LEGISLATIVE REPORT AUGUST 2003
STATE REPRESENTATIVE — 166TH DISTRICT
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: email@example.com HOME PAGE: gregvitali.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
hythane, electricity, coal-derived liquid fuels and fuels Applications and information also are available online
derived from biological materials. at www.dep.state.pa.us, keyword “alternative fuels.”
Grants can be obtained to pay for up to 20 percent of
STATE REPRESENTATIVE — 166TH DISTRICT
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
HARRISBURG, PA 17120-2020
Printed on Recycled Paper
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 www.upromise.com/aes.
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 www.pheaa.org 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 www.padisciplinaryboard.org 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 email@example.com 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 www.co.delaware.pa.us/recycle. 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 www.state.pa.us, www.health.state.pa.us,
climb stairs, please let us know when you call ahead and www.pema.state.pa.us, or www.homelandsecuri-
we can arrange to have our notary meet you on the ty.state.pa.us.
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
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
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.