BUCKS COUNTY BUGLE
Winter is now in our rearview mirror and, like most people, I am looking forward to the warm and sunny days of the spring and summer seasons.
As to where we are regarding a COLA, Executive Director Mark McKillop reports 2019 was an eventful year for PASR regarding efforts to obtain a COLA. For the first time in a long while, through the effort of PASR lobbyist Jeff Hunsicker, there were substantive conversations with key leaders and members of the state legislator about a COLA.
This year PASR leadership is focused on HB (house bill) 1960 which deals with the consolidation of PSERS and SER investment management. PASR, in collaboration with PSEA and AFSCME leadership, have targeted HB 1960 as the “vehicle” for a COLA. Further, trailers, which are bills design for implementing the state’s budget, are also being examined for the purpose of obtaining a COLA. It is expected the budget process will begin in late spring to early summer. PASR reports that membership communication to legislators, including newly elected house republicans had a significant impact in 2019. As a result, members are encouraged to communicate with their legislators the need for a COLA. When contacting your legislator simply inform them on why you support a COLA and inquire as to where they stand on the issue of a COLA. Crafting and moving a bill through the Pennsylvania legislature is an involved and fluid process. I recommend, therefore, you visit PSAR‘S webpage (www.pasr.org) for current information regarding the status of our COLA. Representative Frank Farry will be attending our luncheon and will provide a legislative update on issues of interest to PASR.
In closing, please be advised that, there have been some changes regarding our executive board’s composition. Joy Hardin is stepping down as treasurer and community service chair. She has provided exemplary service to our chapter for many years. Joy thank you for your service to our chapter. Linda Peters will serve as acting treasurer until the election at our spring lunch. Linda will retain her position as Education Support chair. Ray Majewski, an associate member, will be assisting Linda as assistant treasurer. Alice Kirby is now serving as Community Service chair.
I look forward to seeing you at our spring luncheon on May 14.
SOCIAL SERVICE/MEMORIAL HONOR FUND
Eileen Sichel, Chairperson
If you are celebrating a 90 or 90+ birthdayor know of a member who is, kindly let Eileen know so that at our Spring Luncheon we can celebrate those special members that we have not honored previously for reaching this milestone. Whether they are living far or near, we would like to hear about our nonagenarians. Nonagenarians are welcomeasguests to any of our luncheons,free of charge. Just let us know your status on the attached luncheon coupon.
As always, remember to let Eileen know if you have information or questions about members in need of our support. You are our only source of information concerning those members who could use a helping hand.
Information on members who have passed awayrecently should be sent to Eileen so that these members can be honored at our next luncheon. Their names will also be added to our honor board, and they will be included in a memorial service at the next House of Delegates Convention.
Finally, please consider donating to The PASR Memorial Honor Fund, which helps members across the state who have become ill or who are experiencing financial stress. The Memorial Honor Fund, at times, is called on to grant state memberships to members who have indicated that they cannot afford to pay state dues. Members need to maintain state memberships to be eligible for member benefits. A coupon can be found in this newsletter to be used to make a contribution. Why not honor or memorialize someone who has made a difference in your life by making a contribution to the fund.
Joy Hardin, chair
We have a new organization that we will be supporting. The Baby Bureau, located in Warminster, is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing “Baby Bundles” of clothing and other items to underserved babies in our community. Please consider bringing any of the following items from their Wish List to our May luncheon:
THE WISH LIST
• New/ Very Gently used baby clothes:
0 – 2T
• Onesies and sleepers, 0 – 2T
• Receiving Blankets
• Baby socks, hats, shoes
• New Baby Rattles
• New Baby Board Books
• Dreft Detergent (HE)
• Diapers and Wipes
Linda Peters, Chair
Scholarship information and applications were sent to all Bucks County Public Schools. Deadline for them is May 1. Winners will be invited to the luncheon. Education Grants will be awarded to a teacher in the Palisades School District and several teachers from the county Technical Schools. This year we will be presenting the Lauretta Woodsen awards to a professional and support staff member from the New Hope–Solebury School District. Included on the coupon page is a contribution form for the scholarships. Please consider making a small donation since we have no special fund raiser for these scholarships and rely on members to support them.
MEMBER BENEFITS AND SERVICES
Meg Kramer, chair
New Dental Benefit. Beginning in January a premiumdental benefit became available for new policies or upon renewal of an existing policy. Highlights include 100% coverage for Class 2 services as opposed to 60% for the standard plan. There is no deductible and the annual maximum of $2500 rather than $2100 is offered. The enhanced benefits can also be applied to implants. The premium plan will cost more. The standarddental plan is still available at the same rates as the past few years. When your renewal time comes, you will receive the information on both plans to see which one best fits your needs.
Home Heating Oil and Propane discounts. In January the Board of Directors approved the adoption of a discounted home heating oil program through Heat USA and discounted propane delivery through Tank Farm LLC. Local full-service companies will be used for these programs. More information can be found on the PASR.org website or by calling Kelly Dygert, our Member Benefits & Services Associate, at 717-697-7077.
Lynn Majewski, Chair
JUNE 28, 3pm. Bristol Riverside Theatre, “From Phantom to Mame”
Our chapter has reserved a limited number of tickets for this summer musical. Come and enjoy the music of two legendary composers, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jerry Herman. The cost is $31 per person. Complete the coupon on the insert page and send payment no later than June 5. Tickets will be mailed to you in mid-June.
Coming in the September is A Horticultural Therapy Workshop. A Make and Take flower arranging workshop at Temple Ambler Campus, with a tour of their fall gardens. Information will appear in the Summer Newsletter.
Another CPR class will be available in October and for Christmas a tour of the Glencairn Castle and Museum. Information regarding the CPR and Christmas tour will appear in the Fall Newsletter.
Consider inviting a friend to join PASR. There are many retired school personnel who do not know about PASR. Our two updated PASR websites contain information you can share in addition to convenient information about your own membership.
Our Bucks chapter of PASR has a website - www.buckspasr.org. In addition to information about our meetings, community service projects, scholarships and legislative efforts, there are forms for applying for membership and copies of our chapter newsletter.
For state membership information you can go to www.pasr.org. The Members’ Only Section of pasr.org has been redesigned. To log in to the Members’ Only Section, you will enter your username and password in the upper right-hand corner of the pasr.org home page.
We are also happy to have Representative Frank Farry speak to us on legislation affecting PASR and seniors in general. He has been the representative in the 142nd House District since 2009 and currently serves on the Committee on Ethics, Consumer Affairs, Gaming Oversight, and Veterans affairs and Emergency Preparedness. He has been a strong advocate for PASR issues along with former Representative Gene DiGirolamo.
PRIMARY ELECTION DAY – APRIL 28
This year is a federal election for President and Congress. Representatives in the State House, Auditor General, Attorney General, and Treasurer will be elected on the state level. Since new machines are coming and you may now vote by mail or absentee without reason, you might want to consider voting early. Check voter guides and be an informed voter on April 28.This link will take you to the application site. pavoterservices.pa.gov/OnlineAbsenteeApplication,
HOUSE OF DELEGATES
Meeting in October
PASR biennial meeting of the House of Delegates was held at the Valley Forge Casino in October. Our representatives had goods seats for the Plenary Sessions and as usual enjoyed the fellowship at the Banquet. At Right Linda Peters, Ken Griffin, Joy Hardin, and Lyn Majewski await the start of a plenary session. Below the Bucks county table is ready for the banquet. On the left are Meg Kramer, Jeanie DeVirgillis and Ken Griffin. On the right seated are Joy Hardin, Linda Peters, and Lyn Majewski, standing are Judy Guise and Meg Kramer.
DATES TO REMEMBER
APRIL 28 PRIMARY ELECTION DAY
APRIL 30 REGION 1 LUNCHEON, MANUFACTURERS COUNTRY CLUB
MAY 14 BUCKS COUNTY SPRING LUNCHEON, SPRING MILL MANOR
JUNE 5 DEADLINE FOR BRISTOL RIVER THEATRE
JUNE 28 “FROM PHANTOM TO MAME” BRISTOL THEATRE