I welcome
(610) 380-8600 that spirit of working together for the benefit of all of our citizens. We’ll hope to craft a
budget for the state which is reasonable and right for the times.
Old Elverson Train Station
P.O. Box 255
Elverson, PA 19520
(610) 286-9194 State Representative
Pottstown (610) 326-2626
Tim Hennessey
HARRISBURG OFFICE: 26th Legislative District
PO Box 202026
Harrisburg, PA 17120-2026
(717) 787-3431
 Check us out on the web at
Aftermath of Coatesville’s Arson Siege
Brought Out Our Best
The spate of arsons which bedeviled the Coatesville community in late
2008 and early 2009 were devastating in many ways, and the effects are still
being felt. Often out of tragedy, a sense of community cooperation and unity
arises. That’s exactly what happened in the wake of those fires. People from
every walk of life stepped up to help their neighbors who had been vic-
timized and left homeless.
I was especially pleased that, in his budget address of 2009, State Funds Garnered
Gov. Ed Rendell singled me out by name and mentioned the
efforts of our office. He sent $500,000 in aid to the city to for District 26
help cover the unexpected expense of police and firefighter
overtime. The aid came through two state agencies, the An important part of my job is to seek
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency state funding to help local programs.
(PCCD) and the Department of Community and Eco- Here’s a glimpse of some recent funding
nomic Development (DCED). I thank the governor for
obtained for House District 26:
the assistance that was given, and deeply appreciate his
I also want to take this opportunity to thank Walter • $500,000 for police and
Phillips, chairman of the Pennsylvania Commission on firefighters.
Crime and Delinquency, Michael Kane, PCCD execu- • $530,000 for open space
tive director, and the outstanding staff members of acquisition grants.
the Office of Victim’s Services who came to my office • $13,800 for CYWA.
in Coatesville and worked with the victims of the • $5,100 for Chester
fires. Their dedication was unmatched, and they County Association for
set a wonderful example of service and dedica- the Blind.
tion to those they helped. I am also very proud • $5,900 for Owen J. Roberts
of the efforts made by my staff in this regard.
public access TV.
The community continues to live with the
• $7,500 for recycling services.
awful memory of these acts, but the valiant ef-
forts of all involved show what cooperation in • $5,000 for elementary school
the face of tragedy can do to help improve lives playground equipment.
and provide comfort.

I’m always pleased to acknowledge and recognize our young citizens who apply themselves and succeed. Congratulations
to these young men for achieving the rank of Eagle Scout - the highest award in scouting. Each of them devoted many hours
Scout Roll of Honor 

of planning, organizing and assistants to help with their civic projects and then bringing those projects to a successful end.

William Allen Dougherty Benjamin F. Anstrand Cory Tyler Trego
Troop 406 in Royersford Troop 241 in Downingtown Troop 95 in Cedarville
Parents – Mary Lou and Terry Dougherty Parents – Elizabeth and David Anstrand Parents – Mazzie and Randy Trego

Brian J. Schival Nathan Francis Braskey Kevin Joseph Bowe
Troop # 231 in Royersford Troop 95 in Cedarville Troop 79 in Glenmoore
Parents - Regina and Joseph Schival Parents – Stephanie and David Braskey Parents – Valerie and Michael Bowe

John Robert Heim Nicholas John Braskey James Thomson
Troop 95 in Cedarville Troop 95 in Cedarville Troop 56 in Honey Brook
Parents - Lorraine and Charles Bender Parents -Stephanie and David Braskey Parents – Bonnie and Andy Thomson

Charles Andrew Moore Joseph Hofbauer Omar Alexie Velez
Troop 51 in Guthriesville Troop 117 in Coatesville Troop 95 in Cedarville
Parents – Mary Jane and Ronald Rosenberry Parents – Helen and Joe Hofbauer Parents – Damaris Rodriquez and Felis Velex

Todd Ryan Kory Miller Robert Wallace Dougherty
Troop117 in Coatesville Troop 79 in Glenmoore Troop 406 in Royersford
Parents – Sherry and John Ryan Parents – Mr. and Mrs. Rick Miller Parents – Mary Lou and Terry Dougherty

Andrew Betz Theodore Donatto Seher William Scot Kabrich
Troop 105 in Exton Troop 117 in Coatesville Troop 95 in Cedarville

Parents – Carol and Thomas Betz Parents – Kim and Ted Seher Parents – Deborah and Bruce Kabrich

Spencer Sweisford
Troop 127 in Pottstown
Parents – Sally and Skif Sweisford Congratulations!
Tour of Area Agencies on Aging in Mercer, Lawrence and Crawford Counties
As Republican chairman of the House Aging and
Older Adult Services Committee, I received an invita-
tion to meet with directors of three different county’s
Area Agencies on Aging (AAA), and tour several facili-
ties in western Pennsylvania.
Leaving Harrisburg at 7 a.m., we drove to western
Pennsylvania, where Rep. Michele Brooks (R-Craw-
ford/Mercer/Lawrence) and I met with AAA directors
in Mercer and Lawrence counties at the Shenango Val-
ley Senior Community Center in Hermitage. We then
toured St. Paul’s Homes assisted living facility in Green-
ville. At each stop, we discussed the proposed assisted
living regulations presently pending in the Legislature.
Meadville was the next stop on this whirlwind tour,
and a meeting with Crawford County AAA Director
Donna Stimpson. Service needs and agency priorities
were on the agenda, along with a tour of the commu-
nity building there, which provides events and activi- Rep. Hennessey is shown here with Rep. Michele Brooks (R-Crawford/Mercer/Law-
ties to keep our older citizens active and help them stay rence), right, following our tour.
A number of issues face the House Aging and Older
Adult Services Committee, and ultimately the Commonwealth, about the care our seniors should receive. The meetings and tours were
very informative. We covered issues such as the preservation of the Lottery Fund, long-term funding concerns for the agencies, waiting
lists, the increasing demand for services and the shortage of providers.
I was back in Harrisburg by 10:30 p.m. that same evening. It was an exhausting day, with 615 miles of driving, but a very productive
one as well.

State Grants 95 Acres of Pennhurst Property
e a dlinED to East Vincent Township
Bipartisan cooperation helped move Senate Bill 568 through the Legislature,
when the Senate acquiesced in an amendment I engineered on the House floor
in August. The bill transferred 95 acres of the former Pennhurst state hospital
Low-Income Home campus to East Vincent Township.
The legislation flew through the Senate in March, but ran aground in the
Energy Assistance
House State Government Committee, where members rightly questioned why
Program (LIHEAP) this valuable land in Chester County should be essentially donated to East Vin-
Has Been Extended cent Township. In a preliminary meeting of Republican members before a sched-
to April 2 uled meeting of the House State Government Committee, I pointed out that East
Vincent had patrolled the property and provided police and fire protection for the
The Pennsylvania Low-Income Home
many years since Pennhurst had been closed by a federal court order. The objec-
Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
will be available until April 2, which will tions were withdrawn and the bill came out of committee.
allow more people to participate during But then, statewide veteran’s groups became concerned that the modular resi-
this winter season, and a very difficult dential units on a small portion of the property might be affected. I arranged an
winter season it has been.
The LIHEAP program helps income- amendment to Senate Bill 568 to delay the transfer of that property until the State
eligible households pay for heat during Bureau of Military Affairs certifies that, because of the imminent construction of
the winter months. The original closing a 120-bed addition to the main building at Southeast Veterans Center (SEVC) on
date of the LIHEAP program was March
the adjoining property, the modular units are no longer
15, but with the harsh winter, the pro-
gram will continue until April 2. The necessary to house our veterans. East Vincent Town-
cash grant amounts have also increased by ship has agreed to maintain the 95 acres permanently
$100. DPW anticipates helping approxi- as recreation and open space, and to maintain the old
mately 600,000 families with cash grants
during the 2009-10 program year. cemetery for Pennhurst patients, which occupies a
For more information, and assistance portion of the property.
with this program, please call my district
Honey Brook Elementary School

Thanks for a
Successful March
2009 Veteran’s Event
I’m always pleased to honor our
military veterans, who have given
so much of themselves to defend
us. I’ve held ceremonies around my
Honey Brook Mennonite School
district, inviting veterans and their
families to a celebration of their
military service. I’m awed when Schools Visit
grizzled veterans in their 60’s, 70’s
and 80’s have tears in their eyes re- the Capitol
calling their service, when we are
there to thank them for protecting
Last March, I hosted my fifth
event of this kind, this time at the
American Legion Post in Honey
Brook. More than 100 veterans and
family members attended the cere-
mony, where I presented certificates
we had prepared, along with Ameri-
can Eagle medals I had engraved to
honor these veterans for their ser- East Vincent Elementary School
vice to our country.
I often speak at Veterans Day and
Flag Day ceremonies at Coatesville
Veterans Hospital, SEVC, in Spring
City and at the Veterans Memorial
in Coatesville. I also spoke at the
Elverson Memorial Day ceremonies
last spring. French Creek

Elementary School