In This Update:
Senator Mensch’s Election Op-Ed
I release an op-ed about the 2020 General Election. I, like you, am also alarmed and concerned about the many issues that are stemming from this election.
Read the op-ed here.
Senator Mensch Attends Captain Megan Edinger’s Promotion Ceremony
Today I attended a promotion ceremony for Captain Megan Edinger of East Greenville. Captain Megan Edinger has long been working toward her success, graduating from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and receiving her commission in 2010 through the IUP ROTC program. Her extensive military education includes courses in leadership and human resources.
Captain Edinger is also currently a teacher at the Quakertown Community School District, where she serves as director of orchestras at seven schools, after having started the district program in 2018. Captain Edinger also serves our country, having joined the Maryland Army National Guard in June of 2006 as a Specialist in the 229th Army Band in Nottingham.
I was honored to be at the promotion ceremony for Captain Megan Edinger and am proud of the various achievements that she has had throughout her career. It is always great to see the many accomplishments of constituents in my district and makes me proud to represent the 24th Senate District.
Read more here.
Senator Mensch Hosts Dementia Friends Information Session
On Thursday, October 29, I hosted a ‘Dementia Friends Information Session’ for community members in his district. Dementia Friends is a global movement that is changing the way people think, act, and talk about dementia.
I think it is so important to ensure that our communities learn about what dementia is and how it effects those living with it. I wanted to host this information session so that members of our community could come together to learn how to make a difference in someone’s life and commit to changing the way they think, act, and talk about dementia, and was happy to welcome 30 new Dementia Friends in Pennsylvania.
Essential Family Caregivers Legislation is Currently in the House of Representatives
My Senate Bill 1279, also known as ‘Essential Family Caregivers,’ would require long-term care facilities to designate at least one essential family caregiver per resident that would be permitted to visit and care for a loved one during a disaster emergency. Many Pennsylvania families faced COVID-19 restrictions that prevented them from visiting loved ones for months – even when all safety protocols could have been following.
You can contact your home State Representative and ask them to support this bill that is currently in the House Health Committee.
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.
Veterans’ Discount ID Event This Monday
The Montgomery County Record of Deeds is hosting a ‘Veterans’ Discount ID’ event at their office in Norristown on November 9 from 10:00am to 1:00pm. You must call in advance to schedule an appointment at 610-278-3289.
Veterans Temporary Assistance Program
Eligible PA vets and their beneficiaries who face an unexpected financial need for the necessities of life can find help through the PA Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Veterans Temporary Assistance program.
To apply, contact the County Veterans Affairs Director in the county you reside: https://www.dmva.pa.gov/veteransaffairs/Pages/Outreach-and-Reintegration/County-Directors.aspx?fbclid=IwAR3BVFmFG5HpjfuwD0PvS7J8C_JbRhIr8IcyxGmTM6ASWexptoTIPhjZ7VU
New Laws Support First Responders, Veterans, and More
Several critical measures approved by the Senate recently were signed into law over the past two weeks, including bills to support Pennsylvania’s first responders, veterans and military families, and much more.
The new laws include:
Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Open Now
Pennsylvanians who have a heating emergency or are struggling to pay utility bills can apply now for assistance through the state’s Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The program is open to households earning less than 150 percent of the federal poverty rate.
LIHEAP provides grants to help low-income families pay heating bills during the coldest months of the year. Crisis grants are also available for heating emergencies such as a broken furnace, utility termination or fuel shortage. Eligibility and grant amounts are based on income and the number of people living in a household.
Applications for LIHEAP can be completed online on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Access to Social Services (COMPASS) website at www.compass.state.pa.us.
Open Enrollment in PA Health Exchange is Available Through January 15
The open enrollment period for Pennsylvania’s new state-based health insurance exchange is open now through January 15. The state exchange – also known as Pennie – was created by lawmakers last year to transition Pennsylvania away from the federal exchange, HealthCare.gov, and allow the state to take local control of operations and customer service to reduce costs to consumers.
The Pennie system is designed to help Pennsylvanians shop for quality health insurance and access financial assistance that may be available to them. State residents can learn more and enroll at Pennie.com.
According to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, insurers offering coverage through the Affordable Care Act insurance exchange will provide plans in 2021 with a statewide average decrease of 3.3 percent for individual market plans.
New Scams Target Pandemic EBT Benefits, Unemployment Compensation
The departments of Human Services and Labor & Industry are warning Pennsylvanians to be vigilant of new scams targeting Pandemic EBT benefits and Unemployment Compensation payments. Both scams involve individuals receiving unsolicited phone calls asking for personal information such as their Social Security number or account passwords. Neither department will ever contact individuals to request this kind of personal information.
If you have questions about whether a call, text or letter regarding EBT benefits is legitimate, contact the Statewide Customer Service Center at 1-877-395-8930. More information on how to identify and report fraud related to Unemployment Compensation benefits is available here.
Honoring Our Nation’s Heroes on Veterans Day
Communities throughout the country will join together next week on November 11 to celebrate Veterans Day in honor of the service and sacrifice of the men and women who have served our nation in the military.
Our nation has paid a dear price to protect freedom and make the world a safer place, and we must never forget the individual and collective sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have endured to protect the principles and values that make America the greatest country in the world.
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