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February 2006








Spring 2010

Time is Now to Get Serious About State BudgetI commend the governor for his

stated intention to get the budget doneon time this year. In each of his sevenyears however, the governor hascreated a crisis and only negotiatedseriously after the fiscal year ended.In fact, this tactic last year led to a

budget stalemate that went a record101 days beyond the state mandatedJune 30 deadline. It disrupted lives,hurt families and interrupted importantprogram funding. To get this budgetdone on time, the governor must provehe is serious and get to work beforeJune 30. If he does, both parties in theLegislature will gladly reciprocate.

In his remarks, the governor boasted about digging out of a budgethole. However, it is a budget hole of his making. While state revenues are

in decline, the budget hole of whichhe speaks cannot be blamed on thisalone. In fact, our current fiscal crisisis as much the result of the governor’sspending policies as any reduction inrevenue.

During eight years of Gov. Rendellbudgets, the rate of inflation has risenby about 24 percent, yet state spend-ing is nearly double that in the sameperiod! If state spending increases

under Rendell had kept pace with in-flation, we would be looking at a $25.2billion budget this year, instead of $29billion. Revenue would be sufficient tosustain this level of spending.

Another problem with the pro-posed budget is that it relies heavily

on federal stimulus dollars, which willhelp to grow state programs for whichfunding will not be available in futureyears.

The governor’s current budget planis only balanced assuming the federalgovernment comes through with the$800 million in stimulus funding itpromised; $92.5 million in revenue israised through table games and $180million is raised through leasing morestate land for Marcellus shale gasdrilling. This revenue is speculative

at best and a perfect storm is looming.Two years from now, federal stimulusfunds will dry up at the same timePennsylvania’s pension crisis will hit.This could leave the state billions of dollars in debt.

Governor Rendell also proposes toreduce the sales tax rate from 6 per-cent to 4 percent and broaden the listof products and services to be taxed.Yet, when I supported efforts to do this

to eliminate school property taxes,Democrats in the Legislature decriedit as regressive, unfair and unwork-able. I believe this action should onlybe taken for the purpose of eliminat-ing school property taxes as opposedto a tax increase to accommodate

increased state spending.Pennsylvania is facing a potential

$525 million shortfall by the end of thisfiscal year (June 30). Now is not thetime to ramp up spending on the hopethat Pennsylvania’s economy will turnaround. While the governor brags of eliminating programs and positions tocut spending, he continues to fund andpropose tax credits for big Hollywoodin the amount of $60 million.

We must pass a budget that re-flects the economic realities our state

and our citizens are facing. To avoidlayoffs and disruption of governmentservices, I am urging legislation be ad-opted to continue the previous year’sbudget, minus a percentage acrossthe board reduction reflecting anyend of year deficit. This proposal willensure a continuation of state servicesand funding for vital needs while a finalbudget is negotiated.

Sign Up Now to Receive Your Newsletter Electronically As your state legislator, I have been exploring more cost effective ways of communicating with you. You are currently

receiving my printed newsletter. While many of you have told me these newsletters are informative, they are costly tomail. That is why I am offering you the opportunity to receive my newsletters via e-mail and on the Web. It’s convenientand cost effective.

If you would like to make the switch, please take a moment and log onto my Web site at Oncethere, click the “Have Your Newsletter Delivered Online” icon and sign up. It’s that simple! If, on the other hand, you stillwant to receive my printed newsletter, do nothing. It will continue to be mailed to you.

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 Visit me on the Intern

Rep. Schroder hosts a rally at the state Capitol to stop federal health care at Pennsylvania’s border and he vows to fight proposed single-payer legislation now  pending in the state Legislature.

Schroder Bill Aims to Protect Health Care Choices

Unveils legislation at Capitol rally to stop federal health care takeover 

Protecting the right of Pennsylvania citizens tochoose their own health care is essential. That is whyI am sponsoring House Bill 2179, which would enablePennsylvania citizens to reject federally mandated health

care and maintaincontro l of their  health care deci-sions.

H o u s e B i l l2179 would protectthe freedoms andliberties of Penn-sylvania residentsfrom forced federalhealth care by put-ting those decisionsback in the hands

of citizens. My billwould do this byamending our stateconstitution, effec-tively removing thehand of the federalgovernment fromour pockets andensuring the rightsof Pennsylvaniansto choose their health care plansand providers.

A state constitutional amendment must be approvedby the voters, making us the last line of defense againstfederal and state schemes to take over health care suchas the single-payer legislation that has been introducedin the Pennsylvania House. 

I am also co-sponsoring House Bill 2053, known asthe “Health Care Freedom Act,” which would preserveindividual rights to reject government-run health careplans in favor of choice and preservation of the doc-tor-patient relationship. The legislation would protect acitizen’s right to pay directly for medical care and prohibitan individual from being penalized for not purchasingfederally sanctioned health insurance. Virginia haspassed similar legislation into law and, in Tennessee,

a comparable bill has made it through one chamber of the state Legislature. Thirty-four other states, includingPennsylvania, have introduced similar measures in reac-

tion to the federal health care plan under considerationnow in Washington, D.C.

Both HB 2179 and HB 2053 are now pending in theHouse Insurance Committee.

House Re-publicans haveput forth a pack-age of health careproposals to en-hance the qualityand availabilityof health care inP e n n sy l va n i aand reduce thecost to consum-ers. Medical mal-practice reform

would cap mal-practice claims,discourage frivo-lous lawsuits andhelp Pennsylva-nia to retain phy-sicians in highrisk specialties. Itwould also havea positive impacton health insur-ance rates in theCommonwealth

by reducing overutilization of services that come fromthe practice of defensive medicine.

Other measures would reform the adultBasic pro-gram, which serves low-income people; expand the useand availability of community health clinics; and make iteasier for small businesses to offer health care to their employees through tax credits and low-cost basic plans.There is also legislation to promote greater use of tech-nology to reduce medical and prescription errors, andenhancements to health savings accounts.

For those who insist that government must providefor their health care needs, these options will not be sat-isfactory. For those who believe, as I do, that governmentshould promote opportunity by creating a competitive

environment for the private sector to deliver services atreduced costs, these bills will begin to fix problems inour health care delivery system.


Schroder Urges Attorney General

to Follow Evidence Where it LeadsThe so-called Bonusgate scandal is casting a dark cloud over the state Legislature. Charges involve usingmillions of taxpayer dollars to allegedly fuel bonuses for House Democrat staffers who were charged with per-forming campaign-related activity on state time and former Republican Speaker John Perzel’s alleged use of taxpayer-funded technology for campaign purposes. Perzel even went so far as to use state funds to attack mewith recorded telephone calls because I acted independently, promoted reform and stood up to his abuse of power according to the facts in the attorney general’s case presentment. I condemn the use of public money to fundpolitical campaign activity inside the walls of state government. These activities must be rooted out and stopped.I call upon Attorney General Tom Corbett to follow leads wherever they go, without regard to political party.

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t at

The Potential Impact ofUniversal Health Care on You

A report issued last fall by Price-waterhouseCoopers on the potentialimpact of health reform on privatehealth insurance coverage showsthat the federal health reform pro-

posal would have a significantimpact on the cost of private healthinsurance coverage.

We need only look at Massa-chusetts or Wisconsin as evidenceof the exorbitant cost of universalhealth care plans. A proposal inWisconsin would have required thestate to double its tax collections ina single year. Massachusetts, whichalready implemented a universalhealth care plan, is suffering froman annual 10 percent increase in

the cost of health care and it ranksnumber one in the nation for hav-ing the most expensive insurancepremiums. Still, Massachusetts isnot achieving 100 percent coveragefor all residents because the cost of insurance remains out of reach for many people. In fact, those who areable to find inexpensive policies mayhave a tough time finding a physicianto accept their insurance plan.

Pennsylvania is somewhatunique in that it has a diverse un-insured population. Yet, some in

Congress want to adopt a one-size-fits-all, universal health coveragesystem that will prevent our diverseconstituency from selecting theprivate coverage most suited to

their needs. Universal systems limitmedical choices by restricting peopleto the options included under thegovernment plan, and requires themto pay out of pocket for options notincluded in the government-run plan.Some proposals even prohibit ac-cess to services not covered or de-nied by the government-run plan.

Proposals currently before Con-gress and the Pennsylvania Gen-eral Assembly are an assault onthe rights, freedoms and liberties of 

all Pennsylvanians to choose their health care without limits on thosechoices by government.

I believe health care should stayin the private marketplace with con-sumer choice and competitive pric-ing through interstate competitionamong insurers. In addition, medicalmalpractice reform and communityrating must also be included in anyhealth care reform measure.

Medical malpractice costs con-tribute significantly to the rising costof health care, making tort reform a

priority when it comes to health carelegislation. Utilization of services isa prime reason for health care costescalation. This results when doc-tors over prescribe and over test

out of fear of being sued. I haveintroduced House Bill 1228, whichsets limitations on the recovery of punitive damages, and requiresthat 80 percent of these awards bepayable to the state Medical CareAvailability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) fund, which helps to keepdoctors in the Commonwealth.

In another measure to controlthe cost of health insurance for manysmall businesses, I have introducedlegislation establishing a community

rate for businesses with 50 or fewer employees, which spreads the riskacross all employees that are cov-ered by that health plan. There existmany sensible alternatives that willaddress the core problem of risinghealth care costs without a govern-ment takeover.

Our health care is too importantto leave to government. Let’s keepthe power of choice where it belongs – with you.

 Apply Now for State Education Assistance GrantsApplications are available in my district office for state higher education assistance grants for the 2010-11 aca-

demic year. The need-based Pennsylvania State Grants are provided to qualified Pennsylvania residents through thePennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and do not have to be repaid.

Interested students must complete and submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered. Individuals with Internetaccess may file their FAFSA electronically at or Completing the FAFSA online reduces errors and speedsup processing time. While May 1 is the deadline for the PennsylvaniaState Grant, families should be aware that federal, state and institutionalstudent aid programs have varying deadlines. It is recommended thatfamilies contact the schools their son or daughter is interested in attend-ing, as many have earlier financial aid deadlines. For more information onFAFSA Workshops, PHEAA grants or for an application, visit my Web siteat or contact my district office at (610) 524-5595.

Rep. Schroder was recently honored as Small Business Advocate of the Year by the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce. (L-R) Robert Johnson, Executive Director of the Exton Region Chamber,Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, Schroder,

Robert Hall and Bill Friedmann both of the chamber.

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155th Legislative DistrictDISTRICT OFFICE: 315 Gordon Drive, Exton, PA 19341 Phone: (610) 524-5595

HARRISBURG OFFICE: PO Box 202155, Hbg., PA 17120-2155 Phone: (717) 783-2520

E-mail: [email protected]

Representative CURT SCHRODER

 Wrong Move to ExpandGambling In Pennsylvania

Before ReformsAs Republican chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, I

continue to be concerned about possible corruption in the administration of 

gaming in Pennsylvania. Despite my best efforts to thwart corruption and putreforms in place, the recent table games legislation was hastily crafted andrammed through the House and Senate without ample time to consider themeasure. Regrettably, the legislation permits casinos even greater latitudeto abuse the law and further weakens the state’s position with regard to lawenforcement.

Our efforts to put the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s Bureau of Investigative Enforcement (BIE) under a competent law enforcement bodysuch as the Pennsylvania State Police or state attorney general were stymied.The independence of the BIE has been repeatedly called into question ever since it was reported that the Gaming Control Board made its investigativeunit change a background report. I have advocated for the independence of the BIE. This change is supported by the governor, attorney general, auditor general, the District Attorneys Association, the law enforcement community

statewide and numerous newspaper editorial boards.The table games legislation sets a horrible precedent in that it provides

earmarks for pet projects that will be funded with table game revenue. Under the guise of “local impact,” some legislators with casinos in their districts havedirected that funding go to certain projects. This earmarking is a new andunwelcome development that is rife with problems, secrecy and inadequatescrutiny. Further, table games will take business away from slot machineswhose proceeds are designated for property tax relief. The state’s share of table games revenue will go into the General Fund to fuel the ever-expand-ing cost of state government.

I introduced an amendment to the gaming bill that would have divertedslot machine winnings of deadbeat parents to cover outstanding child supportpayments, and a measure to remove the exclusive jurisdiction of the state

Supreme Court in matters involving casino gambling. No other industry inthe Commonwealth enjoys a direct appeal to the Supreme Court when theydisagree with the Gaming Control Board’s decision. Unfortunately, neither measure passed.

The most ominous problem with expanded gambling is the fact that grand juries are currently investigating the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Boardand the original issuance of gaming licenses. It was ill advised to expandgambling when it was clear that corruption was being investigated. This issueshould have waited until the investigative process had run its course.

Rep. Schroder, Republican chairman of the House Gaming Oversight Committee, was outspoken on the need to reform the state’s gambling laws before allowing table games in Pennsylvania. The General Assembly passed the measure without many of the fixes Schroder and some of his colleagues said would help minimize corruption.

Beware ofSuspicious Student

 Aid OffersThe Pennsylvania Higher Education As-

sistance Agency (PHEAA) is alerting familiesto be cautious when looking at offers of finan-cial aid for their college-bound students.

Several individuals and organizationsmay charge a fee in exchange for assistancein finding scholarship money or in complet-ing the Free Application for Federal StudentAid (FAFSA). However, there are many free

resources available.The Federal Trade Commission warns

that unscrupulous companies “guarantee”or “promise” scholarships for students. Suchclaims should be a warning sign. Families canavoid scholarship scams by looking for thesetypes of misleading sales pitches:  For a fee, the company or organi-

zation will provide a list of scholarship op-portunities. If a student does not receive areward and seeks a refund, they soon findthat conditions have been attached to theagreement to make it impossible to get therefund. A request for a refund is denied andthe student is out the money.  Companies may claim that their in-

formation is simply not available anywhereelse. However, much of the information theyuse can be accessed for free. PHEAA’sEdu- offers a free scholarshipdatabase.  Some organizations persuade stu-

dents and their families to send them moneyto “hold” an award, claiming that students arefinalists in a scholarship contest. However,scholarships are only awarded based on astudent’s application.  Organizations that have official

sounding names, fancy seals, and a Wash-ington, D.C., mailing address can givefamilies the impression the organization isaffiliated with or endorsed by the federalgovernment, when, in fact, no associationexists.  Free scholarship or “financial plan-

ning” seminars can frequently end with asales pitch to “act now or lose out on thisopportunity” for a fee. Any legitimate organi-zation or entity will not use pressure or scaretactics.

Families are encouraged to report sus-pected scams by contacting the FederalTrade Commission at or by calling1-877-FTC-HELP.

Students interested in applying for schol-arships and other financial aid should contacttheir school counselor for assistance in iden-tifying local awards. A variety of scholarships,

including merit, scholastic and special talentawards are available.

For more information on student finan-cial aid, visit my Web site at

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