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ROB KAUFFMAN

89TH lEGISlATIVE dISTRICT - CUMBERlANd & FRANKlIN COUNTIES

State Representative

PRSRT STD U.S. POSTAGE PAID HARRISBURG, PA PERMIT NO. 432

Summer 2011

2011 Senior Fair Slated for Sept. 9
I would like to remind senior citizens throughout the district that they are invited to my 2011 Senior Fair on Friday, Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Chambersburg Mall, 3055 Black Gap Road, Chambersburg. The fair is being sponsored by The Village of Laurel Run. Free admission, health screenings, lunch and door prizes will be offered and more than 80 representatives from state agencies, local governments, businesses and nonprofit organizations will be on hand to provide information and answer questions important to seniors. For more information or directions, visit my website at RepKauffman.com or call my district office at (717) 532-1707.

2011-12 State Budget
A responsible and sustainable spending plan Although crafting this year’s budget proved challenging, the final 2011-12 state budget passed the House on June 29, and was signed into law by the governor on June 30. The budget spends $27.15 billion, which is approximately $1 billion less than the 2010-11 budget, has no tax increases and no new borrowing. The budget is a responsible and sustainable fiscal plan that cuts wasteful spending and eliminates non-essential and duplicative programs while still funding our core government responsibilities. Making education a priority Basic education represents one-third of the entire state budget or approximately $9.34 billion. We managed to increase funding for K-12 by $230 million more than the governor’s original budget proposal in March. The General Assembly, demonstrating its commitment to education, also dedicated $12.5 million from each of the four caucuses to restore an overall total of $100 million for the Accountability Block Grant program for school districts, which is flexible funding the schools can use as they see fit. In addition, the State System of Higher Education schools, such as Shippensburg University, will be funded at 82 percent of their 2010-11 funding level; state-related universities will receive 81 percent of their 2010-11 funding; and community colleges will receive 90 percent of their 2010-11 funding. Maintains safety net for those truly in need The 2011-12 budget increases spending for the Department of Public Welfare by 1 percent in order to make sure those who are eligible for assistance are able to receive it. In addition, public welfare reforms were also passed along with the state budget that will help reduce instances of fraud and abuse within the welfare system, thereby saving state dollars and resources for those who are truly in need. General Fund Spending: $27.14 Billion Corrections Furthermore, funding $1.87 billion that was proposed to be 7% cut in the governor’s budget plan was restored to All Other areas of the budget such Debt Service $2.68 billion 10% as hospitals, human ser- $1.04 billion 4% vices, burn centers, canPreK-12 Education $9.34 billion cer screening services, 34% trauma centers, obstetric and neonatal services, and domestic violence and rape crisis services. Public Welfare For more informa$10.56 billion tion on the 2011-12 state 39% budget, visit my website Higher Education $ 1.65 billion at RepKauffman.com. 6%

Rep. Kauffman welcomes those who came to his 2010 Senior Fair.

For more information check out

www.repKauffman.com

Legislative Efforts Continue
Continuing the Call to Reduce the Size of the PA Legislature
I recently had the opportunity to testify before the House State Government Committee on my legislation to gradually reduce the size of the Pennsylvania Legislature during the next four reapportionments from 203 representative districts to 153. I first introduced this legislation in 2007 and still believe that reducing the size and operation of the Pennsylvania Legislature is warranted. With new electronic means of communication, lawmakers are able to more efficiently and expeditiously assist larger numbers of constituents. In addition, a smaller legislative body can lend itself to more productive debate and voting sessions. Specifically, my legislation would reduce the state’s current 203 House districts in a graduated manner as follows:  193 representative districts effective January 2013.  183 representative districts effective January 2023.  173 representative districts effective January 2033.  163 representative districts effective January 2043.  153 representative districts effective January 2053. This would only be a 5 percent reduction every 10 years, and this type of slow, gradual reduction would allow for adequate time to make adjustments to absorb greater numbers of constituents per district. House Bill 876 proposes to reduce the state Legislature through a constitutional amendment, which requires approval by the General Assembly during two consecutive sessions and support by voters in a subsequent referendum in order to take effect. House Bill 876 was one of several legislative proposals vetted before the House State Government Committee. The issue of reducing the size of the state Legislature is expected to come before the General Assembly this fall.

The following are several of the bills I have introduced this session aimed at improving the quality of life in Pennsylvania.

Bill Would Limit Appointments to Gaming Control Board
Since the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act was signed into law in 2004, creating the seven-member Gaming Control Board (PGCB), I have taken exception to the idea of former lawmakers serving on the board. That is why I have once again introduced legislation that would limit the appointment of members of the Legislature and executive-level public employees to the PGCB. House Bill 391 passed the House earlier this year and is currently awaiting consideration in the state Senate. It would create the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Membership Act by restricting members of the Senate, House of Representatives and executive-level public employees from serving on the PGCB during their term in office or employment and for a period of one year thereafter. Members of the board are appointed as follows:  Three members appointed by the governor.  The remaining four each appointed by the speaker of the House, the minority leader of the House, the president pro tempore of the Senate and the minority leader of the Senate. My goal with this legislation is to restore integrity to state government and regain the trust of the people of Pennsylvania.

Bill Targets Smuggling of Humans
In order to crack down on the growing problem of illegal immigration in Pennsylvania, the General Assembly must enact laws that punish those who aid in these unlawful activities, which is why I have introduced House Bill 856. This legislation would prohibit the smuggling of human beings in Pennsylvania. Specifically, the smuggling of human beings would be defined as transporting, securing transportation and using property by a person or an entity knowing that the person or persons are unlawfully present in the United States. Those convicted would face a fine of up to $15,000 and/or a maximum prison sentence of up to seven years. My bill is one of several proposals to combat the infiltration of residents who are in this country illegally. The full package of bills, known as the National Security Begins at Home proposal, is designed to restore safety and security to communities by denying public benefits, employment access and all other economic incentives to those who reside in the Commonwealth illegally. House Bill 856 is currently before the House Judiciary Committee for consideration.

Rep. Rob Kauffman testified before the House State Government Committee on his legislation to gradually reduce the size of the Pennsylvania Legislature during the next four reapportionments from 203 representative districts to 153.

www.repKa

In Other News...
Improving Safety on the Roads
Two of the greatest safety concerns on our highways are drivers who are distracted and teen drivers who lack the needed experience needed to navigate roadways more proficiently. In an effort to combat these concerns, two bills, which I co-sponsored, were introduced earlier this year that will help make Pennsylvania’s roads and highways safer. House Bill 9 would increase behind-the-wheel training from 50 to 65 hours for teen drivers and require 10 of those hours be at night and five of those during inclement weather. In addition, this bill would restrict the number of passengers in a vehicle driven by a teenager to one person under age 18. An exception exists for family members. Also, to drive the point home that seatbelts save lives, the legislation would make it a primary offense for any person driving a vehicle where a passenger under age 18 isn’t wearing a seatbelt. This means a law enforcement officer could pull the vehicle over if he or she suspects someone isn’t buckled up. Another bill aimed at improving safety on the roads is House Bill 896. This legislation targets distracted drivers by adding an additional penalty for distracted driving and establishing a special fund for fines and a distracted driver education program. House Bill 896 creates an additional summary offense of distracted driving if a driver is also found to be driving carelessly. Distractions may include, but are not limited to, radios, tape recorders, cell phones, citizen band radios, televisions, computers, personal grooming devices, food, drink, books and printed material. According to the AAA, between 4,000 and 8,000 crashes related to distracted driving occur daily in the United States. They account for nearly half of all six million crashes reported annually in the United States. The fine for distracted driving under House Bill 896 would be $50. Both House Bill 9 House Bill 896 are currently awaiting consideration in the state Senate.

Welfare Reforms Address Cases of Waste, Fraud and Abuse
For years, my colleagues and I have called for reforms within the state’s Department of Public Welfare (DPW), particularly following documented instances of waste, fraud and abuse. I have, once again, personally authored legislation (House Bill 392) that would require photo identification to be included on welfare benefit cards in order to prevent the cards from being sold or misused by people other than the authorized cardholder. This is the same type of fraud prevention used by many credit card companies and wholesale shopping clubs. My legislation is currently before the House Human Services Committee; however as part of this year’s budget and our effort to control government spending, an array of other needed welfare reforms were implemented with the state’s Welfare Code. With these reforms, we are seeking to ensure that only those who are eligible for assistance receive assistance and to restore integrity to the system. The reforms would authorize random drug testing for welfare applicants who have been convicted of a prior drug felony; require the use of a fraud detection program that would run welfare applicants’ information through an income eligibility verification system before providing benefits; provide cash benefits based on a person’s county of residence in order to prevent “benefit shopping,” where people apply for welfare benefits in a county other than the one in which they live in order to receive higher payments; and change the fraud-laden special allowance program under the Department of Public Welfare. These reforms should also help address the recent report by Auditor General Jack Wagner on high levels of fraud and abuse taking place within the state’s LIHEAP (LowIncome Home Energy Assistance) program. Cash benefits were awarded to deceased, incarcerated and imprisoned “applicants” to the program during the Rendell administration. To think that some Pennsylvania residents might have been denied home heating assistance due to this fraud is abhorrent. The final budget included about $400 million in welfare savings and, in light of the recent report about the LIHEAP program, that goal should not be hard to reach. I am hopeful the reforms we already enacted, coupled with new leadership of DPW, will help steer the department back on course.

Castle Doctrine Now Law
Legislation that will further protect law-abiding citizens who use self-defense when faced with an imminent threat was signed into law on June 28. Act 10 of 2011, known as the Castle Doctrine, clarifies state law so that legal protection is afforded to law-abiding citizens who use lethal force to protect oneself, family and others while in their home, an occupied vehicle or anywhere they have a right to be without first having to retreat. The presumption would not apply if the person entering a home was another resident of the home; a law enforcement officer; or a parent, grandparent or other guardian removing a child from the home or vehicle. In addition, this legislation would not apply if a person was using his or her home or vehicle to engage in criminal activity. It is important to emphasize that this new law does not endorse unlawful aggression. It merely provides individuals with the necessary legal protection to respond to such aggression. This proposal, which I co-sponsored and have supported in past legislative sessions, received strong bipartisan support when it passed the House and the Senate this session.

auffman.com

Out & About...
Rep. Kauffman enjoyed meeting with residents of Shippensburg during a recent legislative breakfast. On July 30, Rep. Kauffman participated in the Shippensburg Community Fair 32nd Annual Distance Classic Run.

Rep. Kauffman threw out the first pitch at a Hagerstown Suns baseball game for Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce Night at Municipal Stadium.

During the annual Shippensburg Fair, Rep. Kauffman spent time talking with Jason and Valerie Warrenfeltz of Chambersburg.

Rep. Kauffman took Pennsylvania Secretary of Labor Julia Hearthway on a tour of eight downtown businesses in Chambersburg, and paid a visit to the Volvo Construction Equipment facility in Shippensburg. The secretary was interested in learning how local businesses were affected by the economy. Pictured above are Andy Gartenberg and Kathy Mahon of Gartenberg Jewelry speaking with Hearthway and Kauffman.

Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Deadline Extended
The deadline to apply for the state’s Property Tax/Rent Rebate program has been extended to Dec. 31. Eligible participants can receive a rebate of up to $650 based on their rent or property taxes paid in 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. Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms are available by contacting my offices or by visiting my website at RepKauffman.com.

New Law Seeks to Make Public Information More Accessible
One of the new laws passed at the end of the spring legislative session will create an online, searchable database of all state government expenditures, known as Pennsylvania Web Accountability, Transparency and Contract Hub or PennWATCH. PennWATCH will provide the following information regarding each funding action or expenditure paid to a state agency or other entity from federal or state funds: • The name and address of the agency or other entity receiving funding. • The amount of the funding action or expenditure. • The agency initiating the funding action or expenditure. • The appropriation from which the funding action or expenditure is paid. • A counter to show the number of visitors to the site. • The funding source. In addition, the website must show at the end of each month all federal and state revenue received and deposited in the State Treasury during the previous month. PennWATCH must also include a link to each agency’s website, where available. Additional information about state expenditures will be available on the site in the future. Once fully operational, the PennWATCH website will list all state government expenditures within the Commonwealth and the public can search the site at no cost.

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  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  Student aid applications  Free state maps, state park information, and PA Vacation Guides  Copies of legislation  Tours of the State Capitol  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 my offices: Chambersburg office 166 South Main Street Chambersburg, PA 17201 Phone: (717) 264-3943 Fax: (717) 264-2893 Shippensburg office 9974 Molly Pitcher Highway Shippensburg, PA 17257 Phone: (717) 532-1707 Fax: (717) 532-5043 Capitol office Room 7 East Wing Harrisburg, PA 17120-2089 Phone: (717) 705-2004 Fax: (717) 783-1341

District Office Services

www.repKauffman.com