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GREG VITALI Powered By Docstoc
					  LEGISLATIVE REPORT                                                                              AUGUST 2003

                   DISTRICT OFFICE:                         CAPITOL OFFICE:
               1001 East Darby Road                 103B East Wing, Main Capitol Bldg.
               Havertown, PA 19083                         House Box 202020
                  (610) 789-3900                       Harrisburg, PA 17120-2020
               FAX: (215) 560-4197                           (717) 787-7647
            E-MAIL:                HOME PAGE:

Alternative fuels grants available
   An alternative fuels grant program is available in         the following types of projects: purchasing an
Pennsylvania to help individuals, schools, corporations,      alternative fuels vehicle instead of a gas-powered
nonprofits and local and county governments pay the           vehicle; converting a gas-powered vehicle into an
costs of switching from gasoline-powered automobiles          alternative fuel-powered vehicle; purchasing a hybrid
and refueling operations to ones powered by alternative       electric vehicle; installing refueling and recharging
fuels.                                                        facilities; or evaluating new alternative fuel
   A third of Pennsylvania’s ozone pollution comes            technologies.
from gas-powered cars and refueling operations;                 Applications for the Alternative Fuels Incentive
alternative fuels emit no particulate matter and less         Grant Program will be accepted until 4 p.m. Oct. 1. For
carbon monoxide and pollutants, which contribute to           more information or an application, contact Virginia
ground-level ozone, or smog. Alternative fuels include        Harris of the Department of Environmental Protection
liquid propane gas, ethanol, methanol, hydrogen,              at (717) 772-3429 or by e-mail at
hythane, electricity, coal-derived liquid fuels and fuels     Applications and information also are available online
derived from biological materials.                            at, keyword “alternative fuels.”
   Grants can be obtained to pay for up to 20 percent of

HARRISBURG, PA 17120-2020

    Printed on Recycled Paper
    LIO-KF 08.03
PHEAA student loan rates at historic low
  In July, interest rates on Pennsylvania Higher        to determine if consolidation is best for them since
Education Assistance Agency-guaranteed Stafford         individual circumstances vary and some loan
loans and PLUS loans dropped to historically low        programs have greater repayment benefits. For
levels of 3.42 percent and 4.22 percent respectively.   more information on loan consolidation, call toll
The new rates apply to loans taken out after July 1,    free (800) 338-5000.
1998, and will remain in effect through June 30,          PHEAA student loan borrowers can also earn
2004.                                                   credit toward their loan repayments by participating
  In addition to new students and parents taking        in the Upromise program. The free program allows
out loans, the low interest rates also can benefit      borrowers to earn rebates on everyday purchases at
borrowers who are in repayment. According to            thousands of grocery stores, pharmacies, retail
experts, current student loan borrowers should          locations, online shopping sites and restaurants
consider consolidating their loan(s) if their monthly   nationwide. The rebates are applied toward
payments are more than 8 percent of their monthly       borrowers’ outstanding loan debt. To open a free
salary. Loan consolidation can lower a monthly          Upromise account, visit
payment by as much as 40 percent and extend a             For more information on PHEAA’s programs
borrower’s repayment period up to a maximum of 10       and services, visit or call
years. Before consolidating, however, borrowers         (800) 692-7392.
should first consult with a PHEAA representative

Loan forgiveness for military personnel
   The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance         state at the time of enlistment; or a non-resident
Agency has created an Armed Forces Loan                 who enlisted in the military immediately after
Forgiveness Program to provide a one-time loan          attending an approved institution.
forgiveness benefit of up to $2,500 for borrowers         Military personnel who served only on a two-
who served on active duty in any branch of the          week active duty assignment for training status
military between Sept. 11, 2001, and Sept. 30, 2003.    during the designated time period are not eligible
   The student borrower must have an eligible           for loan forgiveness.
PHEAA-guaranteed or American Education Services           To obtain an application or more information, call
student loan and be one of the following: a current     toll free (800) 233-0557. Applications should be sent
state resident; a non-resident of Pennsylvania who      to AES Lender Team, P.O. Box 2461, Harrisburg,
left a state-approved institution due to a call to      PA 17105-2461, and must be received by June 30,
active duty; a non-resident who was living in the       2004.

Pa. lawyers’ disciplinary records
available to the public
  In June, the state Disciplinary Board of the          about when they passed the bar exam, the county
Supreme Court, which has exclusive jurisdiction         where they work, the firm with which they are
over attorney discipline in Pennsylvania, launched      affiliated, whether they have been publicly
a new Web site that makes the disciplinary records      disciplined, and if their law license is currently
and other information about Pennsylvania’s              active. The site also provides information about how
approximately 55,000 lawyers available to the           to file a complaint against an attorney and a link to
public.                                                 download complaint forms from your computer.
  By visiting                 The site will eventually contain documents
online, Pennsylvania residents can search for the       detailing the charges against lawyers disciplined
names of individual attorneys and find information      since 2000.
Haverford State Hospital site update
   Almost 20 developers responded to a new request        creating a short list of about three to seven of the
for proposal for a development plan for the former        most promising development proposals the township
Haverford State Hospital site by the Aug. 4 deadline      has received. That list should be made public by
set by the township commissioners.                        around Aug. 25, after which a public hearing will be
   The new request for proposal, which was put            scheduled on the proposals, probably in mid-
together by the township’s consultants on the             September.
property, economist Stephen Mullin and real estate          Township commissioners expect to make a final
attorney Jeffrey Rotwitt, was sent to more than 130       decision on a development proposal for the former
developers in mid-June. The new request for proposal      hospital site by the end of September.
is different than previous RFPs because instead of          As of this writing, the public hearing to consider
asking developers to submit plans for just the 35 to      the short list of current proposals has not been
55 acres that will be set aside for private               scheduled yet, but I will be informing constituents
development, it asks for a design proposal for the        via e-mail as soon as the meeting is scheduled.
entire 212-acre site, including the 25-35 acres that        If you would like to be placed on my Haverford
will be dedicated to public and municipal use and         State Hospital site e-mail update list, please send
the 135 acres of recreation and open space.               me an e-mail at or call my
   In late June and early July, 30 development            district office. Also, you can call the district office at
groups toured the site. Mullin and Rotwitt, along         any time with questions about the site’s progress.
with the township board of commissioners, are

Final hazardous waste drop-off Sept. 13
  The final drop-off date and location this year for      coloring products, mercury thermometers, oven
disposing of household hazardous waste is Sept. 13        cleaner, bleach, ammonia, floor cleaner, furniture
at the Marple Transfer Station, Marpit Drive and          polish, kerosene, pool chemicals, varnish, oil-based
Sussex Boulevard in Broomall. You can dispose of          paint, glue, paint thinner, weed killers, fungicides
your household hazardous waste in an                      and pesticides.
environmentally responsible manner at that location         Each year, the Delaware County hazardous waste
from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.                                     program makes sites available for free drop-off of
  Household hazardous waste is any household              these items. For more information about the county’s
product that is labeled poisonous, toxic, flammable,      household hazardous waste collection program, or
caustic, corrosive, reactive or explosive. Examples       for directions to drop-off locations, visit
include toilet bowl cleaner, tub and tile cleaner, nail Under the
polish and nail polish remover, drain cleaner, hair       recycling topics, choose “HHW.”

Property Tax/Rent Rebate deadline extended
  The deadline to apply for Pennsylvania’s Property       available in my district office at 1001 E. Darby Road
Tax/Rent Rebate Program has been extended until           in Havertown. The phone number is (610) 789-3900.
Dec. 31. The program is open to Pennsylvanians 65         Assistance in filling out the application is also
or older, widows and widowers 50 or older, and            available in my office.
people 18 or older with disabilities. Applicants’            Senior citizens and others who already applied
annual household income may not exceed $15,000,           for a property tax or rent rebate can check the status
but they may exclude half of their Social Security,       of their claim by calling the Revenue Department’s
Supplemental Security Income and Railroad                 FACT and Information Line at (888) PATAXES.
Retirement Tier 1 benefits when determining               Touch-tone service is required, and you will need
income.                                                   your Social Security number and the amount of your
  Eligible applicants can receive a rebate of up to       rebate. Applicants who want to check the status of
$500 based on the property taxes or rent they paid        their claim but don’t have touch-tone phone service
in 2002.                                                  should call (888) 222-9190.
  Property Tax/Rent Rebate applications are
Pa. helmet law repealed
  In July, the General Assembly passed legislation            motorcycle rider safety course before they are
that repeals the mandatory motorcycle helmet law              allowed to ride without a helmet. Riders and
the state has had in effect since 1968. Beginning             passengers under 21 must wear a helmet.
Sept. 4, motorcyclists in Pennsylvania who are 21 or            The new law still requires motorcycle drivers and
older and have been licensed to drive a motorcycle            their passengers to wear eye protection.
for at least two years may ride helmet-free.                    I did not vote for the new law. I believe that for
Motorcycle passengers who are 21 or older also may            safety and health-care cost reasons, Pennsylvania
ride helmet-free.                                             motorcycle riders should be required to wear
  Motorcycle drivers 21 or older with less than two           helmets, just like automobile drivers are required
years of driving experience must pass a state                 to wear seatbelts.

 Free notary services                                         preparedness for special populations, including the
    You can get most documents notarized FREE in my           elderly, people with disabilities, children, pets and
 district office. Just bring the document to my office,       livestock. In addition, it provides a listing of the county
 along with proof of identity such as a driver’s license or   health departments and all of the numbers to call for
 photo ID card. The person whose signature is to be           more information.
 notarized must sign the document in person in the               Copies of the brochure are available from the
 presence of our notary. Please call ahead to make sure       Pennsylvania Department of Health by calling toll free
 our notary is in the office when you visit.                  (877) PA-HEALTH or visiting these Web sites:
    My office is on the second floor. If you are unable to,   ,
 climb stairs, please let us know when you call ahead and, or www.homelandsecuri-
 we can arrange to have our notary meet you on the  
 ground floor.
                                                              Pennsylvania highway map available
 Tour the state Capitol                                         Copies of Pennsylvania’s new official Transportation
    Free, guided tours of Pennsylvania’s state Capitol        and Tourism Map are now available. The map features
 are offered every half hour from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.         a detailed highway map with state parks, forests, scenic
 Monday through Friday, and on weekends and some              highways and other destinations of interest highlighted.
 holidays at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The Capitol     You can pick up a FREE copy of the state highway
 is closed for tours New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday,           map in my district office.
 Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.
                                                              New Radnor maps available
    If you or your group is traveling to Harrisburg and
                                                                New maps of Radnor Township are available in my
 would like to arrange a group tour of the state Capitol,
                                                              district office. The updated maps feature a street key for
 please contact my district office at (610) 789-3900,
                                                              the township and other changes from previous maps.
 or call the Capitol Tour Guide Office toll free at
                                                              Please stop by my district office if you would like a free
 (800) 868-7672.
 Health Department has emergency                              Goodbye and thank you Betty Vitelli
 preparedness guide                                             The district office recently said
   The Pennsylvania Department of Health has
                                                              goodbye to long-time Constituent
 published a new resource guide to help you better
                                                              Liaison Betty Vitelli, who retired in
 prepare for emergencies. This easy-to-use brochure
                                                              June. Betty worked with me for 18
 includes information about what to do in the case of
                                                              years: she has worked in my Havertown
 natural disasters, large-scale emergencies or unexpected
                                                              office since I was elected to the House in
 terrorist attacks.
                                                              1992, and before that was my legal secretary since 1985
   The brochure explains how to create an emergency
                                                              when I was practicing law. Due to our similar last
 plan, how to prepare an emergency kit and what to do
                                                              names, we were frequently confused as being
 after an emergency occurs. It also explains the
                                                              related. Betty is now relaxing with her husband in their
 Pennsylvania Advisory System’s color-coded “Threat
                                                              new home in Huntingdon Valley, Pa., and will be
 Conditions.” Other features include emergency
                                                              missed by me and my staff, as well as by my constituents.