Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Mensch Report: Senator for a Day Program
  • U.S. Census: Help Make PA Count
  • One-Year Extension of All SEPTA Key Senior ID Cards Set to Expire in 2020
  • PennDOT Reopens Route 63 (Sumneytown Pike) Bridges over Unami Creek and Ridge Valley Creek Following Replacement
  • Finnegan Foundation Legislative Internships Available
  • Veterans Survey on Transferring Occupational Licensure to Civilian Employment
  • Proposals being accepted for PA Specialty Crop Grants
  • Apprenticeship Grants Application Deadline Jan. 10
  • PA Wall of Faces Complete
  • Dog License Scam Alert
  • Around the 24th District

Mensch Report: Senator for a Day Program

December 2019 - Senator for a Day Program

This edition of the Mensch Report features highlights from my annual “Senator for a Day” program, held at the Upper Perkiomen Valley YMCA in Pennsburg, Montgomery County.

By April 1, 2020, every home in the U.S. will receive an invitation to participate in the 2020 Census.  The U.S. Census has been conducted every 10 years since 1790, as mandated by the Constitution. It is a very important undertaking. The count determines the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives for each state, and is used to distribute billions in federal dollars to local communities. 

Each year, Pennsylvania receives approximately $26 billion in federal funding toward programs like Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP, CHIP, and WIC, as well as grants for education and highway construction. That’s equal to over $2,000 per citizen in Pennsylvania.

You can respond by mail, phone, or online. Your personal information is confidential.  You can learn more about the census in Pennsylvania, and getting involved with Complete Committees, here.

One-Year Extension of All SEPTA Key Senior ID Cards Set to Expire in 2020

SEPTA has informed my office that it is providing a one (1) year extension of all SEPTA Key Senior ID Cards expiring in calendar year 2020.  Seniors with a card expiring in 2020 will be able to continue to ride SEPTA using their current card for 12 months beyond the printed date of expiration (for example, cards with a May 2020 expiration date will continue to be valid for travel through May 2021).

While no SEPTA Key Senior ID Cards will expire during calendar year 2020, card holders with a Senior ID Card expiring in 2020, who wish to renew their card in the coming year, can obtain same day card renewal at one of the below locations:

  • SEPTA Headquarters – 1234 Market St., Philadelphia Pa. 19107, or
  • SEPTA Accessible Travel Center – Room #109, Suburban Station, 15 N. 16th St, Philadelphia Pa. 19107

The changes noted above apply only to cards expiring in calendar year 2020 and do not affect new applications in any way.   Seniors can continue to apply for new SEPTA Key Senior ID Cards at SEPTA Headquarters and the Accessible Travel Center, and my staff will also continue to take photographs and process applications for new Senior ID Cards at my district office.  In the coming year, I will be working with SEPTA as they develop a process that will allow my office to handle card renewals in the future.

If you have any questions, please call my office at 215-541-2388.

PennDOT Reopens Route 63 (Sumneytown Pike) Bridges over Unami Creek and Ridge Valley Creek Following Replacement

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reopened two Route 63 (Sumneytown Pike) bridges over the Unami Creek and Ridge Valley Creek in Upper Salford and Marlborough townships, Montgomery County, following replacement. Route 63 (Sumneytown Pike) between Gerryville Pike and Thompson Road and Long Mill Road between Moyer Road and Bergey Road had been closed and detoured since May 2019 for replacement of the two structures.

A single lane pattern on Route 63 (Sumneytown Pike) remains in effect between Long Mill Road and Shady Lane through summer 2020 for replacement of the third bridge over the East Branch of the Perkiomen Creek under the same project. Drivers are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work area because backups and delays will occur.

H & K Group, Inc., of Skippack, PA, is the general contractor on the $9,565,527 project which is financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds.

Subscribe to PennDOT news and traffic alerts in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties at

Finnegan Foundation Legislative Internships Available

Pennsylvania college undergraduates attending an in- or out-of-state college or university and who have completed at least one semester have until January 31 to apply for paid, state government internships from the Finnegan Foundation.

Winners work in executive, legislative or judicial branches over the summer. Runners-up receive cash awards during the annual awards banquet at the Governor’s Residence.

Veterans Survey on Transferring Occupational Licensure to Civilian Employment

One of the biggest obstacles facing service members and veterans is how to translate the skills and education they received in the military into civilian employment.

A survey by the PA State Department and St. Francis University’s Knee Center for the Study of Occupational Regulation is asking current PA military service members, veterans and their families about their experience transferring occupational licensure from the military to the private sector. Responses will be kept confidential.

Proposals being accepted for PA Specialty Crop Grants

Concept proposals are being accepted until Jan. 24 for projects that will increase the visibility and competitiveness of PA horticultural specialty crops, including fruit, vegetable, nursery, flower and nut products.

Applicants must submit a concept paper for projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops through market development, technology innovation, food safety, nutrition knowledge, sustainable practices or pest management. The program is federally funded and administered by the state. 

Apprenticeship Grants Application Deadline Jan. 10

PA Apprenticeship Grants are available to help workers earn a paycheck while gaining hands-on skills for good jobs in high-growth industries.

The program includes building and construction trades as well as non-traditional industries such as health care, manufacturing and information technology. The deadline to apply is Jan. 10, 2020. 

For the last four years, the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs has sought a photo of every Pennsylvanian whose name appears on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington.

With your help, all 3,150 photos were found, putting a face to names and helping preserve their legacies. Since the photo campaign was launched nationwide 10 years ago, photos for more than 57,900 of the names inscribed on the memorial have been located. You can see Pennsylvania’s heroes here.

Dog License Scam Alert

Warning from the PA Department of Agriculture: Don’t be tricked into purchasing dog licenses from fraudulent third-party websites.

All dogs three months or older must be licensed by Jan. 1 of each year, and you can safely buy licenses from your county treasurer or issuing agent. You can locate them here

Around the 24th District

I was pleased to welcome and meet this group of incredibly talented students from Quakertown Community High School’s Varsity Choir. They performed at the Capitol for a Holiday Concert, and also performed in Governor Wolf’s office.  Everyone who heard their voices were impressed as they touched their hearts with so much cheer and talent.  I hope they enjoyed their visit and I look forward to hearing another performance.

Congratulations to the Boyertown Senior High School girls’ soccer team on winning the PIAA 4A state championship!

It was a pleasure meeting the students from Salford Hills and hearing their thoughts about Pennsylvania’s Capitol. I really enjoyed the opportunity to talk to them about our state government and I was encouraged by their excitement and passion during their visit. I hope they had a great trip and I appreciate the time they took to speak with me.

I was honored to attend and participate in the Towamencin Chapter DAR’s Wreaths Across America event. We showed a united front of gratitude and respect across the United States of America as we remember the Fallen, honor those who serve and teach our children the value of freedom.

I enjoyed touring Pottstown Dance Theatre in Pottstown!

On December 15th I appreciated the opportunity to attend the Korean Government Official luncheon.

Congratulations to Calvin Ribelin and Ethan Ribelin on their Eagle Scout Court of Honor!

Special thanks to Jefferson Institute for Bioprocessing for the unique and educational tour of their facility. They provide specialized education and training for biopharmaceutical processing in North America. They train industry professionals through workshops and certificates and hands-on education of new bioprocessing engineers at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

I had a great time touring the Red Horse Motoring Club in Pottstown!

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