Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • May 14: Seminar on How to Start a Business
  • The Mensch Report: 2019-2020 State Budget
  • Action on Jobs Initiative Package
  • Spotted Lanternfly Permitting
  • ​Statewide Trout Season Underway
  • New Voting System Machines in Montgomery County
  • Share Feedback on PennDOT Winter Services by May 7
  • Around the 24th District

May 14: Seminar on How to Start a Business

Do you want to start a business? Then I hope you’ll plan to attend the First Step seminar that I’m hosting with the Lehigh University Small Business Development Council.

The seminar will be held May 14, 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Quakertown Branch-Bucks County Library, 401 West Mill Street.

The gathering covers topics such as: requirements for starting a business, how to obtain financing, how to identify licenses and applications, and the importance and function of a business plan, marketing plan and financial plan.

The seminar is free, but pre-registration is required. Register online here.

To find out more information or to register for this seminar, you may also visit, email or call 610-758-3980. 

The Mensch Report: 2019-2020 State Budget

April 2019 - Budget Discussion

On this edition of the Mensch Report, I discuss the 2019-2020 state budget with Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Pat Browne of Lehigh County.

Action on Jobs Initiative Package

I recently reintroduced a package of bills to enable the creation of new jobs for Pennsylvanians and to help protect our existing jobs.

Pennsylvania has one of the most oppressive business tax structures in the nation, and that jobs are created primarily through businesses.

So often we to seek punish businesses because it seems to be the political thing to do. But at the end of the day, by punishing businesses, we also punish residents – the taxpayers.

For years I’ve argued that our deficits, along with our budget stalemates, are predictable given the lack of growth in the state economy. If our state is ever to solve our state budget woes, it is essential that we focus on our state’s economic growth.

The Jobs Initiative Package includes:

  • Senate Bill 577 reduces the Corporate Net Income (CNI) Tax Rate to 8.99 percent in FY 2019-20, 7.99 percent in FY20-21, and 6.99 percent thereafter. Pennsylvania continues to rank as one of the highest CNIs not only among U.S. states, but also among nations against which the Commonwealth also competes for jobs.
  • Senate Bill 578 uncaps the Net Operating Loss (NOL) Carryforward. This will encourage new capital investment in our state, and will create new jobs.
  • Senate Bill 579 establishes a Career Development Credit program to credit a percentage of qualified employer costs for training employees and upgrading their skills against Pennsylvania corporate and income tax liability. The program is capped at $20 million per year, and funded through state dollars already being spent on workforce development in the Commonwealth.  There are 18 other states with a job training tax credit.

I have introduced similar job-creation legislation in recent legislative sessions.

Now is not the time to protect the status quo. Rather, it is the time to take a bold step forward in establishing Pennsylvania as pro-business and pro-jobs.

Spotted Lanternfly Permitting

The PA Department of Agriculture reminds us that the Spotted Lanternfly may be pretty, but it presents an ugly outlook for Pennsylvania.  It is an invasive and extremely destructive pest that threatens our commonwealth’s agricultural commodities and trade.

What is being done?

  • Pennsylvania has put a quarantine zone in place to stop the spread of SLF to new areas in or out of the current quarantine zone.
  • Businesses, agencies, and organizations operating within the quarantine zone that move vehicles, products, or other conveyances are required to obtain an SLF permit.
  • Beginning May1, 2019, The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Bureau of Plant Industry will begin to perform inspections and verification checks to confirm that businesses are properly permitted.

Why are permits important?

  • Permits are critical to protect interstate commerce and to avoid spreading the bug, ensuring our crops and quality of life is not affected.
  • Permit training is available at no cost, and teaches businesses what to look for and how to safeguard against moving Spotted Lanternfly.

Who can constituents contact?

All permitting-related questions can be directed to or 1-888-4BAD-FLY (1-888-442-3359). 

​Statewide Trout Season Underway

Trout season is underway across Pennsylvania, continuing a great, outdoor tradition.

To participate, anglers ages 16 and older must have a valid Pennsylvania Fishing License and a Trout/Salmon Permit, both available at or at more than 700 issuing agents. Multi-year licenses are also available in 3-year, 5-year and 10-year increments. Prices for licenses and permits remain the same as last year. Youth anglers ages 15 and under do not require licenses or permits.

During the regular season (opening day through September 2), anglers may keep up to five trout (combined species) measuring at least 7-inches long. During an extended season from September 3 through February 28, the daily limit is three trout.

You can locate stocked trout fishing waters near you at 2019 Trout Stocking Schedule.

Waterways on this list are searchable by county, organized in alphabetical order and provide the date, time and meeting place for each stocking event. Volunteers are encouraged to assist with all stocking activities.

New Voting System Machines in Montgomery County

The new system will replace the electronic push-button voting machines the County purchased in 1996 which were nearing the end of their useful life. The old machines also did not meet the state mandate for counties to have a voting system with a verifiable paper trail in place for the 2020 Presidential election.

With the new system, most voters will use a pen to fill out a ballot and have an opportunity to check it for accuracy before submitting it to a scanner that tabulate the votes and keep the ballot in a secure container for audits or recounts.

Each polling place will also have an ADA touchscreen machine that can be used to select candidates. When the voter is done filling out the ballot, they can review their selections and print out a paper ballot that will be submitted to scanner for tabulation the same as the ballots filled out by hand.

Videos and other voter education materials will be available online and will be made available at the offices of state legislators, municipal buildings and libraries as soon as they become available.

Share Feedback on PennDOT Winter Services by May 7

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is accepting winter services feedback through an online survey. The public can take the survey through May 7 at

The 10-question survey asks how often respondents travel during poor weather, how they rate PennDOT’s winter service, and how they rank snow-removal priorities. Respondents are also asked how they receive PennDOT roadway information, and whether or how they use the state’s 511PA traveler information services. During the winter, offers its standard traffic and incident information while adding PennDOT plow-truck locations, winter roadway conditions, and other services.

Around the 24th District

Jessica Schubert Red Hill Office Intern

Quakertown Alive with Representative Staats

Rupert Elementary-Pottstown DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) Program

Pottstown Investors Conference-Hobart’s Run and the Hill School


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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