Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Online Issues Survey: I Want to Hear from You
  • The Mensch Report: Pottstown Salvation Army II
  • Veterans Outreach Vans Deliver Information across Pennsylvania
  • State Income Tax Filing Assistance Now Available
  • Financial Options Open to Those with Disabilities
  • Ice and Snow – Remove It Before You Go
  • Wintertime Home Heating Fires
  • Montgomery County Tire Collection Dates
  • Do you want to Start a Business?
  • PA 2-1-1 System

I was honored to join the sister and family of Lance Corporal Leonard Joseph Taglieber to unveil a stretch of Route 29 named in his honor. The stretch of Route 29 from this intersection to Tollgate Road in Upper Hanover Township is named in his honor. Marine Lance Corporal Taglieber, of East Greenville, died in 1967 from injuries sustained in the Vietnam War.

Online Issues Survey: I Want to Hear from You

I invite you to participate in my new online survey. Let me know what you think about: recreational marijuana, the minimum wage and Sunday hunting. Results will be sent to participants at the end of the survey period.

The Mensch Report: Pottstown Salvation Army II

March 2019 - Salvation Army in Pottstown, Part 2

I hope you’ll take a few minutes to check out my latest TV program highlighting the people and places of the 24th District. This edition is Part II of my earlier visit to the Salvation Army in Pottstown

Veterans Outreach Vans Deliver Information across Pennsylvania

Mobile Veterans Outreach Vans allow the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs to reach deep into any community in Pennsylvania to provide personal, one-on-one assistance to veterans so they can learn about and apply for the benefits they have earned thanks to their service. The van takes people anywhere from shopping centers to county fairs.

Staffed with accredited Veterans Service Officers, each wheelchair-accessible van is a convenient resource to learn about a wide range of federal, state and county benefits available to qualified veterans and their families. Such benefits might include connected disability compensation, pensions, VA health care benefits, burial benefits, education benefits, vocational rehabilitation, DMVA’s six long-term care facilities, and much more.

In 2018, the vans traveled to 107 events across the state and DMVA staff interacted with more than 1,500 veterans. DMVA’s outreach staff coordinates each event with county directors of veterans affairs, veteran service organizations and local and state officials to maximize publicity and attendance.

You can request a van for a community event and to find out where the vans will be here.

State Income Tax Filing Assistance Now Available

Pennsylvanians may download forms to file 2018 personal income taxes in the traditional manner prior to the Monday, April 15, 2019 midnight deadline. For electronic filers, Padirectfile is available for state-only personal income tax or PA Free File is a no-charge option to file federal and state taxes at the same time.

The Department offers the PA Personal Income Tax Guide. The Guide provides a brief overview, filing requirements, and expands on a broad range of tax-related topics from debts to dividends. Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on the Customer Support page or confidentially submit a specific question.

Refunds for electronically filed returns are estimated to arrive in approximately 4 weeks, while 8 to 10 weeks are required to process paper forms. While waiting on a refund, check the status online or call 717-787-8201 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. An automated toll-free information line is available at 1-888-PATAXES.

**My office provides both state and federal tax forms at both my district offices.

Financial Options Open to Those with Disabilities

Individuals with qualifying disabilities and their families may save for a wide range of disability-related expenses through state-offered savings and investment options authorized under the Pennsylvania Achieving a Better Life Experience program (PA ABLE).

Individuals with a disability and their families are encouraged to save funds to support their loved one’s health, independence, and quality of life without affecting eligibility for state or federal means-tested benefits.

Six of seven investment opportunities include conservative to aggressive Asset-Allocation Options.  The seventh option is a FDIC-insured interest-bearing checking account with a debit card.  See Frequently Asked Questions for answers regarding eligibility and qualified expenses.

I enjoyed attending Boy Scout Troop 105’s breakfast end with PA State Rep. Marcy Toepel.

Ice and Snow – Remove It Before You Go

Removing snow and ice from the hood and roof of your vehicle is more than a good idea – it is the law, according to the Pennsylvania State Police.

Following injuries and deaths as a result of snow and ice striking vehicles and individuals, Pennsylvania passed a law requiring drivers to remove ice and snow before driving. When snow or ice is dislodged or falls from a moving vehicle and strikes another vehicle or pedestrian causing death or serious bodily injury, the operator of the vehicle from which the snow or ice is dislodged or falls is subject to a fine of not less than $200 nor more than $1,000 for each offense.

State Police reminds drivers that lights must be turned on any time the vehicle’s windshield wipers are in continuous or intermittent use due to rain, snow, sleet, or mist.

Wintertime Home Heating Fires

Between 2011 and 2015, portable and stationary space heaters accounted for 43 percent of home heating fires annually and 85 percent of home heating fire deaths across the country, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The Pennsylvania Office of the State Fire Commissioner warns that wood stoves and fireplaces are responsible for 36 percent of home heating fires.

Keep your family safe this winter with these home fire safety tips.

Montgomery County Tire Collection Dates

Montgomery County Commissioners have authorized free events to collect old tires. This prevents tires from being improperly disposed of and to reduce breeding grounds for disease carrying mosquitoes. The tires that are collected will be shredded and repurposed by a local business into products for civil engineering and playground materials.

These events are for Montgomery County residents only, businesses are not allowed to use this service. There is a 10 tire maximum per vehicle, rims and tires on rims are accepted. The types of tires accepted are passenger, light truck, motorcycle, ATV, bicycle, wheelbarrow, and lawn mowers. What is not accepted is farm equipment or construction vehicles tires.

The events take place from 9 a.m. to noon on the following dates:

Saturday, May 11 Green Lake Park, 2298 Green Lane Road, Morrow Pavilion, Green Lane, PA 18054 (near the tennis courts)

Saturday, June 8 Montgomery County Community College, 340 DeKalb Pike, enter at 1313 Morris Road, Blue Bell, PA 19422 (in the Central Lot, 1D)

Saturday, June 29 Western Montgomery Career and Technology Center, 77 Graterford Road, Limerick, PA 19468

For additional information visit, email, or call the recycling line at 610-278-3618.

Do you want to Start a Business?

Come to my First Step Seminar on May 14 from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Quakertown Branch-Bucks County Library, 401 West Mill Street in Quakertown.

This free seminar will cover topics such as: requirements for starting a business, obtaining financing, identifying licenses and applications, and also will review the importance and function of a business plan, marketing plan and financial plan.

The recent Chamber of Commerce for Greater Montgomery County’s legislative event was informative and I enjoyed taking part.

PA 2-1-1 System

February 11th was PA 2-1-1 Day, a day to celebrate the 2-1-1 service available to Pennsylvanians to assist them with their health and human service needs.

The PA 2-1-1 system is a free, confidential dialing code. Through 2-1-1 people connect to a wide range of services from disaster relief to utility assistance, senior citizen programs, emergency food, job counseling, youth programs and much more. It is the one-stop-shop for services available in communities across Pennsylvania.

To learn more about the PA 2-1-1 system, please visit


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 for more information about your state government.

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