Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Senate Approves Mensch Bill to Honor Lansdale’s Dr. Frank Erdman Boston
  • Senate Passes Bill to Allow for First-time Homebuyers Savings Accounts
  • Breast Cancer Coalition
  • Calling for the Protection of Banking Privacy
  • Addressing Teacher Shortage by Improving Certification Process
  • Ways to Reduce Your Energy Usage and Costs
  • Tips for Crime Prevention Month

Senate Approves Mensch Bill to Honor Lansdale’s Dr. Frank Erdman Boston

This week the state Senate unanimously approved a plan by Senator Bob Mensch (R-24) to designate the Dr. Frank Erdman Boston Memorial Highway in the Borough of Lansdale, Montgomery County.

“The life and accomplishments of Dr. Boston are a testament to what materializes from the best qualities in a human being,” Senator Mensch said. “His selflessness, respect for life, dedication to his neighbors and unwavering commitment to do good serve as an inspiration for all and are the reasons we should be celebrating his legacy for generations to come.”

Senate bill 847 would designate state Route 2004, also known as North Broad Street as the “Dr. Frank Erdman Boston Memorial Highway.”

Last year, the Senate passed Senate Resolution 360 to honor Dr. Boston. The roadway designation builds on Senator Mensch’s efforts to immortalize Dr. Boston and all he has done for the community.

Dr. Boston was born March 10, 1891, in Philadelphia and later attended Lincoln University, originally established as The Ashmun Institute, the nation’s first degree granting Historically Black College and University.  He then attended the Medico-Chirurgical College, an outgrowth of the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Philadelphia which merged with the University of Pennsylvania Medical College and Jefferson Medical College.

Dr. Boston enlisted and was immediately given the rank of first lieutenant in the Army Medical Reserve Corps.  During World War I, Dr. Boston served in France with the rank of captain and ended his military service as a major.  After the war, Dr. Boston returned to work in Philadelphia and later settled in Lansdale where he opened the Elm Terrace Hospital, which was later renamed North Penn Hospital and subsequently became part of the Abington Jefferson Health Systems.

Dr. Boston also formed a First Aid Emergency Squad in Lansdale, eventually known as the Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lansdale.  He was a member of the Reserve Officers Association of Military Surgeons, the Montgomery County Medical Society and the American Medical Association.

Dr. Boston died February 8, 1960, at 69 years of age and was buried in Lansdale. 

The bill now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration.

10/18/21 - Senate Bill 847

Senate Passes Bill to Allow for First-time Homebuyers Savings Accounts

This week, the Senate passed a bill to allow individuals to open a first-time homebuyer savings account with a financial institution.

Senate Bill 157 would allow individuals to open an account of up to $150,000 with a financial institution of their choice for the sole purpose of purchasing a first home. Funds from a first-time homebuyer savings account may only be used to pay or reimburse the eligible costs for the purchase of a single-family home in Pennsylvania.

Since 2009, the number of first-time homebuyers has significantly decreased. According to the National Association of Realtors, the share of first-time homebuyers in the national home sale market has fallen from 45% to just more than 32%.

Individuals taking advantage of a first-time homebuyers savings account will be able to deduct up to $5,000 on their individual taxes, or up to $10,000 for a joint account. The tax deduction can be for no longer than 10 years and may not exceed $50,000 within a ten-year period. Unused funds would be counted against an individual’s taxable income.

The bill passed to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Breast Cancer Coalition

 This week the PA Breast Cancer Coalition (PBCC), together with Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R-39), launched a statewide campaign. This PSA focused on encouraging women to schedule their mammograms, focusing on those missed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Together we stand to show the importance of annual mammograms. Schedule yours today. To watch this PSA click the link provided.

Calling for the Protection of Banking Privacy

State Treasurer Stacy Garrity joined a coalition of 23 state treasurers, auditors and financial officers calling on President Joe Biden and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to dismiss proposals that would require private banks and credit unions to report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) account flows valued at more than $600.

This proposal, which is part of the Biden Administration’s $3.5 trillion American Families Plan revenue proposal, would allow for the unnecessary monitoring of private banking activity of more than 100 million Americans. It would be one of the largest infringements of data privacy in our nation’s history and cause exceptional administrative burdens for our community banks and credit unions.

The Pennsylvania Bankers Association, the Pennsylvania Association of Community Bankers, and the CrossState Credit Union Association all oppose this proposal.

Addressing Teacher Shortage by Improving Certification Process

The Senate unanimously passed a bill in response to the teacher shortage that would simplify the process for out-of-state teachers to obtain certification in Pennsylvania.

Senate Bill 224 would allow an out-of-state candidate who has completed any state-approved educator preparation program (including field placement/student teaching) from an accredited institution of higher education to be eligible for a comparable in-state instructional certification.

The bill would also require the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) to recognize and accept out-of-state candidates’ qualifying scores on equivalent content tests toward PDE’s testing and certification requirements. It would also grant Pennsylvania certification to any candidate who holds a valid certificate issued by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards – the most respected professional certification available in K-12 education.

According to PDE, the number of newly issued in-state instructional teaching certificates has dropped by 66% since 2010.

Senate Bill 224 now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Ways to Reduce Your Energy Usage and Costs

Since October is National Energy Awareness Month, it’s the perfect time to become more energy efficient. In addition to the environmental benefits, it will also benefit your wallet.

Click here for ways you can reduce your energy usage and associated costs.

Another way to save on energy costs is by switching your electric supplier. In Pennsylvania, you can choose the company that generates your home or business’s electricity. This means you can choose a supplier that offers the lowest price or provides a specific service you want, such as renewable energy.

Click here to shop for your electric supplier at PA Power Switch, the official electric shopping website of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.

Tips for Crime Prevention Month

October is Crime Prevention Month, a good time to recognize that avoiding being a victim involves informed citizens in addition to efforts of local law enforcement.

Here are some crime prevention tips from the National Crime Prevention Council.

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