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Senator Judy SchwankHello friend! September is “Saving for College Month” and Pennsylvania families can take advantage of the PA 529 college savings program, which is operated by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department. It’s a smart, safe way for families to invest in their child’s higher education. I used the PA 529 Program to help fund my daughter’s tuition at Penn State. FREE online enrollment into the Guaranteed Savings Plan is now available through Sept. 30 (a $50 value) by using the code SCHWANK. Families can also enter a contest to win a $529 deposit into their new account to jump start their college savings. Take advantage of this opportunity today and make a safe investment in your child’s future. Additionally, I’m sponsoring a financial aid awareness night for high school students and families. See the article below for more details.

For all the latest news and events in the 11th Senatorial District and in Harrisburg, visit my website, my Facebook page and Twitter page.



Families Invited to Attend College Financial Aid Awareness Night

gradMany junior and senior high school students and their families are exploring options for continuing their education. It’s important that families learn about the many financial savings options that are available to them through the state.

The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and I are hosting a free “Financial Aid Awareness” seminar for students and their families on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. in Alvernia University’s Bernardine Hall Lecture Hall, 400 St. Bernardine St. in Reading.

PHEAA representatives will explain to students and their families what financial aid opportunities for college are available and how to go about applying for them. Representatives from the Alvernia University Office of Student Financial Planning and the Pennsylvania Treasury Department's PA 529 college savings program will also be making presentations.

Registration for the free seminar is encouraged, but not required. Contact my office at 610-929-2151 for more information and to register for the event.


POW/MIA Ride for Freedom

Schwank speaks at Memorial Schwank helps lead the ride

I was honored to join the Reading Motorcycle Club for the 19th annual POW/MIA Ride for Freedom on Aug. 26. I spoke at a ceremony at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in Reading City Park (left) and I helped lead the ride with ride coordinator Bernie Bingham (right).


Public Hearing to Focus on Farm Profitability

farmThe Senate Democratic Policy Committee is holding a roundtable discussion in our community to talk about farm profitability.

The discussion, which I am hosting, will take place on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 11 a.m. at Fleetwood Grange Hall, located at Route 662 (Moselem Springs Road) in Fleetwood.

Agriculture is not only the No. 1 industry in Berks County, but also in the entire state. It’s important, therefore, that we continue to examine farming in our communities so that we can support our farming families, businesses and our economy.

The public is welcome to attend, so I hope to see you there.


Man's Best Friend to the Rescue!

rescue dog

I had the pleasure of meeting Kaiser and his handler Tony Zintsmaster at a Sept. 11 dedication of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a special center that will train dogs to assist in search and rescue missions. Kaiser was deployed to the World Trade Center in New York City following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Need a Voter ID? I Can Help!

Voter IDAs the state Supreme Court reviews the validity of the voter ID law, it is important that every registered voter has proper ID for November’s General Election if the Supreme Court also upholds the law.

Under the new law, voters will be required to show an acceptable photo ID on Election Day.  All photo IDs must contain an expiration date that is current, unless noted otherwise.  Acceptable IDs include the following:

  • Photo ID issued by the federal government or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (including the new Department of State voter ID card issued by PennDOT)
  • PA Driver’s License or non-driver’s ID (for voting purposes, IDs are valid 12 months past expiration date)
  • Valid U.S. passport
  • U.S. military ID- active duty and retired military (a military or veteran’s ID must designate an expiration date or designate that the expiration date is indefinite). Military dependents’ ID must contain an expiration date
  • Employee photo ID issued by federal, PA, PA county or PA municipal government
  • Photo ID from an accredited PA public or private institution of higher learning, including colleges, universities, seminaries, community colleges and other two-year colleges
  • Photo ID issued by a PA care facility, including long-term care facilities, assisted living residences or personal care homes

If you do not have a Pennsylvania photo ID or a driver’s license, visit a PennDOT Driver License Center with the following paperwork:

  • A completed PennDOT Oath/Affirmation Voter ID form 
  •  A completed Application for an Initial Photo Identification Card; form DL-54A (The $13.50 fee will be waived with the completed Oath/Affirmation Voter ID form)
  • Social Security card
  • One of the following: Birth certificate with a raised seal, valid U.S. passport, Certificate of U.S. Citizenship, or Certificate of Naturalization
  • Two proofs of residency, such as a lease agreement, current utility bills, mortgage documents, W-2 form, tax records, bank statements, and/or credit card bills. College students may also use room assignment paperwork and one bill with their dorm room address on it.

If you are a registered voter who does not have all of the proper documentation (like a birth certificate), you may receive a free voter ID on the spot at your local PennDOT Drivers License Center by providing all of the following information:

  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Two proofs of residency
  • Previous name and/or address if changed within the past 12 months

If you need any assistance obtaining proper identification, my staff and I will gladly help. In addition, you can check out the voter ID page on my website for all the details on the law.

Voter ID web page





Video on child protection bills PennDOT website Reading School District website Video of Senator Schwank's budget response Senator Schwank's floor remarks Voter ID web page