Three of Senator Mensch’s Bills Advance to Senate Floor

HARRISBURG – Three significant pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) were advanced to the Senate floor today (March 23).

Senate Bill 190, also known as Designated Essential Family Caregivers (EFCs) in Long-Term Care Facilities, passed out of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee. This bill would allow facilities to designate at least one EFC per resident. An EFC is someone who was regularly providing care to a resident prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Designation would be at the sole discretion of the facility in consultation with the resident and their families and must follow a resident’s care plan. Only facilities that can comply with current CDC and DOH guidelines can designate an EFC. An EFC must comply with all the conditions specified by a facility, including CDC and DOH guidelines like handwashing, masks, social distancing, etc.

“While guidelines are changing and visitation restrictions are being relaxed, there is still a dire need for this bill now and in the future to make sure our loved ones are receiving the care and familial interaction they need,” Mensch said. The bill passed the Senate last session. Watch Senator Mensch’s remarks here.

Senate Bill 156, also known as Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD), was voted out of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Currently, MAWD services are only available to individuals with disabilities with an income of less than 250%, or roughly $32,000 annually. This often discourages workers from working more hours, or from accepting a raise or promotion. This bill allows individuals with disabilities to increase earnings under a new category of MAWD, called Workers with Job Success (WJS). Anything earned over the cap will bump contributions into a new category rather than just eliminating eligibility all together and covers workers from 250% of the poverty level up to 600%, or roughly $76,000.

“These individuals, like anyone else, deserve the opportunity to work to their full potential without the fear of losing health care benefits,” Mensch said. The bill passed the Senate unanimously last session. You can watch Senator Mensch’s remarks here.

Senate Bill 435, also known as the Clean Transportation Infrastructure Act, passed through the Senate Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure Committee. This legislation will spur development of transportation infrastructure to support the new generation of electric, natural gas, and hydrogen vehicles and equipment that will be an important part of Pennsylvania’s economic development in coming years. The Pennsylvania Clean Transportation Infrastructure Act will create a framework for building this infrastructure by combining the expertise of our transportation and public utility sectors. Under this proposal, Pennsylvania will:

  • Establish a state goal of increasing electrification by at least 50 percent over currently forecasted levels by 2030; and
  • Direct electric utilities to develop infrastructure implementation plans to support the development of these networks under PA PUC oversight.
  • Will require no new taxes and no government spending.
  • Ensure local control as planning and prioritizations are done from the bottom-up at the regional level, not a top-down bureaucratic approach from Harrisburg.
  • A time-limited program that mandates a 5-year program review and plan updates and sunsets after 10 years unless reauthorized by the Legislature.

“As increasing numbers of Pennsylvania consumers and businesses consider choosing alternative energy vehicles, and our businesses look for opportunities to invest in cleaner, more efficient equipment, we must ensure that well-planned charging and refueling infrastructures are deployed in the state,” Mensch said. The bill passed the Senate 43-6 last session. Watch Senator Mensch’s remarks here.

For more information on Senator Mensch’s legislation, visit www.senatormensch.com.  State updates can also be found on Senator Mensch’s Facebook at facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch/ or Twitter @SenatorMensch.

CONTACT: Madison Scarfaro mscarfaro@pasen.gov  (215) 541-2388