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Senator Bob Mensch

In this Edition:

  • Mensch Re-Introduces Performance Based Budgeting Bill
  • Mensch Announces Senate Committee Assignments
  • Committees Review Possible State Prison Closures
  • Senate Committee Roundup
  • Next Week

Mensch Re-Introduces Performance Based Budgeting Bill

At the start of a new legislative session, I am re-introducing my Performance Based Budget bill, Senate Bill 181, which seeks to streamline and justify discretionary and state government spending.

SB 181 would require departments and agencies to justify their budget requests beginning with dollar one, for all existing as well as proposed programs for each fiscal year, before they can receive consideration for budget funding.

The bill 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.

The traditional method of budget development relies upon incremental adjustments to expenditures made in the previous financial period. New and changing demands for public services are met through excessive budget growth rather than by pruning obsolete programs and redirecting existing funds. We need to ensure that the budget is driven by clear and defensible purposes rather than inertia. We want government spending to be transparent, effective, and efficient for our taxpayers.

This Performance Based Budgeting legislation was first introduced during the 2015-16 legislative session. The Senate Appropriations and Policy committees held a joint hearing that included national, state and local experts, along with representatives from the Independent Fiscal Office and the Governor’s Budget Office to discuss the bill.

The bill passed the Senate during the 2015-16 session but was unable to pass the House before the end of the legislative session.

Mensch Announces Senate Committee Assignments

I am pleased to have been appointed to serve on several key committees for the 2017-18 legislative session.

It’s in the committees that much of the work producing sound legislation is done. This is where bills are vetted, examined, amended and improved. I look forward to serving on these committees during what looks to be a challenging and exciting legislative session.

It’s an honor to again serve as Vice Chairman of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. In addition, I was again appointed to the vital Senate Appropriations Committee.

I will continue to serve on the Aging and Youth, Game and Fisheries, and Health and Human Services (previously known as Public Health and Welfare) committees. I also sit on the Majority Caucus Policy Committee.

In addition, I chair the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC), which is a bipartisan, bicameral legislative service agency consisting of 12 members of the General Assembly. The LBFC conducts studies and provides recommendations aimed at eliminating unnecessary expenditures while ensuring that state funds are being expended in accordance with legislative intent and law. I also co-chair the Senate Economy, Business and Jobs Caucus, the Life Science Caucus, and the Community College Caucus.

I am proud to be elected by my Republican colleagues to serve as Majority Caucus Chairman for the 2017-2018 legislative session. As chairman I will preside over Republican caucus meetings to discuss bills and amendments and to develop caucus strategy.

Committees Review Possible State Prison Closures

1/23/17 - Review of Proposed Prison Closings

Three Senate committees held a joint public hearing on Monday to review the Wolf administration’s decision to potentially close two state prisons.

The Senate Majority Committee, and Democratic Policy Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee held the hearing to look at various aspects of the proposed closings including cost to taxpayers, public safety, transparency, prison overpopulation and the impact on local communities.

On January 6, the Department of Corrections announced that it would close two State Correctional Institutions in June. Five state prisons are currently under consideration, including SCI Frackville, SCI Mercer, SCI Pittsburgh, SCI Retreat and SCI Waymart.

Senate Committee Roundup


The Senate TRANSPORTATION Committee held a public hearing on winter preparedness and modernization on Tuesday and approved three bills.

Senate Bill 170 requires comprehensive reform measures at the Delaware River Port Authority.
Senate Bill 171 requires Senate confirmation of the Chief Executive Officer of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission.
Senate Bill 172 provides a five-year trial period for PENNDOT to place speed cameras in active work zones on limited access highways.

Environmental Resources & Energy

The Senate ENVIRONMENTAL RESOURCES & ENERGY Committee, which I serve on, approved two bills Tuesday.

Senate Bill 138 gives royalty interest owners the opportunity to inspect records of the gas company to verify proper payment.
Senate Bill 139 prohibits gas companies from retaliating against a royalty interest owner by terminating the lease agreement or ceasing development because a landowner questions the accuracy of the royalty payments.


The Senate JUDICIARY Committee approved five bills Tuesday.

Senate Bill 42 imposes criminal penalties for those who falsely wear military awards and decorations.
Senate Bill 59 authorizes joint ventures between correctional facilities and private industry.
Senate Bill 60 requires cash-for-gold dealers to retain each item of precious metal for 10 business days, instead of five, after purchasing it. The extension will allow burglary victims to discover and report the theft and will enable police to investigate the theft.
Senate Bill 62 protects and provides services for children of incarcerated parents.
Senate Bill 69 addresses the enforcement and application of Pennsylvania’s cruelty laws as they pertain to horses.

Local Government

1/25/17 - Consideration of Senate Bill 10 and Senate Bill 128

The Senate LOCAL GOVERNMENT Committee approved two bills Wednesday.

Senate Bill 10 prevents municipalities and counties from designating themselves as “sanctuary cities” in order to thwart federal efforts to combat illegal immigration.
Senate Bill 128 provides for clear state preemption of local mandated leave ordinances.

Urban Affairs & Housing

The Senate URBAN AFFAIRS & HOUSING Committee approved two bills Wednesday.

Senate Bill 50 requires disclosure of a property's flood history.
Senate Bill 51 amends the Landlord and Tenant Act to require disclosure of a property's flood history.

Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness

The Senate VETERANS AFFAIRS & EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS Committee approved two measures on Wednesday.

Senate Resolution 6 calls for a “reboot” of Senate Resolution 60 of 2003, the comprehensive study of fire and EMS issues completed in 2004.
Senate Bill 137 codifies the Civil Air Patrol’s state operations in Title 51 under the leadership of the Adjutant General.

Next Week

The Senate will return to voting session on Monday at 1 p.m. You can watch session live at

Stay Connected

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

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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
Suite 202
Lansdale, PA 19446
Phone (215) 368-3117
FAX (215) 361-4222
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
9-4:30 pm

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