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Martin Causer
67th Legislative District PERMIT NO. 432

PO Box 202067 Spring 2011

Harrisburg, PA 17120-2067

Postal Customer

Lawmakers Work to Adopt Fiscally Responsible Budget

After eight years of overspending by the Rendell admin- I will make it a priority to ensure rural areas like ours are
istration, Gov. Tom Corbett has proposed a $27.3 billion not enduring a disproportionate share of the pain that goes
budget that CUTS state spending by 3.1 percent. along with budget cuts. Of particular concern to me is the
It’s the first time in many years that any governor has put proposed change in the school funding formula, as well as
forth a plan to reduce state spending. The proposal, which the elimination of funding for rural “critical access” hospitals.
I am pleased to say includes no new or increased taxes, While I agree we must cut spending, we need to be fair
is a necessary response to the struggling economy. Just and prudent when making those cuts.
as families need to live within their means, so does state An area of the budget where I believe we need to make
government. cuts is the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), which saw
While I appreciate the governor’s commitment to cutting its budget increase by nearly $1 billion in each year of the
spending, I also recognize the painful nature of some of his Rendell administration. With ample evidence of waste, fraud
proposed cuts, especially in the Department of Education. and abuse, there is opportunity for significant savings in the
The governor has proposed a more than 50 percent reduc- DPW budget.
tion in funding for higher education institutions, including The Corbett administration is pursuing some preliminary
the University of Pittsburgh, which would certainly impact steps, and House Republicans have been working on a
our local campus. package of bills aimed at reforming the system to ensure
Basic education funding for public schools would be cut only those people who truly need and deserve benefits
by 9.5 percent, or $550 million. That reduction, along with a receive them. (For more information on the welfare reform
proposed change in the funding formula, could create chal- proposals, see page 2.)
lenges for our local school districts because they finance the For updates on the budget and other state issues, visit my
majority of their budgets with money from the state. Facebook page at or sign up
As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, to receive e-mail updates at my website,

Coffee and Conversation

Join me for

If you would like to learn more about

the state budget and other issues
facing the Commonwealth, join
me for Coffee and Conversation.

Call the office or visit Rep. Martin Causer takes part in budget hearings in Harrisburg as a member of the House
Appropriations Committee. Pictured (left to right) are Appropriations Committee Chairman
for upcoming sessions. Bill Adolph, Executive Director Dr. Ed Nolan, Causer, and Rep. Glen Grell.
Committee Assignments Bills Close Loopholes in
Reflect Priorities PA’s Megan’s Law
I am pleased to have been appointed to the House Responding to recent court decisions identifying
Appropriations Committee for the first time this session. loopholes in the state’s Megan’s Law, the state House has
This is the committee charged with crafting the annual state adopted several reforms to the child safety law.
budget, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to give The measures outline a process for homeless offenders
the people of our region a stronger voice in the budgetary (transients) to register every 30 days with the Pennsylvania
process. My goal is to adopt an on-time, fiscally responsible State Police. They must be photographed and provide
budget. information about where they may be located, such as parks,
I am also serving on the House Health Committee for the public buildings, restaurants or libraries.
first time. This is a great opportunity to advocate for our rural The bills also correct a technical error in the original
hospitals and health care system. The people of our region Megan’s Law by ensuring the criminal penalties for failure to
need access to affordable, quality health care without having register apply to all registered sex offenders, and specifically
to travel a couple hours to get it. address penalties for sex offenders required to register in
Additional appointments include the Environmental their home states who subsequently move to Pennsylvania
Resources and Energy Committee on which I serve as and are required to register for a lifetime.
chairman of the Subcommittee on Parks and Forests, Having loopholes in a law designed to help keep children
and the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness safe by notifying parents and community members if a
Committee. Finally, I will continue my service as chairman convicted sex offender moves into their neighborhood is
of the Legislative Timber Caucus and vice chairman of the absolutely unacceptable. House Bills 68 and 75 are now
Firefighter and Emergency Services Caucus. awaiting action in the Senate.

Reforming PA’s Welfare System

With a budget of more than $10 billion annually, •Require random drug testing for welfare recipients
spending in the Department of Public Welfare makes up with previous felony drug convictions within five years of
more than a third of the state’s budget. receiving assistance.
Despite evidence of fraud and abuse uncovered through •Implement an Income Eligibility Verification System to
House Republican Policy Committee hearings and an audit provide a 19-point check on applicants’ eligibility to ensure
conducted by Auditor General Jack Wagner, the Rendell only those truly qualified receive benefits.
administration did nothing to clean up the welfare rolls and •Strengthen penalties on welfare fraud.
protect taxpayer dollars. •Reform the special allowance program, which was
I have signed on to sponsor a number of bills aimed at identified as a significant source of fraud and abuse within
reforming the state’s welfare system. The bills would: DPW in the auditor general’s report.
• Require photo identification to be included on all welfare At the time of this writing, the bills are awaiting
benefit cards to help prevent fraud and abuse. consideration in the House.

Members of the state House Timber Caucus, chaired by Rep. Martin Causer, toured
the Domtar paper mill in Johnsonburg as part of an examination of Pennsylvania’s
forest industry. The Johnsonburg facility is the biggest mill owned by the Domtar
Corporation, the largest integrated producer of uncoated free sheet paper in North
America. Pictured (left to right) are Jack Hedlund of the Allegheny Forest Alliance
and Reps. Matt Gabler, Kathy Rapp, Brad Roae, Martin Causer, Gary Haluska, Rep. Martin Causer talks with Craig Okerlund, sales representative for GTS Welco,
Scott Hutchinson and Donna Oberlander, and Ridgway-resident Dale Anderson of at the Natural Gas Expo. Held at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford, the expo
the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association. featured hundreds of vendors involved in the natural gas industry.

For more news and information, visit RepCause

House Renews Effort to Enact Castle Doctrine
Reform Measures Legislation reinforcing a person’s right to defend himself or herself in the face of
Top House an intruder is back on the legislative agenda after being vetoed by Gov. Ed Rendell
late last year.
Agenda The so-called “Castle Doctrine” creates in law a presumption that an attacker or
As its first order of business intruder intends to do great bodily harm and therefore force, including deadly force,
this session, the state House may be used to protect oneself, one’s family and others in the face of an attack while
overwhelmingly approved at home or in an occupied vehicle. The presumption also applies if a person is trying
a package of bills aimed to unlawfully remove an occupant, against the occupant’s will, from a home or vehicle.
at improving accountability
and transparency in state The presumption would not apply if the person entering a home was:
government. • Another resident of the home.
Most notable among the • A law enforcement officer.
reform measures is one • A parent, grandparent or other guardian removing a child from the home or vehicle.
that creates a searchable
website of government In addition, the presumption would not apply if a person was using their home or
vehicle to further criminal activity. The bill also offers specific protection against civil
contracts and expenditures
liability for the lawful use of force in self-defense.
called the Pennsylvania
Under current law, a person under attack in his or her own home has to retreat before
W e b A c c o u n t a b i l i t y,
taking action in self defense. That just doesn’t make sense. I look forward to getting
Transparency and Contract
this bill to the governor for his signature in the very near future.
H u b , o r P e n n W AT C H .
The site would include
information on appropriations 2010 Senior Citizens Expo
and expenditures for
Hundreds of people turned out for
Commonwealth agencies, as the Eighth Annual Senior Expo at the
well as the vendors receiving Roulette Fire Hall last fall. Dozens
of vendors were on hand to provide
payment and the funding area senior citizens with a wealth of
source for that payment. information on programs and services
Under the bill, additional available to them from government
agencies and local businesses. The
information to be added over the Ninth Annual Bradford Senior Expo
next two years would include will be held Aug. 5; stay tuned for
additional information on the Potter
hyperlinks to state contracts, County Senior Expo.
a description of the program
under which an expenditure 814 Area Code Update
is made and the expected With available phone numbers in the 814 area code dwindling, the Public Utility
outcomes of the expenditure. Commission announced late last year it would split the region in half. Under the
In addition to PennWATCH, proposal, Cameron County and most of Potter County (all except for Shinglehouse)
other reform measures adopted would retain the 814 area code, while McKean County and points west would receive
by the House would increase a new area code.
penalties against lobbyists who Responding to public outcry, the PUC has agreed to review its decision. Also, I have
violate the state’s Lobbying introduced a resolution urging the PUC to consider an all-services overlay instead.
Disclosure Act, extend In an overlay, everyone would keep their existing phone numbers and area code, but
whistleblower protections to any new numbers assigned throughout the region would come with a new code. This
employees of organizations will require 10-digit dialing for all calls, including local ones, but would not change
doing government contract rates in any way.
work, ensure better public Watch my website or Facebook page for updates on this issue.
review of contracts and prohibit
lawmakers from creating
nonprofit organizations that
PA Annual Right to Keep & Bear Arms Rally
receive public funds. Tuesday, May 10, at 10 a.m.
State Capitol Steps, Harrisburg
All of the bills are awaiting
action in the Senate. Invited speakers include Kim Stolfer, chairman of Firearms Owners Against Crime; David Keene, president-
elect of the National Rifle Association; and Steven M. Toprani, district attorney for Washington County. or
Mar k Y o u r Ca l e n dar Property Tax/Rent Rebate
Applications Available
Bradford Applications for the state’s 2010 Property Tax/Rent

Senior Expo
Rebate program are now available at
or at my offices in Bradford and Coudersport.
Rebates of up to $650 on rent or property taxes paid
in 2010 are available to eligible Pennsylvanians age 65
Friday, Aug. 5 from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. years or older, widows and widowers 50 years or older,
University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and those 18 years or older with disabilities.
Sports and Fitness Gymnasium Eligibility income limits for homeowners are set at the
following levels, excluding 50 percent of Social Security,
Watch for more information on the
Supplemental Security Income, and Railroad Retirement
Potter County Senior Expo in October! Tier 1 benefits:
• $0 to $8,000, maximum $650 rebate
District Office Services: (Homeowners and renters)
• $8,001 to $15,000, maximum $500 rebate
To help maintain open lines of communication, I operate (Homeowners and renters)
two full-time district offices in Bradford and Coudersport, • $15,001 to $18,000, maximum $300 rebate
as well as hold monthly office hours in Emporium and (Homeowners only)
Port Allegany on the first Thursday of the month. • $18,001 to $35,000, maximum $250 rebate
My staff and I are ready to help answer your questions (Homeowners only)
about state government issues, as well as to provide in- Applications are due by June 30. Call or stop by one
formation and applications for a variety of state programs. of the offices for additional information. Remember my
Office services include: offices can help you complete the forms; there is no need
· Information and applications for senior citizen benefit to pay for assistance.
programs, including Property Tax/Rent Rebate and

Keep in Touch!
· Information and applications for the Children’s Health
Insurance Program (CHIP). Stay informed about what’s happening in state
· Assistance with PennDOT issues, including obtaining
government and weigh in with your opinions
license and vehicle registrations.
· Help with securing birth and death certificates (photo at
identification required). Sign up for regular e-mail updates at
· Information about legislation.
· Assistance with resolving matters relating to state agen-
cies, such as Veterans Affairs, Public Welfare, Labor
and Industry, Insurance, Environmental Protection or
Conservation and Natural Resources.

Here’s how to contact me:

Bradford Office:
78 Main Street, 1st Floor
Telephone 814-362-4400

Coudersport Office:
107 South Main Street, Room 1
Telephone 814-274-9769

Toll-Free: 1-866-437-8181
Students in the AP Government class at Bradford Area High School visited Rep. Martin
E-mail: Causer’s office in Bradford to discuss state government. Pictured in the front row (left to
right): Dan Tingley, Seth Morrisroe, Jacob Cauvel, and Caleb Pennington. Second row
Online: (left to right): Kaitlin Barton, Chelsea Kahle, Danielle Hollenbeck, Lauren Bauschard, and Elizabeth Gardner. Third row (left to right): Rep. Causer, Alice Chen, Sean Mooney,
Isabella Gleason, and Chad Ambrose. or