In this Update:
Mensch Report: Veterans Appreciation Breakfast
This edition of the Mensch Report, we present highlights from my 8th Annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast, held at Upper Perkiomen High School.
PennDOT, PA Turnpike Announce the Start of Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement Pre-Enforcement Period
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) announced that the required 60-day pre-enforcement period for the statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program has begun and will last until March 4, 2020. Pennsylvania’s AWZSE program uses vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record motorists exceeding posted work zone speed limits using electronic speed timing devices.
The AWZSE program was established by the Pennsylvania General Assembly in Act 86 of 2018. During the pre-enforcement period, automated speed enforcement units will be deployed in active work zones, but violations will not be issued. Work zones are selected to maximize the effectiveness of the systems and will be marked with signage in advance of the enforcement area. Additionally, locations are posted on the project website, WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.
AWZSE systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present. Once enforcement begins on March 4, registered owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice and $75 fine for a second offense, and a violation notice and $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. These violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.
In 2018, there were 1,804 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 23 fatalities, and 43 percent of work zone crashes resulted in fatalities and/or injuries. Since 1970, PennDOT has lost 89 workers in the line of duty. The PA Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945.
For more information on the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, including a list of projects where the units are deployed, visit WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.
Public Comment Period for PennDOT’s Draft Statewide Public Participation Plan Now Open
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that it will hold a 45-day public comment period on proposed updates to its Statewide Public Participation Plan, which will begin today, Monday, January 27 and conclude on Wednesday, March 11.
The plan outlines the public participation methods used when developing the Statewide Long Range Transportation Plan, the Twelve Year Program, the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program, and the Statewide Public Participation Plan, and explains how the public can get involved in its statewide transportation planning and programming processes.
The Statewide Public Participation Plan is PennDOT’s documented public involvement process outlining opportunities for public participation in statewide transportation planning and programming. This plan is required as part of the Code of Federal Regulations (23 CFR 450.210).
The draft document and the electronic comment form will be available at. www.PennDOT.gov/PublicParticipation. Paper copies of the draft document and comment form will also be available at PennDOT District offices, Metropolitan and Rural Planning Organization offices, and at stakeholder locations throughout the state. A list of the viewing locations is available at the website noted above.
Stronger Do Not Call Law
I voted for HB 318, now Act 73 of 2019, which gives consumers the ability to sign up for the telemarketing “do-not-call” list without requiring them to re-register every 5 years. This bill amends the Telemarketer Registration Act by removing the time period completely, allowing consumers to register one time for as long as they hold the number they register. The bill would also prohibit telemarketing on legal holidays and calls initiated by computerized autodialers (robocalls).
To permanently register your phone number on the Pennsylvania Do Not Call List, visit https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/protect-yourself/do-not-call-list/ and follow the steps. You will receive confirmation that your number has been registered and that you will not receive unwanted telemarketing calls through the PA Do Not Call List.
Seniors Riding SEPTA for Free
Visit the link for a video demonstrating the process of Seniors riding free. https://iseptaphilly.com/seniors
Bucks County Voting Machines
Do you want to familiarize yourself with Bucks County Govt’s new voting machines before this year’s elections? See below for a list of training sessions
The Board of Elections this week announced an extensive series of public training sessions to help voters familiarize themselves with the county’s new voting machines. The schedule lists 12 trainings at locations throughout the county from late February through late April. The sessions are designed to allow voters to see in person how the county’s new Clear Ballot voting machines operate, prior to using them in this year’s elections.
College Students –PennDot Summer Maintenance Program
Full-time fall college students have until Feb. 14 to apply for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Summer Maintenance Program 2020. Jobs include seasonal maintenance work, crash system input and analysis, and maintenance and custodial services at roadside rest facilities. Many students also perform laborer and flagging duties in maintenance organizations and at highway work sites. Pay is $13.97/hr.
Korean War “Ambassador for Peace Medal”
The Office of Senator Pat Toomey and my office invites eligible veterans to apply for the
Korean War “Ambassador for Peace Medal.”
To be eligible, U.S. Veterans must have served in Korea at any time during the period of June 25, 1950 through July 27, 1953. U.S. Navy veterans are eligible if their vessel was assigned to Korean waters during this specific time. UN peacekeeping forces assigned to Korea through December 31 of 1955 are also eligible.
For more information and the application, please visit:
Property Tax/Rend Rebate Program
Application forms for the Property Tax/ Rent Rebate Program are now available for eligible Pennsylvanians to begin claiming rebates on property taxes or rent paid in 2019. The deadline to apply for a rebate is June 30, 2020.
For more information and applications, visit: https://www.revenue.pa.gov/GeneralTaxInformation/PropertyTaxRentRebateProgram/Pages/default.aspx
BEAWARE: Coronavirus Fact Sheet
On Wednesday, January 29th, I was pleased to welcome the Schadler family, from Montgomery County, to the Capitol.
On Wednesday, January 29th the Senate passed SB 595, requiring insurers to cover supplemental screenings for women at high risk for breast cancer, including women with extremely dense breast tissue.
Twitter and Facebook I post regular updates on legislative action, committee developments, useful state-related information, happenings in the 24th Senatorial District and more on Twitter @SenatorMensch and on my Facebook page.
If you find this e-newsletter useful, I invite you to visit my website www.senatormensch.com for more information about your state government.
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.