In this Edition:
Senator Mensch was pleased to welcome Judy Smith, Wendy Ormsby, and Jennifer Arevalo to Harrisburg. Watch their introduction to the Senate here.
This month’s Mensch Report is the first of several Constituent Service Announcements. This announcement introduces what the constituent service announcements are and what you can expect out of these specialized videos.
Farmer’s Market Nutrition Vouchers
The farmers’ market nutrition vouchers provide eligible seniors with food vouchers worth $20 for fresh, nutritious, unprepared, locally grown fruits, vegetables and herbs from approved farmers’ markets in Pennsylvania. Vouchers are only available at select locations. To find the locations, please contact the numbers or visit the hyperlinks below:
Berks County Department of Aging 610-478-6500
Bucks County Department of Aging 267-880-5739
Montgomery County Community Actions 610-277-6363 ext.132
David Baver (right), his wife Patty Ann and their son Alex visited Harrisburg in early June. You can listen to their introduction here.
Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program Application Deadline Extended to End of Year
The Property Tax/Rent Rebate program deadline for older adults and residents with disabilities to apply for rebates of rent and property taxes paid in 2015 has been extended to Dec. 31, 2016.
As of May 27, the Revenue Department had received 468,933 rebate applications. As specified by law, rebate distribution begins July 1. Payment for processed applications of direct deposit recipients will occur that day. Applicants requesting a paper check can expect to receive their payment by mail over the next several days. After June 30, rebates will be distributed as claims are received and processed. Applications take 4-6 weeks to process.
Applicants may obtain Property Tax/Rent Rebate claim forms (PA-1000) and related information online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-222-9190.
It costs nothing to apply for a rebate, and the department reminds residents that free application assistance is available at hundreds of locations across the state, including Department of Revenue district offices, local Area Agencies on Aging, senior centers and state legislators’ offices.
Claimants who already applied for rebates may check the status of claims online at www.revenue.pa.gov or by calling, toll-free, 1-888-PATAXES.
Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Expands to New Hanover Township
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture announced that the spotted lanternfly quarantine has expanded to New Hanover Township, Montgomery County and portions of Lehigh County.
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive pest that is detrimental to trees, grapes, fruits, and more. It poses a significant threat to the state’s hardwood, grape, fruit industry which accounts for $12 billion in sales. Early detection is vital to the effective control of this pest and the protection of PA agriculture and natural resources-related businesses.
Click here for more information on how to help prevent the spread of the spotted lanternfly.
Senator Mensch introduced, Peter Ferris, a summer intern at his Red Hill office. Peter is a rising junior at St. Joseph’s University and studies Political Science and International Relations. Peter’s father, Paul, joined him in Harrisburg for the day. Watch their introduction here.
2016 PA Fair Guide Available
What makes a fair so special? It’s the community coming together, the entertainment and homemade food. It’s the best of show, field, woodshop, oven, garden, paintbrush, needle and thread.
Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it across the state. Support your friends, your family, and your farmers. Support your fair.
Biking in PA Gets a Push
Are you looking for dedicated bike routes across Pennsylvania? Turn to the new interactive biking map available through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Traffic volumes, speed limits, and trails through state parks, conservation districts, and state forests are among the informational resources available to support your biking needs. Click on a trail for a pop-up showing miles, typography, and nearby towns. Click on the tab at the bottom of an individual pop-up to display a map of your chosen trail.
VisitPA can further enhance your trip by highlighting the sights and sounds along the way, local attractions, food, and lodging. Print a copy of the 40-page “ Bicycling Directory of Pennsylvania” for use when off the beaten path to locate guidance, assistance, and information relating to each of the state’s eight geographical regions.
Senator Mensch was honored to attend the Bharatiya Temple's Kumbhabhishek Mahotsav ceremony in Chalfont.
Qualifying Water Systems May Receive Free Professional Engineering Assistance
Small and medium-sized public community and nonprofit non-community water systems may qualify for free professional engineering assistance for drinking water systems, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Capital improvement projects and consolidations with other systems may qualify for:
Investigations to determine the cause of the system technical issues;
Feasibility studies to determine the most feasible and cost-effective solution to addressing system technical problems;
Design work related to public water system facilities;
Construction and operational permit applications;
Preparation of funding applications for public water system construction projects; and,
Construction bid preparation and construction contractor procurement assistance.
A commitment to address system weaknesses, commitment to follow through with the project, and willingness to budget resources to sustain the designed project after construction are critical to qualify for the Professional Engineering Services Program administered by the Bureau of Safe Drinking Water in the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
Senator Mensch joined members of the #IWantToWork Campaign during their celebration of the enactment of HB 400, now Act 26 of 2016, which is also known as the Work Experience for High School Students with Disabilities Act. This legislation designates the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) in the Department of Labor and Industry as the lead agency responsible for developing connections between local education agencies and employers to promote the successful transition from school to competitive, gainful employment.
Made in PA
Where can you find bakers and brewers, chocolatiers and cheese producers, mixed in with motorcycles and Moravian pottery to be topped off by a fish hatchery?
Whether you spend an afternoon getting twisted up with a pretzel-making lesson or sniffing out your favorite scented candle, the Commonwealth’s businesses welcome locals and tourists to experience the high quality products Made in PA.
VisitPA can help you locate food, lodging and area attractions to complete your Made in PA experience.
Senator Mensch was pleased to welcome Mary Wilkens Long and her father, Joseph Wilkens, to Harrisburg.
Is it Really the IRS or the Pennsylvania Treasury?
You filed your taxes and assume you are done with the Internal Revenue Service when the call comes. The voice on the other end informs you the IRS is suing you for back taxes and this is your only chance to rectify the situation.
The caller demands immediate payment by credit card, specific gift cards, or a similarly odd method of payment, enabling you to allegedly avoid the humiliation and embarrassment of arrest for tax evasion.
Neither the IRS nor the Pennsylvania Treasury seeks payments over the phone. Those entities encourage you to hang up and promptly contact your local authorities to report the suspicious call. You may call the IRS at 800-829-1040 and the PA Department of Revenue at 717-787-8201 for questions related to your personal tax situation.
Cool Off With Wildlife at State Museum of Pennsylvania
“Working Together for Wildlife: Three Decades of Pennsylvania’s Nature in Art,” is on exhibit through Sept. 11, featuring 34 original paintings by 19 Pennsylvania artists.
The collaborative exhibit begins with a competition hosted by the PA Game Commission, with winning art work incorporated into special edition prints and patches, the proceeds of which support the preservation and maintenance of PA’s wildlife.
Catch the Permanent Exhibits stretching from Memorial Hall on the first floor to special galleries on the second and Ecology Hall on the third floor. Can’t make the trip anytime soon? Visit the Online Exhibits from the comfort of your favorite chair.
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.
Red Hill Office
Lansdale District Office
If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.
2016 © Senate of Pennsylvania