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State Representative Keith Gillespie 47th Legislative District Summer 2010


Dear Friends:
As summer draws to a close, I hope this finds you and your family doing well and in great health. We are starting a fiscal year on the heels of a budget season that lasted significantly shorter than its predecessor. I voted against the budget because once again excess spending, expansion of various programs and increased borrowing in these turbulent, economic times was blatently apparent. As you do in your own homes and with your budgets in tough times, Pennsylvania must do the same. In this newsletter, you will find the results of our most recent survey, as well as details of several upcoming events that I hope you will consider attending. Thank you for reading my newsletter, as well as for the honor of representing the residents of the 47th legislative district. It is a privilege that I do not take for granted. Sincerely,

Gillespie to Host Town Hall Meetings
On Thursday, Oct. 14, I will be hosting a series of town hall meetings..... • Manchester Township building - 3200 Farmtrail Road, York, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. • Springettsbury Township building – 1501 Mount Zion Road, York, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. • East Manchester Township building – 5080 North Sherman Street Ext., Mount Wolf, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. We hope you can join us to take part in any or all of these discussions that day.

York County House Members to Honor Vietnam Veterans
Members of the York County delegation to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are planning a ceremony to honor Vietnam War and Era veterans. The event will be held at 1 p.m., on Thursday, Oct. 7, in the Toyota Arena on the York Fairgrounds. If you are a Vietnam War and Era veteran or know someone (living or deceased) who is, please contact my district office at (717) 840-4711 to submit the veteran’s name. You may also register a veteran through my website, You must be registered to attend the event.

District Office: 4188 Lincoln Highway, Suite B / York PA 17406 Phone: (717) 840-4711 Harrisburg Office: PO Box 202047, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2047 Phone: (717) 705-7167 website:

Gillespie Budget Vote Favors Sound Fiscal Practices
While I applaud my colleagues for passing a budget in a time frame significantly more responsible than last year, I could not support this year’s budget due to its three main shortcomings. First, it spends more money than last year’s budget, even though the state’s coffers cannot support that level of spending. This plan again relies on increased debt and one-time transfers as opposed to setting responsible priorities. Second, the budget’s passing was contingent on $850 million in federal money that we now know we will not be receiving in its entirety. The more than $280 million shortfall will lead to unnecessary cuts and potential job losses that could be avoided through better use of existing funds. Passing a budget based on “hope” would be similar to making plans for a lavish spending spree that is predicated on winning the lottery. State government needs to set a better example in using “existing” revenue streams, not “potential” ones. Third, it sets poor priorities by restoring walking around money or “WAM’s” to state government while cutting many more important items. I don’t think it’s appropriate during this economy because other higher priorities are not being met and people are continually calling for less spending. While in office, my record has favored the hard-working Pennsylvania taxpayer and opposed the reckless spending that has been a hallmark of this administration. My budget vote reflects that philosophy.

Gillespie Asks Rendell to Eliminate WAMs
Earlier this month, I was among 26 House members to sign a letter to Gov. Ed Rendell, asking him to remove discretionary grant programs, often referred to as WAMs, from the state budget. The letter was generated in reaction to Pennsylvania receiving less Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP) funding than was originally anticipated. You have undoubtedly read and heard of the millions of dollars that were allocated for libraries for deceased or retiring members of Congress as well as other areas that most folks have an issue with funding particularly in these economic times.

Relieving the Burden of Property Tax
Not a day goes by that my office does not receive a letter, e-mail or telephone call expressing discontent with Pennsylvania’s system of property taxes. The topic remains the number one issue on the minds of constituents throughout the 47th Legislative District. York County members in the General Assembly realize the burden placed on our citizens, and as a group have been the most outspoken opponents of property taxes. Unfortunately, our collective voice has fallen on predominately deaf ears in the General Assembly. Hard as it is to believe, property taxes are not regarded as a major problem in many parts of the state. People who reside in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania’s northern tier have concerns other than property taxes. Further evidence of that is House Bill 1275, authored by state Rep. Sam Rohrer (R-Berks), where a mere 35 out of 203 House members signed on as cosponsors of the bill, commonly referred to as the Property Tax Elimination Act. With Rep. Rohrer retiring from office at the end of this term, someone will have to step forward and carry the banner for the effort to address property tax relief. I will step into the breach and sponsor legislation similar to HB1275. York County continues to be a rapidly growing area of the state. Unfortunately, with the manner in which we support our schools, this has become a tremendous liability. When it comes to funding education, we stopped counting students back in 1991. As a result, growth areas such as southcentral Pennsylvania get treated the same as areas of the state where population is declining, thus penalizing us for essentially being an attractive place to live. We need to undo the mistakes made in 1991. As a delegation, we fought for the costing-out study as a step toward a fairer method of addressing Pennsylvania’s education needs. We are doing our best to keep that ball moving forward, with the goal being more equitable use of school taxes to support schools and less reliance on property taxes that have penalized our residents for the growth we have realized as a region. I believe my bill will garner additional support as it addresses areas where the Rohrer legislation met objections. I look forward to introducing it to my colleagues in the General Assembly.

F i n d o u t w h a t ’ s h a p p e n i n g i n t h e 4 7 th

r t p. S nd I w Senioa.m.,t Re l ate Lion) a nnua to 10Advent t S d ra . s -Reing ou 8 a.m22, at75 Ea R st ( 7 . m ho po froay, Oct rch, 1rk. d d Ex Frid n Chu t, Yo riente d an I recently welcomed members of the York Twinning on thera Stree ior-o n han ble. Association to the state Capitol. The group included Lu arket y sen be o vaila with re representatives from Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany, M Man will l be a ister befo ur with whom York has a sister city arrangement. r g rs il yo ndo ots wpre-rece on oserve r to ve sh st ffi re be ith flu u mu rict o 15 to mem rd w Thank you for your opinion! Yo y dist Oct. ase reare ca m iday, . Ple edic In order to better serve you in Harrisburg, I distributed a survey Fr shot our M earlier this year. My office received more than 1,000 responses. flu ing y Thank you for taking the time to either mail back the survey or answer br . you the questions online.
Here are the questions we asked, as well as a tabulation of the results: 1)- Government is attempting to promote the selling of beer (six-packs) in supermarkets and convenience stores. Do you support this policy? Yes- 55% No- 38% Undecided- 7% 2)- Pennsylvania remains the only state in the nation that does not tax smokeless tobacco and is one of only two states that does not tax cigars. Would you be in favor of the governor’s plan to tax these products at 30 percent of their wholesale value? Yes- 80% No- 17% Undecided- 3% 3)- A casino license could be offered to a group of investors a few miles from historic Gettysburg National Park in Adams County. Do you support a referendum allowing the citizens of Adams County to vote on this issue? Yes- 77% No- 17% Undecided- 5% 4)- The governor is proposing a tax on natural gas extracted from the Marcellus shale. Opponents prefer a land leasing deal with the revenues to be divided among the state, local governments and conservation districts. Which do you prefer? Extraction tax- 25% Leasing of land- 69% Skipped- 6% 5)- The major spending increases in the governor’s budget proposal occur in basic education, public welfare, corrections and debt service. Which of these areas do you feel does NOT deserve an increase in funding? Basic education- 14% Public welfare- 38% Corrections- 24% Debt service- 21% 6)- Would you favor a proposal that would require Pennsylvania residents to prove their U.S. citizenship before collecting state benefits such as Medicaid, welfare and in-state college tuition? Yes- 94% No- 4% Undecided- 2% 7)- In addition to addressing property tax relief, which two of the following issues do you believe should be the top priorities for the state Legislature? Bringing jobs & business to the state- 25% Holding down the growth of state spending- 27% Controlling the cost of health care & prescription drugs- 14% Improving roads, bridges & highways- 9% Protecting the environment & preserving open space- 7% Welfare reform- 12% Other- 6%

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Gillespie Amendment Key to Passage of Corruption of Minors Legislation
Senate Bill 260, authored by state Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne), states that Pennsylvania’s district attorney has the authority to investigate and institute charges for sexual abuse in the county and our attorney general shall have the separate authority to investigate and institute charges of sexual abuse when the offense or series of offenses has occurred in more than one county or a county of the Commonwealth and another state. The bill currently sits with the House Rules Committee. In May, the House first took the bill into consideration, and passed it unanimously, having toughened it thanks to an amendment I offered. My amendment upgraded the offense of corruption of minors to a felony of the third degree. I appreciate my House colleagues’ agreement with my opinion that the bill needed more “teeth” and unanimously concurring with my suggestion. I consider mistreatment of our children by this course of conduct, often referred to as “grooming,” to be a serious problem in this day and age. As we approach the end of session, I will be vigorously working to bring this legislation up for a final vote and hopefully sent to the governor for his signature.

Cell Phone Legislation Update
I think we can all agree that distracted driving is a problem in our society. With that in mind, I voted in favor of House Bill 67 when it first came to the floor in April of last year. The bill prohibits use of interactive wireless communication devices by junior drivers or those with a learner’s permit. Additionally, it prohibits a junior driver from driving with more than one passenger under age 18 for the first six months of licensure unless the individuals are members of the driver’s immediate family, and three passengers after the first six months unless members of the driver’s immediate family. The House passed the bill to the Senate, which amended it by downgrading the violation to a secondary offense. When asked to concur in the amendments, the vote was 126-71 against concurrence. Those of us who voted in the negative did so because we believe the bill should be subject to primary enforcement. Our hope now is that a conference committee takes up the legislation prior to the end of session.

New Website Available for Electric Customers
Pennsylvania consumers who are shopping for a competitive electric generation supplier can now access a Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) website which offers a one-stop shop for residential, commercial and industrial customers. The website includes information about electric shopping, what it is, how to shop and which suppliers are available, as well as the PUC’s list of competing suppliers and the Office of Consumer Advocate’s Shopping Guide pricing information. A zip-code search feature is also available so consumers can see all suppliers and offers serving a given area. Please visit my website,, and click on Shopping for Electricity for a link to the PUC website and further information about electric rate information. Anyone without internet access may call my district office at (717) 840-4711 for assistance with shopping for electric rates.

SAVE THE DAT E!!!! Senior Expo 8 a.m. to 10 a .m. Friday, Oct. 22 Advent Luther an Church, 1775 East Market Street, York Flu shots avail able

!!!! HE DATE l SAVE T wn Hal To Oct. 14 s Meeting ster nche m. – Ma g 9 a. ldin Twp. bui ttsbury ringe .m. – Sp 1p lding Twp. bui hester ast Manc E 7 p.m. – lding Twp. bui

Deadline to Apply for Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Extended
The deadline to apply for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate program for 2009 is being extended to December 31, 2010. The program benefits eligible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with disabilities. Please contact my district office at (717) 840-4711 for more information.