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Dear Neighbor, Budget Fails to Meet Proper Priorities

I hope you’ve had an enjoyable sum- I could not support the state budget in House Bill 2279, because it spends too much
mer season with family and friends. It’s money (which we don’t have), it fails to plan for the future, and its priorities are out
an honor to serve you in Harrisburg of balance. This budget relies on federal funds that were uncertain and overestimated,
and I am hopeful that you find this which creates a chaotic situation for individuals and agencies that rely on state fund-
newsletter to be informative. ing.
We face a number of challenges Keeping the film tax credit, and raising it to $60 million, while making cuts in state
in the year ahead. The current budget parks and libraries and providing only very modest increases for mental health services,
fails to solve many problems, and we makes little sense. In addition, the budget cuts funding for agriculture, Pennsylvania’s
have transportation and pension issues number one industry. The film tax credit, an acceptable idea in good economic times,
looming which threaten the financial should have been jettisoned in our current economic straits.
stability of our Commonwealth. As We’ll have serious consequences to face in coming years unless the deficit is brought
your representative, I share the frustra- under control. Federal stimulus funds are gone after this year, and we face a $4 billion
tion many of you have with the dif- to $5 billion structural deficit in fiscal year 2011-12.
ficult economic climate and the level Another troubling aspect of this budget plan is the level of borrowing that is autho-
of spending by our state and national rized. In our current economic climate, we should not run up the state “credit cards”
governments by creating large amounts of debt for future generations to pay off. We’ve all seen this
The concerns now being voiced in Washington, and in this budget, $600 million in new borrowing was authorized in
about federal spending and debt levels Pennsylvania. The Commonwealth debt load has grown from $6 billion to more than
have been sounded earlier by many in $10 billion during this administration’s tenure, a whopping 66 percent! I voted against
Pennsylvania worried about the same this borrowing in March, when it was originally proposed, and again when it came back
issues. Pennsylvania’s general fund bud- from the Senate in July.
get grew by 40 percent in the last eight The promised $250 million increase for public education may need to be scaled back
years, while inflation was less than 20 because the $850 million expected from Washington has been reduced by Congress. A
percent. The sad fact is that the spend- new and separate funding package from D.C. has suddenly emerged which may bring
ing spree in Washington D.C. was the Commonwealth an additional $300 million targeted to “public school administra-
predated by what’s happened in Har- tion costs,” whatever that means. We’re left with lots of unanswered questions about
risburg, despite our efforts to bring it what funds will be available even as we begin the new school year.
under control. We must restore fiscal sanity to state government.
In this newsletter, I talk about my
views on the budget and other pressing
issues, along with providing a report
on pending proposals which would af-
fect our seniors.
Please feel free to contact me
at one of the district offices listed
in this newsletter, or email me at
Rep. Hennessey is
shown here taking
part in a House
Republican Policy
Committee hearing
on special education.

1038 East Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, PA 19320 Phone: (610) 380-8600
State Representative SATELLITE OFFICE:

Tim Hennessey Old Elverson Train Station, P.O. Box 255, Elverson, PA 19520 Phone: (610) 286-9194

Pottstown: Phone: (610) 326-2626
26th Legislative District
PO Box 202026, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2026 Phone: (717) 787-3431

 Check us out on the web at
Transportation Funding Safe Water Grants for Honey Brook Borough
Must Be Addressed I’m happy to report that the state has required a “change of scope” process which
granted almost $1.1 million to help defray a itself was rather complicated and time con-
The ill-fated attempts to gain federal substantial part of the cost of upgrading the suming, and which met with some sustained
permission to toll Interstate 80 have left us drinking water and storm water systems in resistance from the agency.
with a significant problem and a gaping hole Honey Brook. Kathy White worked with Joe Deklinski,
in the plan to improve roads and bridges all The Honey Brook Borough Council executive director of the House Environmen-
around the Commonwealth. and the municipal authority were faced with tal Committee, and me to unravel the objec-
I argued against Act 44, and voted against 100-year-old underground pipes, which tions and get over each hurdle. DCED agreed
it, because it was built upon the same false over time had become brittle and frequent- with our arguments, and we’ve received the
assumption of a revenue stream which will ly sprang leaks. Borough Manager Kathy written confirmation from DCED that our
not happen. The administration promised White contacted me, and together, we shep- grant applications totaling $1.1 million were
the Legislature and the public that it had as- herded several grant applications through approved. That made this sizeable and neces-
surances from Washington D.C. that tolling the bureaucratic maze of the Department of sary project affordable for the tiny borough
I-80 would be allowed, but it was foolish to Community and Economic Development of Honey Brook, and removed that burden
rely on unfulfilled promises, if indeed there (DCED). from the shoulders of local taxpayers.
were any assurances at all. Like the $850 Initially, we sought partial funding for I’m working with Joe Deklinski and
million in federal funding referred to earlier, the water mains, but logic dictated that since DCED to see if we can get similar funding
the hoped-for revenue stream of $450 mil- the streets would be dug up to replace those for sewer repairs and upgrades in portions of
lion each year from tolling will not happen. mains, we should also replace the storm wa- East Vincent Township and other munici-
Based on Act 44, Pennsylvania has al- ter drainage pipes at the same time. That palities as well.
ready issued bonds to pay for needed high-
way and bridge repairs, and the Legislature Grant Awarded
will need to find a funding mechanism to
pay off those bonds. Recently, the governor A $400,000 grant has been awarded
took a bus tour around the state trying to by the Department of Community and
drum up support for an increase in the gas Natural Resources to the Schuylkill Riv-
tax, along with increases in driver’s licenses er Greenway. Rep. Hennessey is shown
and registration fees, but there seems to be here with officials including Congress-
no appetite to raise even those taxes. There man Jim Gerlach (R-6th) and Depart-
will be many discussions this fall and be- ment of Community and Natural Re-
sources Secretary John Quigley.
yond as we seek solutions.

Honoring Our Veterans in the 26th Legislative District
Eagle Scout
It’s an honor and privilege to pay tribute to
Roll of Honor our men and women who have worn the uni- Southeastern Veterans
form of our nation, and served with honor and Center Expansion
Congratulations to these young bravery.
men for achieving the rank of Eagle During the Memorial Day and Independence Project Underway
Scout-the highest award in scouting. Day weekends, I attended the commemorations
Each of them devoted many hours of at Coatesville Veterans Square, the Elverson Me- Groundbreaking was held
effort in the planning and preparation morial Day ceremony, at TelHai in Honey Brook recently for a $41.2 million
of civic projects, and then bringing Township and at the Revolutionary War Cem- expansion to the Southeast
them to a successful conclusion. etery in East Vincent Township. Veterans Center. The proj-
I also had the privilege to speak at the Free- ect consists of a four-story,
Paul Alexander Mills Laich
dom Ceremony at the Southeast Veterans Cen- 140,000-square-foot addition
Troop 117 in Coatesville
Parents - Paul and Anne Laich
ter, honoring the C-Battery 108th Field Artillery to the existing center, which
Battalion of the Pennsylvania Army National will be connected to Coates
Matthew J. Kendra Guard. The SEVC is home to the unit. Hall by an enclosed bridge
Troop 99 in Pottstown and will focus on a commu-
Parents - Martin and Barbara Kendra nity living concept.
This project will be fi-
Christopher Jon Palmer
nanced with federal and state
Troop 16 in Coatesville
Parents - Rick and Jackie Palmer
funds. I’m pleased to serve on
the Advisory Board at SEVC,
Sean Poole and to be involved with this
Troop 127 in Kenilworth worthwhile project for our vet-
Parents - Jerry and Cheri Poole erans. I congratulate the many
people whose hard work and

An Armed Forces Day testimonial dinner honored
dedication made this a reality.
Alfred P. Gerhardt Jr. who finished his year as East-
ern Section Commander for the American Legion,
Department of Pennsylvania.
Chairman’s Report: Legislation for Seniors
The legislative year continues to be busy, and as Republican Final Adoption of Assisted Living Regulations:
chairman of the House Aging and Older Adult Services Com- On July 17, the Department of Public Welfare published
mittee, I’d like to share with you some information on legisla- new standards for assisted living residences in Pennsylvania.
tive proposals which would affect our seniors: This action is the final chapter of years of effort to create a li-
censing program for assisted living residences. Senate Bill 704
The proposed merger of the Pennsylvania Department was signed into law as Act 56 of 2007. After several more
of Aging with Department of Public Welfare’s Office of years of discussions, debates and negotiations, the final-form
Long-Term Living: regulations are now in place, and long-term care facilities can
This proposal would create a new Department of Aging apply for an assisted living residence license.
and Long-Term Living, that would balloon the Department
of Aging’s budget from $900 million to $5.1 billion. The Senior Can Get Reduced License Fees
proposal would transfer several Medical Assistance waiver pro- The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation provides
grams from the Department of Public Welfare to Aging. Most 65 and older Pennsylvanians with a number of transportation-
of the waiver programs serve individuals under age 60, leading related services, including a reduced fee for auto registration
to a concern that the mission of the PA Department of Aging and for driver license renewals. Any Pennsylvania resident
would be diluted. who is retired or disabled on a fixed annual income of $19,200
My amendment (to protect Lottery revenues for our senior or less can register his or her automobile for $10 rather than
citizens) was unanimously supported by Republicans in com- the usual $36.
mittee and on the House floor, but House Democrats unani-
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Deadline Extended:
mously opposed the Lottery preservation amendments both in
The deadline to apply for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Re-
committee and on the floor.
bate program for 2009 has been extended from to Dec. 31,
House Bill 1152 passed the House and is currently in the
Senate Aging and Youth Committee, but indications are that
You can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on your
the proposed merger will not be enacted, which will give the
rent or property taxes paid in 2009. The program benefits eli-
next governor a chance to weigh in on this controversial pro-
gible Pennsylvanians who are 65 years or older, widows and
widowers 50 years or older, and those 18 years or older with
Expansion of the PA Family Caregiver Support Pro- Eligibility income limits, (excluding 50 percent of Social
gram—House Bill 245: Security, Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retire-
This proposal would expand the Family Caregiver Support ment Tier 1 benefits):
Program to include reimbursements for non-relative caregivers. • $0 to $8,000 maximum $650 rebate
The program has not seen an increase in reimbursement levels (Homeowners and renters)
since the program was first created in 1990. Over the years, • $8,001 to $15,000 maximum $500 rebate
House Republicans have introduced bills to increase the reim- (Homeowners and renters)
bursement levels, but the Senate has not chosen to consider • $15,001 to $18,000 maximum $300 rebate
them. (Homeowners only)
House Bill 245 passed the House by a vote of 193-0 and is • $18,001 to $35,000 maximum $250 rebate
currently in the Senate Aging and Youth Committee. (Homeowners only)
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program is one of many
Personal Care Home “Statement of Policy” on Con- initiatives supported by the Pennsylvania Lottery, which dedi-
struction Standards: cates its proceeds to support programs for older Pennsylva-
This proposal would have required all licensed personal care nians.
homes in the Commonwealth (approximately 1,400) to adhere Each year we help many people prepare and file for this
to the same building construction standards as nursing homes rebate. Please contact my district office, or visit my website at
and hospitals. Basically, the statement would require personal
care homes unable to comply to stop admitting residents who
have any type of “mobility need” and to discharge any resident
who develops a “mobility need.” It has been estimated that
only 40 of the 1,400 existing homes have the current ability to
comply with the proposed standard.
While the ultimate goal is to ensure the health and safety Celebrating 100 Years
of residents, it is also crucial to ensure that care dependent can
stay in their current residences until such time as they need the Rep. Hennessey
services of a skilled nursing facility. congratulates
House Republican Leader Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) joined Grace Secord on
me in sending a letter to DPW Secretary Harriet Dichter to the occasion of
her 100th birthday.
ask the department to delay publication of the Statement of
Policy until a comprehensive review is made of its potential
implications. DPW has delayed the proposed policy and has
agreed to meet with stakeholders in the near future to discuss
their concerns.
Rep. Hennessey joins with Sen. An-

From the District drew Dinniman (D-Chester/Mont-
gomery), Terry McCarthy, Director
SC Library Board and others in ac-

and Harrisburg knowledging the 100th anniversary
of the Spring City Library.

Coatesville Middle School - March 30, 2010

Springton Manor Elementary School
– June 8, 2010
East Vincent Elementary School – June 7. 2010

North Coventry Elementary School –
East Coventry Elementary School March 25, 2010

Cub Scout Troop Pack 133 – March 31, 2010 French Creek Elementary School – May 27, 2010