In this Edition:
The Mensch Report – Performance Based Budgeting
This edition of the Mensch Report focuses on my Senate Bill 181, or Performance Based Budgeting legislation. The traditional method of budget development, which relies upon incremental adjustments to expenditures made in the previous financial period, insulates governmental activities from the thorough fiscal review expected by taxpaying citizens. New and changing demands for public services are met through excessive budget growth rather than by pruning obsolete programs and redirecting existing funds. Some government programs were established so long ago that the original statutory basis has either been forgotten or is out of date. In time, the budget is driven by inertia rather than by clear and defensible purposes.
Performance Based Budgeting is an effective method to counter the tendency toward perpetuation of outmoded state programs.
Senate Bill 181 would create a performance-based budget board to review the performance-based budget plans of Pennsylvania agencies and make recommendations on how each agency’s programs may be made more transparent, effective, and efficient.
During the show, I interviewed Kevin Shivers from the NFIB, Matthew Knittel from the Independent Fiscal Office, and Gene Barr from the Pennsylvania Chamber.(Note: This program was recorded prior to SB 181 passing the General Assembly and being signed into law on October 30.)
Veterans Appreciation Breakfast Nov. 11
I will be holding my annual Veterans Appreciation Breakfast on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at the Upper Perkiomen High School located at 2 Walt Road in Pennsburg. Check-in begins at 7:45 a.m. and the event will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Veterans can register themselves and up to one guest by Monday, November 6. To register, visit http://www.senatormensch.com/veterans-appreciation-breakfast/ or call 215-541-2388. Space is limited so please register promptly.
I encourage you to participate in my newest online constituent survey. All answers are kept confidential and the results will be displayed for constituents who participate in the survey.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding state matters, you are welcome to contact me via my constituent contact form.
Senator Mensch Hosts Annual Senator for a Day Seminar for High School Students
I held my annual Senator for a Day seminar on October 13 at the Perkiomen School in Pennsburg.
The seminar allowed high school students from the 24th Senatorial District to role play as a State Senator in a mock legislative session. Students selected a committee based on their area of interest and debated and discussed the mock legislation that had been presented to them.
Various lobbyists and legislative staff were on hand to guide the students through the committee process and assist them as needed. After the students discussed the legislation in their committees, a general session commenced, at which time all students voted on all of the legislation voted out of committee.
Students from Brandywine Heights High School, Lansdale Catholic High School, North Penn High School, Oley Valley High School, Palisades High School, Perkiomen School, Pottsgrove High School, Pottstown High School, and Upper Perkiomen High School attended the event, resulting in an impressive turnout of almost 90 students.
To view pictures from the event, visit www.senatormensch.com, visit the news tab, and select “2017 Senator for a Day” which will appear when you hover over the photo gallery option.
Senator Mensch Meets with Families of Army Specialist Ray Ira Haas and First Lieutenant William R. Gendebien
I introduced legislation last year which named a portion of a state roadway after Army Specialist Ray Ira Haas and First Lieutenant William R. Gendebien to honor their service. I was honored to meet with the families of Army Specialist Ray Ira Haas and First Lieutenant William R. Gendebien at the signs that designated the roadways.
Senate Bill 1219 (now Act 159 of 2016) designated a portion of State Route 663 in Montgomery County as the Army Specialist Ray Ira Haas Memorial Highway. During March 28, 1968, in the Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam, Army Specialist Ray Ira Haas was performing his assigned duties as an infantryman on the battlefield. During these operations, he and his unit came under fire. Army Specialist Haas fought bravely and was mortally wounded during the firefight, later being pronounced dead at a hospital in Vietnam.
State Route 663 from the Bucks County line, through Pennsburg Borough to the end of Upper Hanover Township in Montgomery County, is designated the Army Specialist Ray Ira Haas Memorial Highway.
In addition, the bill designated a portion of State Route 100 in Berks County as the First Lieutenant William R. Gendebien Memorial Highway. On October 26, 1965, in Quang Nam Province, South Vietnam, VMFA 115 was performing combat operations against hostile forces. First Lieutenant Gendebien was performing his assigned duty as Air Traffic Controller from an aircraft in support of VMFA 115 in their combat operations. During these operations, hostile actions downed the aircraft with its crew and it made a crash landing. First Lieutenant Gendebien died in the crash of the aircraft.
State Route 100 from Hereford Township at the Lehigh County line through Washington Township in Berks County is designated the First Lieutenant William R. Gendebien Memorial Highway.
The designation of these heavily traveled roadways will ensure that Army Specialist Ray Ira Haas and First Lieutenant William R. Gendebien will always be remembered for their service and sacrifice.
Senator Mensch Tours Manufacturing Businesses in District on Manufacturing Day
On October 6, I visited three manufacturing businesses in the 24 th Senatorial District in recognition of Manufacturing Day.
We first toured Kwik Goal in Quakertown, PA, followed by Stauffer Glove and Safety in Red Hill, PA, and finished our day at Campbell Fittings in Boyertown, PA. The tours placed an emphasis on the state’s manufacturing industry, their economic contributions, career opportunities and more.
Manufacturing is part of Pennsylvania’s legacy and plays a significant role in our diverse, global economy. It continues to bolster both the Pennsylvania and U.S. economy, and creates new opportunities in a variety of fields using the latest technologies.
Pennsylvania celebrated its third annual Manufacturing Week (September 30-October 6, 2017). Throughout the week, Pennsylvania manufacturers and partners held events to give students and their families an inside look at today’s modern manufacturing.
The tours were taped and will be featured in future Mensch Report TV programs.
Department of Banking – Beyond Equifax
The Pennsylvania Department of Banking issues regular reports that provide a wealth of information on a variety of topics. The most recent edition included information that pertains to the Equifax breach and provided tips on how to secure your information.
Equifax announced that data of 143 million Americans – including 5.5 million Pennsylvanians -- may have been compromised, including names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, and even
drivers’ license numbers and credit card numbers. The reality of our technologically advanced age is that people’s identities can be stolen, their bank accounts can be drained, and their credit can be ruined by criminals in distant lands over the course of weeks, months, or even years. Cybercriminals and scammers are continually becoming more sophisticated and savvy in the ways in which they target their victims. Consumers must take control of their own personal and financial data, and businesses must remain vigilant, stay current with and follow cybersecurity best practices.
The Department of Banking and Securities Cybersecurity Task Force has been working with providing resources to help maintain the integrity of Pennsylvania’s financial services marketplace. Businesses are encouraged to visit www.dobs.pa.gov/Businesses/cybersecurity and learn more about how to protect themselves and their customers.
Ten agencies and offices in the Pennsylvania government have been contributing their experience and expertise to creating an online cybersecurity guide for consumers, which was launched earlier this month: www.pa.gov/cybersecurity.
You can find more information in the Department of Banking’s newsletter.
Senator Mensch was pleased to introduce guests from the Grundsow Lodsh Nummber Sivva (Groundhog Lodge Number Seven).
Real ID Extension through October 10, 2018
The Department of Homeland Security has granted Pennsylvania a REAL ID enforcement extension through October 10, 2018. This extension means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities or boarding commercial aircraft through that date.
PennDOT anticipates that REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses will be available at the customer's option in March 2019. Customers are encouraged to begin gathering the required documentation as soon as possible, giving them ample time to prepare. More information about what documents will be required is available on PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website.
Chronic Wasting Disease Now in 13 PA Counties
Pennsylvania is one of 21 states with reported cases of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in deer in 13 Pennsylvania counties, according to the PA Game Commission.
Disease Management Areas (DMAs), established by Executive Order of the Game Commission Executive Director, restrict the removal of high risk deer and elk parts from the areas in order to control any spread of CWD. PA’s Disease Management Areas continue to expand annually with new detections of CWD.
Visible signs of CWD typically include staggering, drooling, wasting, or unusual behavior and should be reported to the nearest Game Commission Regional Office. CWD has no known treatment or vaccine and is fatal to deer and elk. The Commission is offering harvest recommendations and free CWD tests of deer harvested in a DMA.
Give Your Vehicle a Regular Checkup
A study of Pennsylvania’s vehicle safety inspection program encourages vehicle operators to be vigilant in the self-inspection of their motor vehicles on a regular basis.
Beyond the PennDOT-required inspection, weekly and monthly vehicle maintenance checkups are recommended.
Take a few minutes during your next gas station fill up to run down the weekly check list, while designating monthly check ups as a beginning or end of the month project to maintain optimal operating conditions.
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