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Rep. Mahoney: Winter 2012 Newsletter - Pennsylvania House ...

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State Representative

Tim

Mahoney

51st Legislative district

Legislative update

Capitol Office: 324 Main Capitol • P.O. Box 202051 • Harrisburg, PA 17120-2051 • (717) 772-2174

District Offices: 66A Lebanon Ave. • Uniontown, PA 15401 • (724) 438-6100

1402 Memorial Blvd. • Connellsville, PA 15425 • (724) 626-1164

2925 National Pike • Chalk Hill, PA 15421 • (724) 437-2521

School district study update

I applaud all Fayette County school district superintendents

for meeting in January in a brainstorming session to share

cost-saving ideas that could allow our schools to operate

more efficiently and effectively.

Their willingness to begin a serious and unprecedented

dialogue represents a key step toward the goal of making

Fayette County public education less costly to local

taxpayers, and more stable for students, teachers and other

employees.

As a facilitator of this effort, I sincerely wish that our school

districts can work something out in advance of June 30, when

the current fiscal year ends. I encourage them to consider

adopting any or all of the $20 million savings outlined by the

state-funded study I have put on the public’s table, as part

of a hopefully unified effort to save millions of dollars and

minimize the pain of employee layoffs.

As a state representative, I have long realized that the support

of school district administrators and board members is crucial

to implement any meaningful change in our county’s public

education system. The most that someone in my position can

do is serve as a catalyst to get – and keep – things moving

along.

I join many citizens who think the superintendents deserve

credit for seeing the same handwriting on the wall that

we do, and for being courageous in their approach to

tackling this problem. We appreciate the effort, as well as

the willingness of Albert Gallatin Area School District and

Superintendent Carl Bezjak to host this important meeting of

the county’s top minds in education.

You can view the entire study at my website:

www.pahouse.com/Mahoney.

College scholarships awarded

Each year, I give four $250 college scholarships to deserving

students at the local high schools. I ask each school’s guidance

counselors to select a winner from their school. They are to

evaluate their students on different criteria. I want to reward

students who not only demonstrate high academic achievement,

but also demonstrate leadership, integrity, perseverance and

community involvement. These scholarships are my personal

contribution to the future education of deserving students. No tax

dollars are ever used in my prizes!

Annual fourth-grade

coloring contest under way!

My fifth annual “Welcome to Pennsylvania’s Capitol”

coloring contest is under way. Fourth-grade classes

from Albert Gallatin, Connellsville, Laurel Highlands

and Uniontown public schools and All Saints school in

Masontown, Conn Area Catholic School and St. John’s school

in Uniontown are invited to participate.

Students are encouraged to color the pictures in the coloring

book, “Welcome to Pennsylvania’s Capitol,” which has been

provided for each classroom. Students may color as many

pictures as they wish, but may only enter one for judging.

Each teacher will then select one winner from their room.

Classroom winners must be submitted to my office by

Wednesday, April 11.

Each classroom winner, two parents or guardians, the

classroom teacher, and school principal will be invited to the

awards dinner, as special guests of my wife and I, at 6 p.m.

April 19 in the Ivory Ballroom.

Rep. Mahoney congratulates the winners of the 2011 fourthgrade

coloring contest.

Rep. Mahoney presents

certificates to last

year’s scholarship

winners: at left, Justin

Teets, Connellsville

School District;

at right, Brittany

Kusniar, Laurel

Highlands School

District. Not pictured

are Kelsey Sleighter

from Uniontown and

Chealsie Shaffer from

Albert Gallatin.


Castle Doctrine finally becomes law!

As a member of the National Rifle

Association, and firm believer in the

Second Amendment right to bear

arms, I am happy to report that the

Castle Doctrine bill, which I strongly

supported for several years, finally

became law last year.

Act #10 of 2011 greatly expands

homeowner rights when it comes to

protecting both people and property.

Until this law was passed, you were

only allowed to use deadly force to

protect yourself inside your house.

Now you can protect yourself with

a legal firearm outside your home

or place of employment without

first attempting to retreat from a

confrontation.

The Castle Doctrine further expands

the areas where force may be used

before attempting to retreat or escape

to include outside areas such as

your deck, porch or patio, or in your

vehicle.

This new law does not give legal

protection for you to commit any

violence in your house without

consequences. It also does not

protect you if you attempt to provoke

a potential attacker. It does mean

if you have a legitimate reason to

fear an attacker or prowler near

your personal space, you may use

whatever force you feel is necessary to

protect yourself, your family and your

possessions.

I have been a long-time supporter

of this type of legislation because I

believe law-abiding people should

have the opportunity to protect

themselves and not be afraid their

actions will lead them to prison.

I remember the case of Stanley Tabaj

of Dunbar, who was tasered and

attacked by two men wielding baseball

bats before he could reach his shotgun.

Once he got his shotgun, he fired at

his attackers, striking and injuring one.

Under the existing law, the district

attorney could have charged him for

several different offenses. Fortunately,

the D.A. realized it was truly a case of

self-defense and did not charge Mr.

Tabaj.

This new law offers a much higher

level of protection for the property

owners, and also makes it easier on

prosecutors, helping to take away one

of their hardest decisions regarding

self-defense.

And, just as importantly, this new

law also provides civil protection

when force is used for protection. An

assailant who is injured by a person

defending himself under this law

would not be able to sue for damages,

regardless of the type and severity of

injuries they receive.

They say a man’s home is his castle,

and this new law puts that into writing!

Underage drinking attacked

On Oct. 24, the Fayette County Drug and Alcohol

Commission and I co-hosted two events to help combat teen

drinking in the area. Zack Nelson died and five other teens

were injured in an accident attributed to drunk driving on

Sept. 10.

In the morning, 1,300 high school juniors from around

the county attended a program at the State Theater which

provided a first-hand presentation of the results of a drunkdriving

accident.

A large photo of Zack Nelson was in the entry hall, with his

parents standing nearby.

Jim Mothersbaugh from Road Radio U.S.A. gave a firsthand

account of his experiences as a passenger injured in a

drunk-driving accident in 1984. He still suffers mental effects

from that accident. He graduated from high school in a

wheelchair and body cast.

In the evening, we held a town meeting in the Ivory

Ballroom to discuss the consequences of underage drinking,

and especially drinking and driving.

Tricia Nelson, Zack’s mother, spoke to the crowd about the

dangers of drinking, and encouraged those in attendance to

take a firm stance against teen drinking.

“Parents don’t think twice about locking their gun cabinets,

but parents of teenagers don’t think about locking their

liquor cabinets,” Nelson said.

State Police Sgt. Joseph D’Andrea of the Uniontown barracks

reported there was a 40 percent increase in DUI arrests from

2009 to 2010.

More information is available from the Fayette County Drug

and Alcohol Commission on its website: www.fcdaa.org.

Rep. Mahoney addresses the crowd at the town meeting on

underage drinking, held Oct. 24 in the Ivory Ballroom.

Rep. Mahoney greets Tricia and Dan Nelson, parents of

accident victim Zack Nelson, at the State Theater teen

drinking event on Oct. 24.


Mahoney holds toy drive

I hosted my second annual holiday open house and

toy drive on Dec. 17. Toys collected were distributed

to families throughout Fayette County by Children and

Youth Services of Fayette County. I was thrilled by

the response this year. And in the middle of the event,

I had the opportunity to present a House citation to

members of the local Salvation Army, acknowledging

their work every Christmas season.

I can’t wait until next Christmas!

Rep. Mahoney and

his constituent

services office staff:

front row, from left:

Beth Frazee and

Marsha Widmer;

back row, from left:

Alyssa Clark, Neal

Christopher, Santa,

Rep. Mahoney,

Jennifer Jeffries,

Jim Conway.

Rep. Mahoney

presents a House

citation honoring

Salvation Army

Red Kettle

month to the

local Salvation

Army during his

Christmas toy

drive.

Rep. Mahoney’s office is overrun by toys brought

in for his annual toy drive.

Christmas dinner for all!

On Christmas, I hosted my second annual Christmas Day dinner at the Ivory

Ballroom. I started this as a way to let people who would otherwise be dining

alone on the holiday share a meal with others.

The response was overwhelming. This year, more than 100 people joined me

for dinner, and we had more than 100 volunteers as well. Last year, we had

about 50 volunteers. It seems like they all brought friends and family to help

this year. I always thought that helping others is a way to help you, too, and I

think my volunteers feel that way as well.

The dinner was a traditional holiday meal, including turkey and stuffing,

mashed potatoes and gravy and green beans, served at the table.

We also had an assortment of toys and gifts under a lighted tree.

I am often asked how I got the idea to host this dinner, and I need to give credit

to a priest at St. John’s Roman Catholic Church. Several years ago, the sermon

topic was “What is Christmas all about?”

So what is Christmas all about? It is about giving back!

This seemed like a perfect example to set for my children and get the

community involved, and boy, did they ever get involved!

I am already beginning plans for the third annual Christmas Day dinner!

Volunteers serve the food.

Volunteers and diners mingle at the second

annual Christmas Day dinner.

Mahoney honors Fairchance Fire Department

On Dec. 9, I presented members of

the Fairchance Borough Volunteer Fire

Department a citation honoring the

department for 100 years of service to

the community. Congratulations, and

thanks for your continued service to

the community.

Rep. Mahoney presents the citation

to officials of Fairchance Borough

and the fire department. Pictured

from left: Neal Christopher, borough

council; Bob Miller, past fire chief;

Marcia Goisse, borough council; Rep.

Mahoney; Chief Raymond Eicher; and

Dannie Lee Thompson, past chief.


State Representative • 51st Legislative District

Tim Mahoney

P.O. Box 202051

Harrisburg, PA 17120-2051

INSIDE

School district study

update

Stopping underage

drinking

lpo.ts.0212

Scenes from my Senior Fair

at the Uniontown Mall

Rep.

Mahoney

with

attendees

at last

summer’s

Senior Fair.

Rep. Mahoney talks with some of the seniors.

Free screenings were available to all who attended.

My office can help you with:

Car registrations, special tags, handicap placards, titles

and driver’s license applications

Information on financial assistance for higher education

Assistance in obtaining and completing state forms of all

kind

Voter registration and absentee ballot applications

Unemployment compensation, disability and workers’

compensation

Birth and death certificates

Problems with the Department of Public Welfare (food

stamps, medical and income assistance)

Pennsylvania income tax questions or problems

Requests for literature of all kind – bills, regulations,

statutes, Pennsylvania maps, senior citizen information

Citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

for outstanding accomplishments and family milestones

Complaints or questions about utilities and the Public

Utility Commission

Complaints and problems with insurance companies

Renewal of state-issued licenses or certifications

Property tax/rent rebate problems or questions

Problems or questions about the state lottery

PACE prescription drug cards for senior citizens

Consumer complaints

Liquor Control Board concerns or questions

Tours of the state Capitol for individuals or groups

Information about federal, state and local government

agencies

Any question about state government!

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