View in browser

Senator Bob Mensch

In this Edition:

  • May 5: Coffee with Your Senator 
  • The Mensch Report: Longacre’s Dairy 
  • Call Before You Dig for Spring Projects 
  • Where’s My PA Personal Income Tax Refund? 
  • PHEAA Offers Guidance on Next Steps of the Financial Aid Application Process 
  • Avoid Overdraft Fees in 2017
  • Great American Cleanup of PA Springs into Action

Senator Mensch enjoyed visiting the International Spring Festival on April 22 at North Penn High School.  He was also honored to receive their special recognition award.

May 5: Coffee with Your Senator 

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to change my Coffee with Your Senator date from May 4 to May 5.

The event will still take place at Perkiomen Township building (1 Trappe Road, Collegeville, PA 19426) at 8:30am. Again, the event will now take place on Friday, May 5 and not Thursday, May 4.

We apologize for any inconvenience this change causes.

The event will provide constituents the opportunity to discuss and address any state related matters or concerns with me in an open forum setting.  There is no cost to attend the event and coffee will be provided. Please RSVP by calling 215-541-2388 or by emailing  

Below you will find the details for three additional Coffee with your Senator events. 

The Mensch Report: Longacre’s Dairy

May 2017: Longacre's Dairy

This edition of the Mensch Report features a walking tour and interview that took place on Manufacturing Day in 2016 at Longacre’s Dairy in Barto, Pennsylvania.  Featured in the show is Daniel Longacre, Tim Longacre, additional family members, and employees.  Longacre’s Modern Dairy Inc. operates a dairy bar ice cream parlor and retail outlet adjacent to the plant, and serves all-natural “homemade” (in every sense of the word) ice cream and light lunches.  They also sell organic products which include milk and bi-products such as yogurt, etc. The dairy bar ice cream parlor features more than 40 flavors of hard ice cream and frozen yogurt. 

I invite you to join me on this great tour and interview of a great family business

Call Before You Dig for Spring Projects 

While compiling your list of spring projects, add a call to 811, Pennsylvania’s Call Before You Dig program, if you include outside design, excavation, or demolition plans.   

Place the call within 3 to 10 days prior to the planned beginning of your project and be prepared to answer a few questions about your plans.   

Representatives from the utility companies will identify the location of underground lines and leave temporary marks in the proposed dig location.  Utilities will be identified by designated colors no later than the day prior to the first lawful start date, allowing you to safely conduct your projects.   

The call center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year, excluding state holidays.  The PA 811 office may also be contacted at 1-800-242-1776. 

Senator Mensch congratulated Nathan Schaefer on his Eagle Court of Honor on April 10 at Jerusalem Lutheran Church!

Where’s My PA Personal Income Tax Refund?

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue makes it simple to determine the status of your PA personal income tax refund.

Click on Where’s My Refund and be prepared to enter your social security number and the amount of your refund.  Officials indicate processing may require 8-10 weeks. 

Contact the Online Customer Service Center for information about a prior tax year refund. 

PHEAA Offers Guidance on Next Steps of the Financial Aid Application Process 

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency is encouraging students and their families who have submitted the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to carefully review their federal Student Aid Report (SAR), which provides schools with the information used to determine federal student aid eligibility for the 2017-18 academic year. 

If you have an FSA ID and your FAFSA has been processed, you can log in at the FAFSA site to view SAR information regardless of whether you filed online or provided an email address. 

Included in the SAR is the family’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC).  The EFC is the amount that the federal government determines a family can be expected to contribute toward their total cost of attendance. Families should immediately review the information on the SAR for accuracy and submit any corrections promptly.

The information from the SAR is shared with the schools that the student listed on the FAFSA.  If a student is accepted at more than one school, each school’s financial aid office will use the information from the student’s SAR to determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid, including federal and state grants, campus-based aid, work-study funds, and federal student loans.

Students and families should carefully compare each school’s financial aid package to determine which offer best meets their individual needs. Typically, aid packages that include more gift aid, such as grants and scholarships, are preferable to packages that include more loans, which must be repaid.  However, this may depend on the student’s total cost of attendance at each school being considered.

As soon as applicants decide which school they will be attending, each school that has offered acceptance should be notified promptly about the student’s decision.

For more information on finding financial aid to fund postsecondary education, including tips, deadlines, and free financial aid workshops, visit

Avoid Overdraft Fees in 2017 

Overdraft fees frequently cost consumers $20-$45 per transaction.  According to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, Americans are losing more than $11 billion in overdraft fees per year. 

The consequences of insufficient funds may go beyond overdraft fees to include the loss of checking privileges through your current bank, denial of checking privileges at other banking institutions, and a lowered FICO score. 

Five tips recommended to avoid overdraft fees include: 

  1. Instruct your bank to automatically transfer money from savings or another account to cover shortages, understanding you may need to pay a small fee for the service. 

  2. Sign up with your bank for low-balance notices via text or email. 

  3. Ensure deposits comply with your bank’s “fund availability” policy. 

  4. Take advantage of technology to frequently check account balances. 

  5. Carefully review monthly account statements for fraudulent transactions and accurate disbursements and deposits.  

Paying bills on time, or your payment history, makes up 35 percent of your credit score.  A low credit score translates into higher interest and insurance rates.  Failing to pay bills on time can also effect employment and home or apartment rental opportunities. 

Senator Mensch welcomed and introduced Mr. Edmond Matten and Mr. Thomas Ashman to the Senate during their visit to Harrisburg.

Great American Cleanup of PA Springs into Action 

The Great American Cleanup of PA and the Pick It Up PA Days, sponsored by the PA Department of Environmental Protection, are seeking volunteers for cleanup events across the State. 

Volunteers for registered events can access free cleanup supplies, including bags, gloves, and vests donated by the PA Department of Transportation and the Keep America Beautiful partners.  The Pick It Up PA Days, set for April 18th to May 8th, encourages involvement from community and civic associations, schools and youth groups, families, business employees, hunting and fishing clubs, conservation organizations, sports teams, and others. 

Nearly 2 million volunteers have combed almost 171,000 miles of roads, waterways, shorelines, and trails and removed approximately 92,000,000 pounds of litter and waste, more than 258,000 tires, and 226,000 pounds of scrap metal, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.  Nearly 165,000 trees, bulbs, and flowers have been planted as part of the beautification efforts. 

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.

Contact Me

Senator Mensch is on facebookTwitter

Harrisburg Office
Senate Box 203024
Harrisburg, PA 17120-3024
Phone (717) 787-3110
FAX (717) 787-8004

Red Hill Office
56 West 4th Street
Floor 2
Red Hill, PA 18076
Phone (215) 541-2388
Toll Free 1-855-247-9020
FAX (215) 541-2387
Monday - Friday
9-4:30 pm

Lansdale District Office
1 Vine Street Ste 202
Lansdale, PA 19446
Phone (215) 368-3117
FAX (215) 361-4222
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
9-4:30 pm

If you do not wish to receive this email, click here to unsubscribe.

Please add our email address to your address book. Many email programs have built-in filters that automatically block messages and links from any sender whose email address is not in the recipient's address book.

Privacy Policy
2017 © Senate of Pennsylvania