May 1, 2018
In this Edition:
Senator Mensch enjoyed reading to students at LifeSpan School and Daycare in East Greenville on April 19.
Senator Mensch took part in the festivities at the International Spring Festival on April 21.
The Mensch Report: Perkiomen School Senator for a Day
This edition of the Mensch Report features my annual Senator for a Day event which was held in October 2017 at the Perkiomen School in Pennsburg.
The seminar allowed high school students from the 24th Senatorial District to role play as a State Senator in a mock legislative session. Students selected a committee based on their area of interest and debated and discussed the mock legislation that had been presented to them.
Various lobbyists and legislative staff were on hand to guide the students through the committee process and assist them as needed. After the students discussed the legislation in their committees, a general session commenced, at which time all students voted on all of the legislation voted out of committee.
Students from Brandywine Heights High School, Lansdale Catholic High School, North Penn High School, Oley Valley High School, Palisades High School, Perkiomen School, Pottsgrove High School, Pottstown High School, and Upper Perkiomen High School attended the event, resulting in an impressive turnout of almost 90 students.
May 8: PHEAA Seminars on Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and How to Manage Student Loan Debt
I encourage parents and students my upcoming seminar on May 8 at Boyertown Area Senior High School’s Freshman Auditorium from 6:30 pm to 8 pm. The event will focus on how to apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and how to manage student loan debt. (Note: This event was originally scheduled for March 2018 but was rescheduled due to inclement weather).
The seminar will be led by representatives from the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) who will provide helpful information, guidance, and resources. This event is free and open to all parents and students from any school district. Please register by calling 215-541-2388 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your seat.
May 14: Help in Obtaining SEPTA Key Senior Card, Property Tax/Rent Rebates
On May 14, members of my staff will be the Upper Bucks Senior Center in Quakertown to help constituents obtain SEPTA Senior Photo IDs and fill out applications for the Property Tax and Rent Rebate program.
Staff will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the center, which is located at 2183 Milford Square Pike.
Individuals need to bring driver’s license or other government photo ID to obtain Senior Photo ID. For Property Tax Rent Rebate applications, please bring proof of income, i.e. 1099s and/or copy of tax return, and also bring rent certificate/receipts for property taxes paid.
Senator Mensch Holds Ceremony Recognizing Vietnam Veterans
It was my great pleasure to join Senator Pat Toomey’s office in honoring U.S. Vietnam War Veterans last Friday at the Red Hill Fire Company Banquet Hall.
Authorized by Congress, the Vietnam War Commemoration recognizes all men and women who served on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces from November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, regardless of duty location. By presidential proclamation, the commemoration extends from its inaugural event on Memorial Day 2012 through Veterans Day 2025. 83 veterans and their guests attended the event.
Dr. Jim Arcieri, Pastor, from the Community Bible Fellowship Church who provided an invocation. The 55th Brigade Support Battalion presented the colors and veterans proceeded to say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing the national anthem.
Additional remarks were made by Major General (RET) Walter T. Lord, President of Valley Forge Military Academy and College, Brigadier General Michael J. Regan, Jr. Deputy Adjutant General from the Air for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and Colonel Bob DeSousa, JA, on behalf of U.S. Senator Pat Toomey.
Following the remarks, the veterans were called up individually and presented with their commemorative pins by all four speakers. The event concluded with a blessing by Dr. Arcieri and the retiring of the colors.
Our Vietnam veterans deserve a wealth of praise for their service and I was honored to be able to have this event as a small token of our appreciation. We thank and honor the veterans of the Vietnam War for their service and sacrifice on behalf of the United States. We also thank and honor their families. More photos from this event can be viewed here.
Senator Mensch and Senator Dinniman Discuss Initiative to Incentivize PA Manufacturers to Make Large-Scale Investments in PA
Senator Andrew Dinniman (D-19) and I held a press conference on April 13 at Merck & Co., Inc. in West Point to announce the 21st Century Manufacturing Innovation and Reinvestment Deduction Act initiative, which I sponsored. This press conference was the second of two events which focused on the initiative. The first conference was held at Precision Polymer Products in Pottstown, Pennsylvania.
This bipartisan initiative provides an incentive to Pennsylvania manufacturers to make large-scale investments to increase or establish manufacturing capacity within the Commonwealth. It will permit manufacturers making capital investments in excess of $100 million to claim a deduction against their taxable income. It will greatly help our constituency and will positively impact places like Merck and Precision Polymer Products.
Senator Dinniman and I further explained that the deduction will encourage businesses to invest in Pennsylvania and pave the way for the economic growth and job creation throughout the state. The 21st Century initiative was incorporated in the Tax Code (HB 542) which is now Act 43 of 2017.
The provision will have no adverse fiscal impact on 2017-18 or 2018-19 budgets as the recipient has three years to make the qualified capital investment and five years to attest to the state that the project is completed. Additionally, the deduction cannot reduce the manufacturer’s tax liability by more than 50 percent.
Senator Mensch appreciated the opportunity to speak to the Cub Scout Pack 27 at Durham-Nockamixon Elementary School.
Mobile Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall to Visit Harrisburg
Honoring the sacrifice and memory of fallen U. S. Vietnam Veterans, a mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall will be on exhibit outside the Capitol Complex in Harrisburg from 7 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 through Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m.
“The Wall That Heals,” first unveiled in 1996, is now a chevron-shaped, half-scale replica of the original Memorial Wall dedicated in 1982 on the East Mall in Washington, D.C. The transport vehicle transforms into The Mobile Education Center, highlighting the chronology of the Vietnam War, a map, letters and memorabilia.
Senator Mensch attended the ribbon cutting for Action Karate in Quakertown who celebrated their grand opening.
Help Remove the Invasive Spotted Lanternfly
That waxy-covered, gray mud appearing to be spread across your tree bark or other property, may harbor 50 Spotted Lanternflies, the invasive species threatening to wreak havoc on Pennsylvania’s $18 billion in agricultural industry receipts from orchards, wineries, breweries, and logging.
April is the last chance to remove the eggs laid in late September through early December and set to hatch in May. Remove the egg mass with the assistance of a credit card, a zip lock baggie, and rubbing alcohol; then dispose of the sealed bag in your trash The PA Department of Agriculture requests you report your findings to Badbug@pa.gov or 1-866-253-7189 to assist with efforts to eradicate the invasive pest.
Senator Mensch read to students at LifeSpan School and Daycare in Quakertown.
Plan Your PA Vacation Now
Meanwhile, order your hard copy of the 2018 Happy Traveler Guide for your convenience while away on vacation. Use either version to locate venues offering history, urban experiences, outdoor adventures, festivals, and special events. Choose a road trip, from among PA’s eleven tourism regions for great food and fun. The Guide is filled with coupons as well.
Travelers contributed nearly $4.4 billion in state and local tax revenue and $4.5 billion in federal taxes in 2015. Each PA household would have to be taxed an additional $880 annually to replace the tax revenue from travel and tourism.
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