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Senator Bob Mensch

In this Edition:

  • The Mensch Report – Veterans Appreciation Breakfast
  • SEPTA Key Senior Photo ID Update
  • Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Opportunities
  • Scenic 2018 Calendars Available

Senator Mensch welcomed and introduced Timothy Ryan, Aaron Ryan, Robert Ryan and Lori Ryan to the Senate on Dec. 12. (click image to watch)

The Mensch Report: Veterans Appreciation Breakfast

January 2018 - Veterans Appreciation Breakfast

This edition of The Mensch Report features my 6th Annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast held on Veterans Day at Upper Perkiomen High School. Approximately 400 individuals attended the event which included veterans, veterans’ guests, exhibitors and speakers.

The event featured special guest speaker Colonel Michael J. Regan, Jr. Colonel Regan currently serves as Deputy Adjutant General-Air for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In addition, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, State Representative Tom Quigley, State Representative Marcy Toepel, State Representative Ryan Mackenzie, and Montgomery County Commissioner Valerie Arkoosh, M.D. gave formal remarks and thanked the veterans for their service.

Veterans also enjoyed patriotic songs performed by the Upper r Perkiomen High School Women’s Choir. Attendees were also able to obtain veteran identification cards from the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds.

Various organizations were available to provide veterans with information and services, including: the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, the National Guard Transition Assistance Program, Montgomery County Veterans Affairs, Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds, Vets for Vets, Veterans Brotherhood, Tails of Valor/Paws of Honor Program Inc., First Choice Loan Services VA Home Buyer’s Program, Hope for Veterans, Korean War Memorial American-Korean Alliance Peace Park, and the Greater PA Military Vehicle Historical Society.

SEPTA Key Senior Photo ID Update

For personal information security reasons, SEPTA has for a number of years encouraged eligible seniors and disabled riders to register for the Pennsylvania Senior Citizen Transit ID Card and the Pennsylvania Reduced Transit Fare Card, and cautioned customers against using their Medicare Card for travel.

With most senior citizens and riders with disabilities who previously used Medicare Cards now transitioning to the new SEPTA Key Photo ID Cards, SEPTA is reminding customers that Medicare and Railroad Retirement Cards will no longer be accepted for free-and reduced-fare rides beginning January 16, 2018.

SEPTA had initially announced this would take effect January 1, 2018; however, they have extended the phase-out by two weeks to give riders additional time to prepare. Signage is being posted throughout the system and operators will alert customers to the change. The phase-out is part of the transition to SEPTA Key and will also help ensure that only eligible customers are using these programs.

After January 16, 2018…

Seniors will be able to continue to travel for free on all SEPTA Transit Routes ($1.00 on Regional Rail within Pennsylvania) using any of the following three proofs of age:

  • SEPTA Key Senior Photo ID cards
  • Paper Pennsylvania Senior Citizen Transit ID Cards (blue and yellow cards
  • Pennsylvania Drivers’ License and Non-Drivers’ License Photo IDs with magnetic strips*

*Please Note – In mid-June 2017, PennDOT began issuing new Licenses and Photo IDs that do not have a magnetic strip and are not compatible with the SEPTA Key system.

Riders with Disabilities will be able to continue to travel for ½ fares on all SEPTA Routes using either of the following forms of ID:

  • SEPTA Key Reduced Fare Card
  • Paper Pennsylvania Reduced Transit Fare ID Card (green card)

SEPTA urges eligible riders who have not registered for a SEPTA Key Reduced Fare Card to do so as soon possible. Information on the Reduced Fare Card, including the application process, is available on SEPTA’s website. Because Reduced Fare Key Cards can be loaded with funds and require verification of medical documentation, these cards cannot be processed at legislative offices. Reduced Fare applications must be submitted in person at SEPTA Headquarters, 1234 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107 or at the Accessible Travel Center (Room 108) in Suburban Station, Monday – Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

In early January, SEPTA is scheduling a series of remote Reduced Fare Key Card registration events in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery Counties that may be more convenient for your constituents. We will notify you and your staff as soon as those events are scheduled.

Veterans’ Trust Fund Grant Opportunities

The 2017-18 Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF) is accepting grant applications for programs and services benefiting Pennsylvania veterans. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) will award up to $800,000 in VTF grants to non-profit organizations, veteran service organizations and county directors of veteran affairs across the state. Grant applications must be received no later than 3 p.m. EST on Friday, January 19, 2018.

Up to a total of $150,000 in grant funding is available for new, innovative or expanded programs or services provided by county directors of veterans affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans Affairs. The areas of emphasis for applicants in this category are veterans’ outreach and veterans’ court programs.

Up to $650,000 in VTF funding is available to veteran service organizations and 501(c)(3) charitable organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans. Funding priorities for applicants in this category are transitional housing or community living initiatives and unique veteran health services that address issues like homelessness, post-traumatic stress and behavioral health needs.

Eligible applicants from either category may also submit applications for programs addressing newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.

The VTF is funded by Pennsylvanians who voluntarily donate when applying for or renewing driver’s licenses; photo IDs or motor vehicle registrations; purchase Honoring Our Veterans license plates; or make private donations.

Tax-deductible donations can be made online at or mailed to: PA Veterans’ Trust Fund, Bldg. 0-47 Fort Indiantown Gap, Annville, PA 17003.

Scenic 2018 Calendars Available

Order your 2018 Pennsylvania calendars now and be ready to flip the page on 2017.

Find striking wildlife photos along with helpful hints for hunting and the outdoors in the 2018 Pennsylvania Wildlife Calendar . Proceeds of all products sold through the Outdoor Shop support the preservation, conservation and management of Pennsylvania’s wildlife resources and habitats.

Enjoy vintage artwork from the PA Angler & Boater Magazine featured throughout the PF&BC’s 2018 collector calendar. Discover lovely outdoor scenery in photographs from across PA captured in the 2018 State Parks Calendar. Each purchase raises dollars for conservation and recreation.

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

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