2010-02-25 / Local & State

Hess Seeks Re-election To State House

Lawmaker says jobs, economic growth and reduced spending are top priorities

Rep. Dick Hess Rep. Dick Hess State Rep. Dick Hess announced this week he is seeking re-election to the 78th District’s seat in the Pennsyavnia House of Representatives that spans Fulton, Bedford and Huntingdon counties.

“As the representative for the citizens of the local area, I have been entrusted by them to be their voice in the state capitol and to advocate on their behalf,” Hess said. “I look forward to returning to Harrisburg to continue serving their interests. Throughout my tenure, I have shepherded through many projects for the benefit of the citizens in our local communities. I have held onto one principle since being elected: I work for the people of the 78th District, not Harrisburg.”

Due to his seniority in the House, Hess was recently appointed to the powerful House Rules committee. Using his influence and leadership skills, his seat on the committee gives the 78th District a greater voice in legislative procedures and processes. This committee proposes changes to the operating rules of the House, adopts guidelines for the efficient use of taxpayer funds appropriated to the House and its members and employees, and reviews amended legislation that returns from the Senate.

“In this role, I have the unique opportunity to shepherd through measures that are beneficial to my constituents,” Hess said. “As their voice in Harrisburg, area residents deserve to have a representative that speaks on their behalf.”

Hess also serves as the Republican chairman of the House Commerce Committee, which has oversight of the banking industry and economic development in Pennsylvania. He is also the ranking member on the transportation committee.

“Our slumping economy has affected thousands of families throughout Pennsylvania and these committees work to ensure that state government enacts policies that are conducive for economic growth and job creation and retention,” Hess said. “This year will present many challenges and having adequate representation in the General Assembly is necessary to effect positive change across the commonwealth.”

If re-elected, Hess stated he will fight to secure dedicated funding in the annual budget for Allegany College, Bedford County Campus, located in Everett.

“Many of my constituents seek higher education to refine their job skills to prepare them for future employment,” Hess said. “State government must ensure that higher education remains affordable to Pennsylvanians who desire to advance their careers, which will ultimately benefit our local economy.”

In addition, Hess plans to ensure that economic development continues to be a high priority throughout the 78th District.

“High paying, quality family sustaining jobs are important to growth and a better quality of life,” Hess said. “We must attract businesses to the local area to ensure that job seekers have access to valuable employment opportunities to raise their families.”

Hess noted that on the state level, government must control spending and taxation, and to protect those that fund state government operations.

“Many in Harrisburg believe that cash is in endless supply,” Hess said. “We must remember that Pennsylvania citizens finance state government, and we must guarantee that their money is used efficiently and effectively.”

He noted that the governor recently presented a $29 billion budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, which reflects a spending increase of $1.2 billion, or 4 percent, over last year’s budget. With the commonwealth facing a deficit of nearly $525 million for the current fiscal year, Hess questioned the governor’s push to increase spending for the eighth straight year.

“The residents of my district cannot afford to finance the governor’s insatiable spending appetite,” Hess said. “Harrisburg needs to rein in spending and ensure taxpayer dollars are used wisely.”

Hess also intends to work on issues that affect sportsmen and the agricultural community.

“Pennsylvania is home to thousands of sportsmen and sportswomen who enjoy the outdoors, and as such we must protect the areas they use,” Hess said. “We must also ensure that our agricultural community has the resources necessary to maintain the state’s number one industry. Farm operators provide thousands of high quality, homegrown products that are preferred by Pennsylvania citizens. I intend to work with my colleagues in Harrisburg to defend our rural communities.”

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