Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 4

Summer 2010

House of Representatives
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
HARRISBURG

Dear Neighbor,

I hope you’ve been enjoying some cool respites in the midst of the summer heat. May you find many ways to
enjoy all that a Lancaster County summer has to offer (not the least of which would be the delicious bounty from the
roadside stands and farm markets!)

The State Budget


As you may have seen in news reports, Pennsylvania has a state budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year. The appropria-
tions bill was passed in the House and the Senate by the constitutionally mandated deadline of June 30; however, Gov.
Ed Rendell signed it about a week later.
Though I’m happy that Pennsylvanians didn’t have to endure a saga like the 101-day late state budget in 2009, the
final plan failed to earn my support for several reasons:
- This budget relies on more than $2.7 billion in stimulus funding from the federal government. Of that, $850 million
has not yet been authorized by Congress, and recent efforts in Washington to move that legislation forward have come
up short. In other words, it’s balanced on the premise of money that we do not have. If the federal funding doesn’t
come through, someone is going to have their funding cut.
- Although the budget does not require any new taxes to balance, it creates a “structural deficit” of at least $3 bil-
lion that will have to be addressed in the next fiscal year. This only heightens the necessity of state government getting
serious in reining in expenses now so that next year’s cuts won’t have to be as stark.
- The budget does not meet necessary fiscal obligations to fund state pensions (see more on this issue in the pension
article on page 2), thereby fueling the reality of unsustainable employer contribution rates.
- The “balanced” budget is predicated on financial commitments from an as-of-yet instituted tax on natural gas
income from the Marcellus Shale. This action is based on the same misguided precedent that was set by counting on
income from table games. Basing financial practices on income that does not yet exist is simply not sound planning.

What I’m Working On in Harrisburg


With confidence that the constituent support in my district office is maintained at excellent levels by staff, I have
been able to spend increased time forging progress with some of Harrisburg’s most chronic issues.
As GOP vice-chair of the House Finance Committee, I have a louder voice on many of the topics that translate into
a sharper focus on one of Pennsylvania’s most pressing needs: job creation. I’ve also been named Pennsylvania’s
delegate to the National Conference of State Legislators’ task force for streamlined sales taxes. And, also in this news-
letter, I update you on my appointment to the Commonwealth Health Care Reform Implementation Advisory Commit-
tee. Love it or hate it, the federal health care reform plan is moving forward – and I’m grateful to be a voice on how it
gets implemented in Pennsylvania.
The tasks aren’t simple, but I strive to continue to be a common-sense voice on issues that face the Legislature. Please
know that I count it a continuing privilege to serve you in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. I welcome your
comments and suggestions on how my staff and I can be of the utmost service to you. Please don’t hesitate to email,
call or stop by my office. Best wishes for an enjoyable close to your summer season!

Respectfully,

Scott W. Boyd
State Representative, 43rd Legislative District

www.RepBoyd.com Eggs & Issues Breakfasts are great ways to hear what’s
happening in Harrisburg. Rep. Boyd speaks to a recent
gathering at Willow Valley. Make sure to check the
schedule of upcoming breakfasts on page 4.
House Approves Public Pension Reforms
The House recently approved a public pension reform bill that would
fulfill the state’s obligations to current workers and retirees while taking Specifics on Proposed Pension
steps to reduce the long-term burden on Pennsylvania taxpayers. System Reforms
The legislation aims to smooth out what has become a potentially crip-
pling crisis resulting from Act 9, a 2001 law that increased pensions for The following is a summary of House Bill
state workers and school employees but left taxpayers on the hook for a 2497 amended to reflect reform measures being
bill that would come due in 2012. proposed to the state’s pension systems (SERS
The reforms are aimed at two pension systems: the Public School Em- and PSERS). Changes would impact only “new
ployees’ Retirement System (PSERS) and the State Employees’ Retirement hires” and would not affect the benefits of cur-
System (SERS). These pension systems are funded primarily through three rent SERS and PSERS members.
sources: employee contributions, employer contributions and investment
returns. The state makes the employer contribution for the state workers’ The reform measures include:
pension system. The state and local school districts make the employer
contribution for the public school teachers’ pension system. - Rescinding Act 9 (2001): Benefits provided
Due to a combination of investment downturns and the global economic to employees under Act 9 would be rescinded
crisis, as well as increasing benefits for current employees and retirees for for all new members beginning January 1, 2011
retired employees, the state and local school districts are facing a sharp for SERS and July 1, 2011 for PSERS. Effective
increase in employer contributions to the pension funds in the next few date for new legislators would be December 1,
years. In fact, as noted in my last newsletter, it is estimated that as much 2010. None of the changes would apply to the
as $5.9 billion will be needed to cover the unfunded pension liabilities of Judicial Branch.
PSERS and SERS.
As co-chair of the House Republican Pension Task Force, I’ve been SERS Members (Class A-3)
working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to find some starting - Accrual Rate (Multiplier) for each year of
steps to addressing this looming crisis. The changes included in House service will be 2% of final average salary. This
Bill 2497, the bill that recently passed in the House by a vote of 192-6, rate will apply to both legislators and state em-
would “smooth out” those increases (similar to a home re-financing) while ployees. The current rate for legislators is 3%;
also implementing pension benefit reforms, resulting in short-term relief for state employees the rate is 2.5%.
and long-term cost reductions for taxpayers. - The employee contribution rate will remain
House Bill 2497 would not reduce pension benefits for these current at 6.25% for state employees. The rate for new
employees and retirees in the two systems. In actuality, the U.S. Con- legislators will drop from 7.5% to 6.25%.
stitution and the Pennsylvania Constitution prohibit making changes to - New members of SERS have a 45-day period
pensions for existing workers and retirees due to contractual law. where they may opt into a new Class A-4, which
Furthermore, the House bill also would implement pension reforms would provide an accrual rate of 2.5% with an
for future state workers and teachers. These reforms include increasing employee contribution rate of 9.3%.
the amount of time a teacher or worker must be employed before they are - Vesting periods will increase from five to
entitled to certain pension benefits. It also increases the amount of time ten years for all new SERS members.
they must serve before they can retire. - Retirement age increases by five years from
Finally, future employees must choose to pay higher sums of their sala- the current retirement age for all new members.
ries in order to qualify for the same pension benefits available to current - No Option 4 (lump sum payout) will be per-
pension system participants, or they can pay the same percentage of their mitted for new members upon retirement.
salary into the pension system, but receive smaller pension benefits.
And under House Bill 2497, new legislators would cease to receive the PSERS Members (Class T-E)
special treatment that had been afforded them under Act 9. - Accrual Rate (Multiplier) for each year of
Together, these reforms stand to benefit taxpayers and protect current service will be 2% of final average salary. This
pension plan participants. rate will apply to public school employees. The
If something is not done to address this looming crisis, Pennsylvania current rate for this group is 2.5%.
families could be facing a massive tax increase. While House Bill 2479 - The employee contribution rate will remain
will not solve all of the problems facing our state pension systems, I sup- at 7.5%.
ported it because I believe it is an important first step toward keeping the - New members of PSERS have a 45-day
systems healthy without placing a greater burden on Pennsylvania taxpay- period where they may opt into a new Class T-F,
ers. You have my commitment to continue working to guide legislative which would provide an accrual rate of 2.5% with
action through difficult challenge. an employee contribution rate of 10.3%.
The bill is currently in the Senate Finance Committee for consideration. - Vesting periods will increase from five to ten
years for all new PSERS members.
- Retirement age increases to 65 with 3 years
of service. The current provisions allow retire-
ment at age 62 with one year of service. Keeps
retirement age consistent with SERS.
- No Option 4 (lump sum payout) will be per-
mitted for new members upon retirement.
- House Bill 2497 calls for an employer con-
tribution rate of 5.64% for PSERS. The actuarial
rate certified by PSERS is marked at 8.22%.
The amendment would include a provision that
provides a window for the employer contribution
rates, noting that they cannot be less than 5.64%,
but also no more than 8.22%. The exact rate will
be subject to the amount approved in the final
state budget for fiscal year 2010-11.
Rep. Boyd questions a testifier at a recent hearing on pension issues.
In the Forefront of Implementing the
Federal Health Care Plan in Pennsylvania
Late this spring, I was appointed to a - designing the optimal program-
committee tasked with properly imple- matic model for the state’s ‘high risk pool’
menting all aspects of the recently passed (adults who have been denied coverage
federal health care plan in Pennsylvania. due to their pre-existing condition).
Specifically, I’m serving with Bucks - designing the optimal organizational
County Republican Rep. Katharine Wat- model to support a customer-friendly and
son as appointed representatives from the efficient health benefit exchange.
Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus - identifying all technology, organiza-
to serve on the Commonwealth Health tion and process improvements necessary
Care Reform Implementation Advisory to support the implementation of all state
Committee. The Committee was estab- obligations under the new law.
lished by an executive order from Gov. - preparing a strategic plan for the
Ed Rendell in May. implementation of the new law.
Love it or hate it, the federal health care plan spearheaded - identifying legislative action necessary to enable
by President Barack Obama is now law and its impact is com- full implementation of the new law and draft legislation for
ing down the pike. Each state has to examine how its many discussion with appropriate members of the Legislature.
facets will be implemented. I’m honored to have a seat at the
table when decisions are made about how this will work in My focus will be to serve as a taxpayer guardian in this
Pennsylvania. effort. Clearly, the intent of this legislation is to expand cover-
According to information released by the governor’s office, age to those now uninsured, but I plan to do all I can to steer
the panel on which I will serve is charged with five primary things in such a way that we are, in fact, lowering the cost of
tasks: health care for everyone.

An Important Effort in Making


the State Budget Process
More Fair and More Workable
Pennsylvania is one of only 14 states that do not have any type
of non-partisan fiscal office. The absence of this office under-
scores a painful issue that has cropped up in each of the budget
negotiations under Gov. Ed Rendell: under the current system,
the governor is the only one who can certify the Commonwealth’s
revenue numbers. A major component of the bogged down
budget negotiations in recent years is the governor’s failure to
certify a revenue number in a timely fashion, or his certification
of an amount that is wildly higher than estimations provided by
either the House or Senate...a move that consistently leads to
even more wrangling.
In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday in early March, Rep. Boyd was invited
In the fiscal code passed with the 2009-10 state budget,
to read at various schools in the 43rd Legislative District as part of Read
language was included to create an independent budget office.
Across America Week. Here, Rep. Boyd calls on inquisitive young minds
State Senate Finance Committee Chairman Pat Browne (R-Le-
at Fritz Elementary School in the Conestoga Valley School District.
high/Monroe/Northampton Counties) fought for that office to be
written into law in this year’s budget negotiations. That discus-
sion will continue when the Legislature returns to session in the
fall. Specifically, Browne’s legislation directs the creation of a
non-partisan, bicameral, legislative arm to research and provide
information on fiscal matters.
I’m hopeful that the institution of such an office would help
to fend off at least a few of the endless sticking points that can
make state budget negotiations so arduous.

Legislative Updates: Online and On Demand


Have you had a chance to check out my Legislative Update videos? Topics from this year range from coverage
of the farm show, to help with finding the lowest electric rates, to an overview of an industry-changing recycling
program at a local business.

You can watch these updates in one of two ways:


 Head to RepBoyd.com, and hit “video” under the latest news tab. All of the shows are listed there.
 If you’re a Comcast customer, you can watch them through your On Demand menu.
Choose “Get Local,” then “Government,” then “State House” and choose my videos from there.
Let’s Discuss the Issues Over Breakfast Upcoming Eggs & Issues Breakfasts
Saturday, August 7
Akron Restaurant, 333 S. 7th St., Akron
Join me for an Eggs & Issues Breakfast
Saturday, August 14
You’re invited to join in on a conversation of state government and related Doubletree Resort at
issues at one of my Eggs & Issues Breakfasts. We try to schedule them in Willow Valley’s Palm Court
various areas of the 43rd Legislative District to make it easy for as many folks 2416 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster
as possible to attend. All breakfasts begin at 8 a.m.
The meal is free of charge, but residents are asked to RSVP as Saturday, September 11
to which breakfast they would like to attend. Please make your Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant
reservations by contacting the district office at (717) 464-5285 or 2760 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird In Hand
emailing jshelly@pahousegop.com with your name, phone
number, which breakfast you’d like to attend Saturday, September 18
and number attending. Doubletree Resort at Willow Valley,
Thanks - we look forward to Fulton Room
seeing you! 2416 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster

Saturday, October 9
Doubletree Resort at Willow Valley,
Fulton Room
2416 Willow Street Pike, Lancaster

Saturday, October 16
Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant
2760 Old Philadelphia Pike, Bird In Hand

Rep. Boyd’s team in the recent Home Run Derby sponsored by the PA
Breast Cancer Coalition joined with a team sponsored by State Sen.
Mike Brubaker. From left: Brian Horning, Jeremy Stoltzfus, Eric Frees,
Jordan Stoltzfus, Brubaker, Boyd, Marc Shoenfelt, Brian Eshleman,
and Matt Walewski. Rep. Boyd chatted with Kaleb Long (center) and Cameron Long at the
recent Pennsylvania Farm Show. Kaleb and Cameron are both members
of the FFA at Penn Manor High School.

I will host a seminar on establishing a power of attorney and living wills. If you
have questions regarding these subjects, please plan to attend this free event.

DATE: Thursday, Oct. 14


TIME: 7 p.m.
LOCATION: West Lampeter Township Building,
Have questions 852 Village Road in Lampeter
on living wills? An attorney from MidPenn Legal Services will make a presentation and
answer related questions.

State Representative Scott W. Boyd


West Lampeter Twp. Municipal Bldg., 852 Village Road, P.O. Box 268, Lampeter, PA 17537
Phone: (717) 464-5285 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Evening and Saturday hours by appointment)

111 Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202043, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2043


Phone: (717) 783-6422 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

More news online at RepBoyd.com