Joint Senate Hearing Continues Work on Overhauling PA Child Protection Laws

Harrisburg – The process of overhauling Pennsylvania’s child protection laws continued to move forward today with a joint Senate hearing co-chaired by Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24) to discuss legislative recommendations by the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection.

The Senate Aging and Youth Committee, chaired by Senator Mensch, and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee, chaired by Sen. Pat Vance (R-31), heard from task force members and Acting Public Welfare Secretary Beverly Mackereth.

“This is the first step in a journey to better protect Pennsylvania children. We’re going to move cautiously, but we are going to act,” said Mensch.

Task force members on hand included its chairman, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler; Dr. Cindy Christian, director of Safe Place: The Center for Child Protection and Health at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and attorney Jason Kutulakis.

The task force members encouraged greater use of Multidisciplinary Investigative Teams, composed of county prosecutors, law enforcement and child advocates, whose sole mission is to stop offenders from preying upon children. The panel also endorsed Child Advocacy Centers, where a qualified forensics interviewer speaks with children who may be victims of abuse, and “academies” to improve training of case workers.

According to the task force testifiers, Pennsylvania has a multi-tiered system when it comes to child abuse allegations that is inclusive of our criminal justice system to investigate crimes and child protective services to ensure the safety of the child as well as determines if there are any further victims. Far too often, police and child protective services work in “silos” when it comes to investigations – within narrow communication channels where information is not always shared. In addition, state health privacy (HIPPA) laws can hinder the exchange of information necessary for an investigation, task force members said.

Acting Secretary Mackereth, who spent 20 years as a county case worker, explained the obstacles faced by case workers when investigating potential abuse. The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection was created by the passage of Senate Resolution 250 in December 2011. The panel held a series of public meetings and released its report in November 2012.

The task force recommendations led to the introduction of a bipartisan package of legislation to provide sweeping improvements to Pennsylvania’s child protection laws. Senator Mensch is sponsoring Senate Bill 27 to improve the exchange of information among medical practitioners and county agencies. He also drafted Senate Bill 33 to provide employee whistleblower protection for child abuse reporting.

“I am grateful of the hard work done by the Task Force on Child Protection to identify weaknesses in our current child protection laws and recommend legislative improvements,” said Mensch. “We will continue to rely on their counsel as we move our legislative package forward toward the goal of safeguarding children from the heinous crime of child abuse.”

(Video of the hearing is posted on the committee website.)

More information about state issues is available at Senator Mensch’s website, www.SenatorMensch.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch.

Senator Mensch Offers District Outreach Program

public locations save money, provides state services, forms

Harrisburg – Senator Bob Mensch is offering office hours across the 24th Senate District. As part of his commitment to make state services readily accessible to his constituents, Senator Mensch’s extensive outreach program involves regularly scheduled visits by staff members to assist constituents in their hometowns throughout the 24th Senatorial District.

“During these tough economic times, it is essential that government agencies continue to find ways to reduce costs. Utilizing public libraries, municipal buildings and community centers, we have been able to expand our services and make ourselves more readily available to residents.” Senator Mensch kindly asks constituents to call before visiting the district offices since inclement weather may alter the hours.

Scheduled visits under Senator Mensch’s outreach program include:

Bucks County

  • Springfield Township Municipal Building, 2320 Township Road, Quakertown, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the first, fourth and fifth Wednesday of the month; from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of odd months and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of even months; and, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.
  • Durham Township Municipal Building, Old Furnace Road, Durham, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every other month (even months). Rep. Marguerite Quinn will offer satellite office hours on the second Wednesday of the odd months from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Nockamixon Township Municipal Building, 589 Lake Warren Road in Ferndale from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the third Wednesday of every month. Rep. Marguerite Quinn will offer satellite office hours on the first Wednesday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Upper Bucks Senior Center, Milford Fire Company Social Hall, 2183 Milford Square Pike, Milford, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month.

Lehigh County

  • Southern Lehigh Public Library 3200 Preston Lane, Center Valley, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

Northampton County

  • Forks Township Community Center, 500 Zucksville Road, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.
  • Palmer Township Memorial Library, 1 Weller Place, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Information about pending legislation, state laws, agencies and programs is also available at Senator Mensch’s website: www.senatormensch.com. The website also provides special sections of interest to senior citizens, veterans and kids and links to other governmental and civic organizations.

“Constituents can contact me through the website, sign up to receive periodic updates on issues and events in Harrisburg and around the 24th Senatorial District and may contact my office to schedule appointments outside of normal operating hours,” Senator Mensch said. Constituents may also follow Senator Mensch on his Facebook page by visiting www.facebook.com/PASenatorBobMensch.

In addition to his outreach schedule, Senator Mensch operates one full-time and two part-time district offices:

  • Montgomery/Bucks County Office, 404 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA 18073, Phone: (215) 541-2388. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Montgomery County Office – Borough of Lansdale Municipal Building, 1 Vine Street, Lansdale, Phone: (215) 368-3117. The office is open from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
  • Lehigh County Office, 1245 Chestnut Street, Unit #5, Emmaus, PA 18049, Phone: (610) 965-1466. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Northampton County Office, 1701 Washington Boulevard, Easton, PA 18042, Phone: (610) 250-5624. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Constituents can receive state forms for PACE and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program; state transportation and fishing maps; and, assistance with PENNDOT, welfare and other state-related matters by contacting any of Senator Mensch’s District Offices.

Contact: Sarah Stroman
(215) 541-2388

Senators Unveil Bipartisan Package to Overhaul PA Child Protection Laws

Video Capture

Harrisburg – A bipartisan group of state senators today unveiled a package of legislation to provide sweeping improvements to Pennsylvania’s child protection laws.

Legislators taking part included Sen. Kim Ward (R-39); Republican Chair of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24); Democratic Chair of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, Sen. LeAnna Washington (D-4); and
Senate Democratic Caucus Administrator, Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-42).

“I am pleased the Senate will be taking action on the reforms suggested by Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection formed by my resolution, SR 250,” Ward said.  “The legislation should have no problem sailing through the Senate
because all of us, Republican and Democrat, understand how important these reforms are to protecting our kids.”

“The first step in ending the cycle of child abuse is to know what it is and how to define it,” Washington said.  “My legislation, Senate Bill 20, provides a thorough and exhaustive definition of child abuse, to help us protect our
children from harm.”

“As Chairman of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, the renewed focus on child abuse in Pennsylvania over the last year has provided a serious challenge, and opportunity, to help implement comprehensive reforms that will improve child protection, especially at the point when someone first suspects child abuse to the time when an investigation is initiated and in progress,” said Mensch.
“Among the shortcomings in current law that this package addresses is the need for better coordination between agencies, and protections for those citizens who come forward to report abuse. It’s past time to update these laws for the 21st century.”

“My legislation, which was originally introduced eight years ago, would remove the different reporting requirement for school employees and put them on the same level as other mandated reporters,” Fontana said. “We have a public and
ethical responsibility to protect our children and ensure their safety in our schools. It doesn’t matter who is suspected of abuse.  Each case should be handled the same.”

The package implements changes recommended by the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection created by the passage of Senate Resolution 250 in December 2011. The panel held a series of public meetings and released its
report in November 2012. Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler, who chaired the task force, applauded the legislators’ efforts.

“I am delighted that the Pennsylvania Senate has chosen to pursue a collaborative, bipartisan approach to the drafting and introduction of legislation which embodies so much of what our Task Force recommended after a year of hard work,” Heckler said. “The children of Pennsylvania will be made far safer by the passage of this package of bills. I and my fellow Task Force members look forward to helping in any way we can.”

The package includes the following bills:

  • Senate Bill 20 Sen. LeAnna Washington (D-4), Sen. Kim Ward (R-39)
    Updates the definition of “child abuse” and provides exclusions.
  • Senate Bill 21 Sen. Kim Ward (R-39), Sen. John Blake (D-22)
    Clarifies who is a “mandatory reporter” of child abuse.
  • Senate Bill 22 Sen. Kim Ward (R-39), Sen. Tim Solobay (D-46)
    Increases penalties for failure to report child abuse.
  • Senate Bill 23 Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20), Sen. Christine Tartaglione (D-2)
    Updates the definition of “perpetrator” and expands definition of “person
    responsible for a child’s welfare.”
  • Senate Bill 24 Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-44), Sen. Larry Farnese (D-1)
    Requires the Department of Public Welfare to establish a Statewide Database
    of Protective Services.
  • Senate Bill 25 Sen. Randy Vulakovich (R-44), Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-18)
    Updates procedures used to report child abuse and neglect.
  • Senate Bill 26 Sen. John Yudichak (D-14)
    Requires DPW to establish a three-digit, statewide number for reporting child abuse or for children in
    need of protective services.
  • Senate Bill 27 Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24), Sen. Mike Stack (D-5)
    Improves the exchange of information among medical practitioners and county
    agencies.
  • Senate Bill 28 Sen. Pat Browne (R-16), Sen. Daylin Leach (D-17)
    Amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) to comprehensively strengthen
    Pennsylvania’s child abuse laws.
  • Senate Bill 29 Sen. Pat Vance (R-31), Sen. Shirley Kitchen (D-3)
    Requires health care providers to immediately report if a newborn is
    identified as being affected by prenatal exposure to illegal substances.
  • Senate Bill 30 Sen. Ted Erickson (R-26), Sen. Richard Kasunic (D-32)
    Establishes accountability and due process protections for individuals
    working with delinquent children in juvenile detention facilities and
    residential rehabilitative institutions.
  • Senate Bill 31 Sen. Wayne Fontana (D-42)
    Eliminates the separate system for reporting abuse by school employees.
  • Senate Bill 32 Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-19), Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-38)
    Requires a school district to notify the county agency when a child is
    enrolled in a home-schooled or cyber-school program and requires the county to
    do a risk assessment.
  • Senate Bill 33 Sen. Bob Mensch (R-24), Sen. Jim Brewster (D-45)
    Provides employee whistleblower protection for child abuse reporting.
  • Senate Bill 34 Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R-13), Sen. Anthony Williams (D-8)
    Establishes a comprehensive system for professional educators who are
    investigated and disciplined for misconduct in Pennsylvania.
  • Senate Bill 46 Sen. Anthony Williams (D-8)
    Prevents “passing the trash” — hiring educators who have been investigated,
    dismissed or disciplined for abuse or sexual misconduct.

The next step in the process to boost child protection across Pennsylvania will be an April 9 joint public hearing on the package by the Senate Aging and Youth Committee and the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.

 

Attachment
CONTACTS:

Carol Milligan (Senate Republicans)
717-787-6725
Stacey Witalec (Senate Democrats)
717-772-2368

Senator Mensch Offers District Outreach Program

Senator Bob Mensch is offering office hours across the 24th Senate District. As part of his commitment to make state services readily accessible to his constituents, Senator Mensch’s extensive outreach program involves regularly scheduled visits by staff members to assist constituents in their hometowns throughout the 24th Senatorial District.

“During these tough economic times, it is essential that government agencies continue to find ways to reduce costs. Utilizing public libraries, municipal buildings and community centers, we have been able to expand our services and make ourselves more readily available to residents.”

Due to recent storm-related closures, residents are encouraged to call ahead prior to visiting any outreach location.

Scheduled visits under Senator Mensch’s outreach program include:

Bucks County

  • Springfield Township Municipal Building, 2320 Township Road, Quakertown, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the first, fourth and fifth Wednesday of the month; from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of odd months and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of even months; and, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.
  • Durham Township Municipal Building, Old Furnace Road, Durham, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month.
  • Nockamixon Township Municipal Building, 589 Lake Warren Road in Ferndale from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the third Wednesday of every month. Rep. Marguerite Quinn will offer satellite office hours on the first Wednesday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Upper Bucks Senior Center, Milford Fire Company Social Hall, 2183 Milford Square Pike, Milford, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Lehigh County

  • Southern Lehigh Public Library 3200 Preston Lane, Center Valley, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

Northampton County

  • Forks Township Community Center, 500 Zucksville Road, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.
  • Palmer Township Memorial Library, 1 Weller Place, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Information about pending legislation, state laws, agencies and programs is also available at Senator Mensch’s website: www.senatormensch.com. The website also provides special sections of interest to senior citizens, veterans and kids and links to other governmental and civic organizations.

“Constituents can contact me through the website, sign up to receive periodic updates on issues and events in Harrisburg and around the 24th Senatorial District and may contact my office to schedule appointments outside of normal operating hours,” Senator Mensch said.

In addition to his outreach schedule, Senator Mensch operates one full-time and two part-time district offices:

  • Montgomery/Bucks County Office, 404 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA 18073, Phone: (215) 541-2388. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Montgomery County Office – Borough of Lansdale Municipal Building, 1 Vine Street, Lansdale, Phone: (215) 368-3117. The office is open from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
  • Lehigh County Office, 1245 Chestnut Street, Unit #5, Emmaus, PA 18049, Phone: (610) 965-1466. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Northampton County Office, 1701 Washington Boulevard, Easton, PA 18042, Phone: (610) 250-5624. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Constituents can receive state forms for PACE and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program; state transportation and fishing maps; and, assistance with PENNDOT, welfare and other state-related matters by contacting any of Senator Mensch’s District Offices.

Contact: Tim Hennessey
(717) 787-3110

Senator Mensch Offers District Outreach Program

Public locations save money, provides state services, forms

QUAKERTOWN – Senator Bob Mensch is offering office hours across the 24th Senate District. As part of his commitment to make state services readily accessible to his constituents, Senator Mensch’s extensive outreach program involves regularly scheduled visits by staff members to assist constituents in their hometowns throughout the 24th Senatorial District.

“During these tough economic times, it is essential that government agencies continue to find ways to reduce costs. Utilizing public libraries, municipal buildings and community centers, we have been able to expand our services and make ourselves more readily available to residents.”

Scheduled visits under Senator Mensch’s outreach program include:

Bucks County

  • Springfield Township Municipal Building, 2320 Township Road, Quakertown, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the first, fourth and fifth Wednesday of the month; from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of odd months and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of even months; and, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.
  • Durham Township Municipal Building, Old Furnace Road, Durham, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of even months only. Rep. Marguerite Quinn will offer satellite office hours on the second Wednesday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Nockamixon Township Municipal Building, 589 Lake Warren Road in Ferndale from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the third Wednesday of every month. Rep. Marguerite Quinn will offer satellite office hours on the first Wednesday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Upper Bucks Senior Center, Milford Fire Company Social Hall, 2183 Milford Square Pike, Milford, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Lehigh County

  • Southern Lehigh Public Library 3200 Preston Lane, Center Valley, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

Northampton County

  • Forks Township Community Center, 500 Zucksville Road, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.
  • Palmer Township Memorial Library, 1 Weller Place, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Information about pending legislation, state laws, agencies and programs is also available at Senator Mensch’s website: www.senatormensch.com. The website also provides special sections of interest to senior citizens, veterans and kids and links to other governmental and civic organizations.

“Constituents can contact me through the website, sign up to receive periodic updates on issues and events in Harrisburg and around the 24th Senatorial District and may contact my office to schedule appointments outside of normal operating hours,” Senator Mensch said.

In addition to his outreach schedule, Senator Mensch operates one full-time and two part-time district offices:

  • Montgomery/Bucks County Office, 404 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA 18073, Phone: (215) 541-2388. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Montgomery County Office – Borough of Lansdale Municipal Building, 1 Vine Street, Lansdale, from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
  • Lehigh County Office, 1245 Chestnut Street, Unit #5, Emmaus, PA 18049, Phone: (610) 965-1466. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Northampton County Office, 1701 Washington Boulevard, Easton, PA 18042, Phone: (610) 250-5624. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Constituents can receive state forms for PACE and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program; state transportation and fishing maps; and, assistance with PENNDOT, welfare and other state-related matters by contacting any of Senator Mensch’s District Offices.

Senator Mensch Offers District Outreach Program

Public locations save money, provides state services, forms

Senator Bob Mensch is offering office hours across the 24th Senate District. As part of his commitment to make state services readily accessible to his constituents, Senator Mensch’s extensive outreach program involves regularly scheduled visits by staff members to assist constituents in their hometowns throughout the 24th Senatorial District.

“During these tough economic times, it is essential that government agencies continue to find ways to reduce costs. Utilizing public libraries, municipal buildings and community centers, we have been able to expand our services and make ourselves more readily available to residents.”

Scheduled visits under Senator Mensch’s outreach program include:

Bucks County

  • Springfield Township Municipal Building, 2320 Township Road, Quakertown, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the first, fourth and fifth Wednesday of the month; from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of odd months and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of even months; and, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.
  • Durham Township Municipal Building, Old Furnace Road, Durham, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of even months only. Rep. Marguerite Quinn will offer satellite office hours on the second Wednesday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Nockamixon Township Municipal Building, 589 Lake Warren Road in Ferndale from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the third Wednesday of every month. Rep. Marguerite Quinn will offer satellite office hours on the first Wednesday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Upper Bucks Senior Center, Milford Fire Company Social Hall, 2183 Milford Square Pike, Milford, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Lehigh County

  • Southern Lehigh Public Library 3200 Preston Lane, Center Valley, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

Montgomery County

  • Borough of Lansdale Municipal Building, 1 Vine Street, Lansdale, from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Northampton County

  • Forks Township Community Center, 500 Zucksville Road, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.
  • Palmer Township Memorial Library, 1 Weller Place, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Information about pending legislation, state laws, agencies and programs is also available at Senator Mensch’s website: www.senatormensch.com. The website also provides special sections of interest to senior citizens, veterans and kids and links to other governmental and civic organizations.

“Constituents can contact me through the website, sign up to receive periodic updates on issues and events in Harrisburg and around the 24th Senatorial District and may contact my office to schedule appointments outside of normal operating hours,” Senator Mensch said.

In addition to his outreach schedule, Senator Mensch operates one full-time and two part-time district offices:

  • Montgomery County Office, 404 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA 18073, Phone: (215) 541-2388. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Lehigh County Office, 1245 Chestnut Street, Unit #5, Emmaus, PA 18049, Phone: (610) 965-1466. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Northampton County Office, 1701 Washington Boulevard, Easton, PA 18042, Phone: (610) 250-5624. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Constituents can receive state forms for PACE and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program; state transportation and fishing maps; and, assistance with PENNDOT, welfare and other state-related matters by contacting any of Senator Mensch’s District Offices.

Contact: Tim Hennessey
(717) 787-3110

Senator Mensch Makes Changes To District Outreach Program

public locations save money, provides state services, forms

Senator Bob Mensch is offering office hours across the 24th Senate District. As part of his commitment to make state services readily accessible to his constituents, Senator Mensch’s extensive outreach program involves regularly scheduled visits by staff members to assist constituents in their hometowns throughout the 24th Senatorial District.

“During these tough economic times, it is essential that government agencies continue to find ways to reduce costs. Utilizing public libraries, municipal buildings and community centers, we have been able to expand our services and make ourselves more readily available to residents.”

Scheduled visits under Senator Mensch’s outreach program include:

Bucks County

  • Springfield Township Municipal Building, 2320 Township Road, Quakertown, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the first, fourth and fifth Wednesday of the month; from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of odd months and from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of even months; and, from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month.
  • Durham Township Municipal Building, Old Furnace Road, Durham, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of even months only. Rep. Marguerite Quinn will offer satellite office hours on the second Wednesday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Nockamixon Township Municipal Building, 589 Lake Warren Road in Ferndale from 9:30 a.m. to noon on the third Wednesday of every month. Rep. Marguerite Quinn will offer satellite office hours on the first Wednesday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Upper Bucks Senior Center, Milford Fire Company Social Hall, 2183 Milford Square Pike, Milford, from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month.

Lehigh County

  • Southern Lehigh Public Library, 3200 Preston Lane, Center Valley, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

Montgomery County

  • Borough of Lansdale Municipal Building, 1 Vine Street, Lansdale, from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm every Monday, Wednesday & Friday.

Northampton County

  • Forks Township Community Center, 500 Zucksville Road, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the first Tuesday of every month.
  • Palmer Township Memorial Library, 1 Weller Place, Easton, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. on the fourth Tuesday of every month.

Information about pending legislation, state laws, agencies and programs is also available at Senator Mensch’s website: www.senatormensch.com. The website also provides special sections of interest to senior citizens, veterans and kids and links to other governmental and civic organizations.

“Constituents can contact me through the website, sign up to receive periodic updates on issues and events in Harrisburg and around the 24th Senatorial District and may contact my office to schedule appointments outside of normal operating hours,” Senator Mensch said.

In addition to his outreach schedule, Senator Mensch operates one full-time and two part-time district offices:

  • Montgomery County Office, 404 Main Street, Pennsburg, PA 18073, Phone: (215) 541-2388. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • Lehigh County Office, 1245 Chestnut Street, Unit #5, Emmaus, PA 18049, Phone: (610) 965-1466. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • Northampton County Office, 1701 Washington Boulevard, Easton, PA 18042, Phone: (610) 250-5624. The office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Constituents can receive state forms for PACE and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program; state transportation and fishing maps; and, assistance with PENNDOT, welfare and other state-related matters by contacting any of Senator Mensch’s District Offices.

Palisades High School Madrigal Singers and Strings will perform in the Capitol Rotunda

Musicians will perform in rotunda on march 21st

Students from Palisades School District, in Bucks County, will be going to Harrisburg as part of the Music in Our Schools Month Capitol Concert Series. The Palisades High School Madrigal Singers and Strings, under the direction of Carolyn Williams, will perform in the Capitol Rotunda on Monday, March 21st at 12:00pm.

PMEA is a statewide nonprofit organization of over 5,000 members, dedicated to promoting the musical development of all Pennsylvanians. The present membership evolved from a small group of band directors dating from 1933. Today, the organization includes those engaged in music instruction at all levels, from preschool through college and university, as well as those in the music industry, merchandising and publishing. The organization promotes and supports quality music education, learning and performance as well as promoting and supporting music education in schools and communities. PMEA is affiliated with MENC: The National Association for Music Education.

 

Contact: Tim Hennessey
(717) 787-3110

State Tax Amnesty Available Until June 18

Penalties, 50 percent interest waived for those who pay delinquent taxes.

Senator Bob Mensch is urging local residents who owe back taxes to the state to take advantage of a rare tax amnesty program being offered by the Department of Revenue.

“According to the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue, there are more than 163,000 state tax delinquents in the counties I represent,” said Senator Mensch. “Right now those delinquents have a rare opportunity to take care of those back taxes and save on the accumulated penalties and interest.”

For a limited time, the PA Department of Revenue is waiving 100 percent of penalties and half the interest for anyone who applies for Tax Amnesty online at www.PATaxPayUp.com and pays eligible delinquent taxes between now and June 18.

In addition to the online PA Tax Amnesty application, the website answers commonly asked Tax Amnesty questions and provides step-by-step application instructions in English and Spanish.

This is only the second time in Pennsylvania’s history it has offered a Tax Amnesty program to those who owe the state back taxes.

Individuals, businesses and other entities with Pennsylvania tax delinquencies as of June 30, 2009, are generally eligible to participate in the Tax Amnesty program. Delinquencies include non-filed tax returns or reports, as well as unpaid or under-reported, whether known or unknown to the PA Department of Revenue.

To obtain PA Tax Amnesty, you must do the following between April 26 and June 18, 2010:

  • File an amnesty application online with the PA Department of Revenue.
  • Pay all delinquent taxes plus 50 percent of the interest due.
  • If applicable, prepare and file state tax returns for all periods for which returns were not filed, or file amended returns for all under-reported tax.

According to the Revenue Department, taxpayers will only be able to apply for Tax Amnesty online; no paper application will be available.