Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • The Mensch Report – Pennsylvania’s Auditor General
  • Revenue Department Extends Call Center Hours for Tax Season
  • Winter Utility Disconnection Moratorium Ends March 31
  • Adult Education Grants Available
  • Saturday is Mentored Youth Trout Day
  • Vietnam War Veterans Day March 29
  • Around the District

The Mensch Report – Pennsylvania’s Auditor General

Mensch Report - Pennsylvania's Auditor General
 
On this edition of The Mensch Report, Senator Bob Mensch sits down with Pennsylvania’s Auditor General Timothy DeFoor to discuss the departments duties and Mr. DeFoor’s background prior to becoming Auditor General.

Revenue Department Extends Call Center Hours for Tax Season

With the April 18 tax filing deadline approaching, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is extending its customer service hours for taxpayers to get help by phone.

Personal income tax assistance will be available between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday, by calling 717-787-8201.

Personal income tax assistance is also available through the department’s Online Customer Service Center. It contains answers to hundreds of common income tax questions and allows taxpayers to securely submit a question to the department through a process that is similar to sending an email. Department of Revenue district offices are also open to provide customer service. Taxpayers are encouraged to call ahead to schedule an appointment.

Winter Utility Disconnection Moratorium Ends March 31

Reminder to residential electricity customers: the winter utility disconnection moratorium will end March 31, meaning on April 1 shut-offs for nonpayment of bills will resume.

Between Dec. 1 and March 31, Pennsylvania has special rules for winter utility terminations for income-qualified households served by utilities regulated by the Public Utility Commission (PUC). During this seasonal termination moratorium, eligible households cannot have electric, natural gas or heat-related water service turned off for non-payment unless the utility receives permission from the PUC. 

According to the PUC, the best action any at-risk consumer can take right now is to call their utility’s customer service hotline and ask for information about their customer assistance programs designed to make energy bills more affordable.

Adult Education Grants Available

State funding is now available to support lifelong learning through competitive Adult Basic Education Direct Service grants.

The grants are awarded to local adult education programs to provide free adult education and literacy activities to help adults improve their reading, writing, speaking, comprehension and mathematics skills, earn a high school equivalency credential, and develop the knowledge and skills for employment and economic self-sufficiency.

Applications must be submitted by April 7. For more information, you can view the Adult Basic Education Direct Service Grant Competition Information Webinar and access Frequently Asked Questions.

Saturday is Mentored Youth Fishing Day

Saturday, March 26, is Mentored Youth Trout Fishing Day across Pennsylvania, an opportunity for young anglers and their adult mentors to fish for trout prior to opening day of the season.

Youth anglers must obtain a Mentored Youth Permit or a Voluntary Youth Fishing License and be accompanied by a licensed adult angler to participate. Adult anglers (age 16 or older) must possess a valid Pennsylvania Fishing License and a current Trout/Salmon Permit.

Unlike previous years with regional and statewide days, there is now only one, statewide Mentored Youth Fishing Day and one, statewide Trout Opening Day (April 2).

Vietnam War Veterans Day March 29

On March 29, 1973, U.S. combat and combat support units began to withdraw from South Vietnam.

It marked the beginning of the end of a conflict that cost the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. Returning veterans did not receive the welcome they deserved, and many dealt with the effects of war alone. National Vietnam War Veterans Day was established in 2017 for us to express our heartfelt admiration and to pay these veterans the respect they earned.

Around the District

It was an absolute pleasure visiting Brandywine Heights High School this past Monday morning. I had the opportunity to take a look at the new technology that was purchased through their $200,000 technical grant award. This technology included a 3D Printer, Laser Engraver, Various Computer Software, and Computers for their “Virtual Academy”, which allows students to in enroll in courses their school may not offer.

It is great to know that such technologies allowed for students to expand their knowledge and allow them to interact with real world material as they enter various internships and career opportunities.

Thank you again to Superintendent Potteiger, his staff, and especially his students. You all are exceptional students, and a bright future awaits you all.

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