Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

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In This Update:

  • Your Vote Matters 2020: Voting Resource Page with Everything You Need to Know
  • Committee Explores Ways to Streamline State Government
  • Medicare Open Enrollment Runs Now Through December 7
  • CDL and Commercial Learner’s Permits Extended Through November 29
  • Federal Funding Available for Volunteer Fire Companies
  • October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month
  • PHEAA Schedules Informational Financial Aid Events
  • October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • Dementia Friends Education Event
  • PA Treasury Department Savings Program Webinar is TONIGHT
  • YMCA of Bucks County to Distribute Free Winter Coats for Kids
  • Free Food for the Community
  • Medicare Information Presentations
  • AHUB Looking for Volunteers

Your Vote Matters 2020: Voting Resource Page with Everything You Need to Know

There is still time for Pennsylvanians to register to vote before the November 3 general election. State residents can register online or return a completed voter registration form to their county voter registration office by this Monday, October 19, in order to be eligible to cast their ballot in this year’s election.

Pennsylvania voters will have the option to vote in person or by mail this year. To vote by mail, you must apply online by 5 p.m. on October 27 to receive a mail-in ballot.

Additional details on completing mail-in ballots are available on the “Your Vote Matters” resource page. This new webpage also includes updates on voting resources, mail-in voting, polling place locations, key election dates and other critical election information to make sure your voice is heard at the polls in November.

Committee Explores Ways to Streamline State Government

It is critical for lawmakers to continue to explore ways to streamline state government, reduce costs to taxpayers and ensure public dollars are used wisely and efficiently. The Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee held a public hearing last week to review ideas to improve the delivery of government services and the management of government programs by consolidating state agencies.

The hearing included testimony from lawmakers as well as experts in business, industry, government and economic development. The conversation centered on legislation that would consolidate the functions of the Departments of State, Labor & Industry, and Community & Economic Development in order to reduce administrative costs and eliminate redundancies.

Medicare Open Enrollment Runs Now Through December 7

The annual open enrollment period for Medicare allows new beneficiaries to sign up for prescription drug coverage and health plans, and it offers current beneficiaries a chance to review and change coverage to meet their individual health care needs. The open enrollment period is open now through December 7.

Medicare-eligible individuals can receive free, objective advice and information on coverage options through the APPRISE Program by calling the APPRISE Helpline at 1-800-783-7067 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Counselors are available to provide information on eligibility, enrollment, prescription benefits, financial assistance and more.

CDL and Commercial Learner’s Permits Extended Through November 29

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recently extended the expiration dates for commercial driver licenses (CDL), commercial learner’s permits and hazardous materials endorsements through November 29. Previous deadlines that were extended for non-commercial driver licenses, photo ID cards and camera cards during the COVID-19 pandemic expired on August 31.

A list of driver license and photo licenses centers is available at www.dmv.pa.gov.

Federal Funding Available for Volunteer Fire Companies

Volunteer fire departments can apply now for a new round of federal funding designed to assist with the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other related supplies. Applications for the second round of grants from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant – COVID-19 Supplemental Program must be submitted by November 13 at 5 p.m.

Preference will be given to applicants requesting reimbursement or immediate use of PPE. The program is also open to combination career/volunteer fire companies.

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October is designated as National Cybersecurity Awareness Month in order to draw attention to the importance of staying secure online and understanding the dangers of cyberthreats. The U.S. Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) offers educational materials and tips to help everyone remain vigilant of potential threats.

CISA resources include guidance on telework, cybersecurity best practices, election security, mitigating risks to infrastructure and much more. The Senate approved legislation earlier this month that would strengthen, secure and consolidate state government IT systems while saving taxpayer dollars, and a bill approved by the Senate in September would help minimize the damage caused by data breaches.

PHEAA Schedules Informational Financial Aid Events

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has scheduled a series of free informational webinars in October and November for students and families to learn more about financial planning and aid options for students.

The hour-long webinars cover two main subject areas: understanding financial aid offers, and covering the gap in aid. The full list of available webinars is available here under the PA Forward Student Loan heading.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This week, my staff wore pink to raise awareness for the disease. You can visit Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition’s website for ways to get involved and for more information.

With this, it is important to continue to get breast and cervical cancer screenings during this time, as they can be potentially life-saving by detecting cancer early.

The Pennsylvania Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (PA-BCCEDP) is a free breast and cervical cancer early detection program of the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

For more information, click here

Dementia Friends Education Event

I will be hosting an informational session to help individuals learn about what life can be like for people living with dementia and how to help them integrate with the community. This virtual event will be held on October 29 from 10:30am to 11:30am. See the flyer for more information. To register, visit: https://www.senatormensch.com/dementia-friends-session/ 

PA Treasury Department Savings Program Webinar is TONIGHT

I am hosting a webinar on the PA Treasury savings programs on October 15th from 6:00pm to 6:30pm. PA 529 College and Career Savings Program to help families learn about saving for education. Keystone Scholars, a new program which gives babies born or adopted in PA after January 1, 2019 a $100 “get started” account to jump start college savings, plus the PA Savings Pledge, which makes saving fun and rewarding. PA ABLE Savings Program- which is a savings plan for people with disabilities.

Register here: https://www.senatormensch.com/pa-treasury-department-savings-program/

YMCA of Bucks County to Distribute Free Winter Coats for Kids

The YMCA of Bucks County will be a distributor of free winter coats for kids. Thanks to the generosity of Autor Dealers CARing for Kids Foundation, new winter coats are available through their ‘Driving Away the Cold’ program at the locations, days, and times found on the flyer.

Free Food for the Community

On Sunday, October 25, the Montgomery County Farm Bureau will be giving away food boxes at Tylersport Fire Company from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. This will be a drive thru pick-up, with volunteers that will load the box for you.

Medicare Information Presentations

Medicare annual open enrollment is from October 15 to December 7. If you want to learn more about Medicare, see the flyer before for a list of free presentations that are being offered by Apprise.

AHUB Looking for Volunteers

AHUB is a non-profit organization which serves the needs of the homeless of the Quakertown area. They are looking for volunteers to staff the homeless shelter so that it can remain open this winter. See the flyer below for more information.

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