In this Edition:
On May 5, Senator Mensch hosted a Coffee with your Senator event at Perkiomen Township building which was well attended. The Senator and constituents discussed a myriad of state-related matters.
June 10 Coffee with Your Senator Event
I am pleased to invite you to attend my next Coffee with your Senator event on June 10, 2017 at the Quakertown Library located at 401 West Mill Street, Quakertown, PA 18951. The event will begin at 9:15 am and conclude at 10:45 a.m.
This event provides constituents the opportunity to discuss and address any state-related matters or concerns with Senator Mensch in an open forum setting. There is no cost to attend and coffee and donuts will be provided. Please RSVP by calling 215-541-2388.
Below you will find the details for the following remaining Coffee with your Senator events in September. Please call 215-541-2388 with any additional questions you may have and please feel free to share this event with any family, friends, or colleagues that may also want to attend.
June Mensch Report: Ridge Valley Farm
This edition of the Mensch Report features my walking tour and interview at Ridge Valley Farm. This business is owned and operated by Sue and Jim Myers in Green Lane, Pennsylvania.
Their 30 acre farm in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania is located on the Ridge Valley Creek approximately one mile from its confluence with the Unami Creek in Sumneytown. The farm has been in the family since the late 30’s and they started producing syrup in 2000.
Join me on this tour with Jim Myers to learn about this local business and how they get maple syrup from the tree to your table.
Implementing REAL ID in Pennsylvania
The General Assembly recently took action to maintain Pennsylvania citizens’ access to federal buildings and prevent the burden of needing a passport to fly within the U.S.
Lawmakers approved compromise legislation to bring the Commonwealth into compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. Passed in wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, this federal law established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibited federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that did not meet these standards.
Concerned about costs and that that federal government sought to regulate what was previously under the domain of the states – driver’s licenses – the General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in 2012 to prohibit the Commonwealth from participating in REAL ID.
While these and other concerns were valid, not meeting the federal requirements comes at a cost to citizens: by June 6 of this year, Pennsylvanians could no longer gain access to secure federal buildings using their driver’s license. And, by January 2018, Pennsylvanians would need a passport to fly on commercial airlines within the U.S. To prevent this, the General Assembly enacted Act 103.
Now that the General Assembly passed Act 103, what next?
What does this mean for constituents?
What will an extension mean?
When will REAL IDs be available in PENNSYLVANIA and how much will they cost?
Health and Human Services Unification Informational Website
A website has been launched that details the proposed unification of the departments of Health, Human Services, Drug and Alcohol Programs, and Aging into the new Department of Health and Human Services.
The website offers myriad information to learn more about this initiative by reviewing draft legislation, diving deep into the HHS draft organizational charts, and giving the public an opportunity to weigh in with their own thoughts and ideas. The site will continue to be updated as the unification process moves along.
The comprehensive website, located at governor.pa.gov/hhs, provides details about the unified agency's deputates, or divisions, including primary functions and organizational charts.
The following are just a few examples of the key ways an integrated agency can provide an easier way for citizens to interact with the commonwealth and obtain the services they need. Details on each are provided on the new web content.
The website was introduced to all affected agency staff in late April.
Senator Mensch presented Zachary Ritchey on his Eagle Court of Honor on May 2, 2017.
Potential for Lyme Disease Increases Across PA
Whether maintaining your property or engaging in recreational and leisure activities, Pennsylvania residents in all 67 counties should be vigilant about preventing exposure to deer ticks and Lyme disease, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
Combat exposure to Lyme disease through the use of repellents and protective clothing. Check regularly while outdoors and at the conclusion of activities to determine if you picked up an unwanted tick.
Prevent contracting the disease through the prompt and careful removal of the tick with tweezers, followed by application of rubbing alcohol to the bite area and your hands. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer details on the diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease.
Senator Mensch performed with the Red Hill Band at the 6th Annual PA Hometown Hero Walk in Lansdale, PA.
PennDOT Services and Publications Available Online
PennDOT has discontinued printing paper copies of several of its larger manuals in order to reduce waste and save tax dollars. These include driver’s manuals, motorcycle operator’s manuals and CDL manuals. The department anticipates saving more than a half-million dollars annually by not printing and storing large quantities of these publications. Publications can be found online.
In addition, PennDOT offers a variety of driver and vehicle services, including the ability to renew vehicle registration and change your address, online at http://www.dmv.pa.gov/. Please note that there are third party businesses that will claim to help you renew your vehicle registration for an additional fee. Constituents are highly encouraged to only visit http://www.dmv.pa.gov/ to obtain driver and vehicle services in order to additional service fees and the sharing of private information with third party businesses.
Preventing Rising Pedestrian Injuries and Fatalities
Let the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation know if your community has an intersection with a documented car/pedestrian crash history or a location where pedestrians have difficulty crossing the roadway because motorists fail to yield.
Following the loss of 77 pedestrians in Pennsylvania during the first six months of 2016, representing a 30.5 percent increase over 2015, PennDOT is reminding municipalities of the availability of “Yield to Pedestrian” signs. The portable free-standing signs are to be placed within the driver’s line of sight.
Consult the Regional Offices map to identify your county’s region and refer to the Pedestrian Brochure for your local PennDOT Engineering District Bike and Pedestrian Coordinator to obtain free safety signage for your community.
Senator Mensch was pleased to host and introduce the Senate Guest Chaplain, Pastor Kris Wint, and his family. You can listen to the prayer and their introduction here.
Visitor Feedback Prompts Smoke-Free Beaches at PA State Parks
Visitors to many of Pennsylvania’s State Parks will find clean air billowing across the beach and the absence of cigarette butts soiling the sand, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
While reminding us they will observe the traditional Memorial Day opening of May 29, DCNR announced that 39 of 54 swimming beaches and pools located in state parks are now smoke-free in response to park visitor feedback and agency goals for ensuring clean air and beaches.
You can make your PA State Parks Reservations online, where you can also review the Rules and Regulations of PA’s State Parks to ensure a quality experience for all visitors. Included in the restriction are cigarettes, pipes, e-cigarettes or other handheld lighted smoking devices. Consult the State Park Advisories for a wide selection of helpful information for visitors. Download the free Official Guide for Pennsylvania State Parks and Forests to enrich your trip.
Wipers On Means Lights On for Safety
Pennsylvania safety laws require motorists driving with their wipers on, to also turn on their vehicle’s lights, according to the PA Department of Transportation.
Critical times that your vehicle’s lights are required to be on include:
Motorists with daytime running lights are required to switch on headlights thereby activating their taillights. Wipers On, Lights On became law with the enactment of Act 159 of 2006.
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