Elected to the Legislature in 1994, Rep. Ellen M. Bard is fast stacking up legislative credits. To date, she successfully steered through the legislative process 17 bills that are now law. Her legislative initiatives also created the specialty Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) license plate.
Bard’s new laws: 1) reform and standardize local tax collection law to protect taxpayers from “bad apple” tax collectors who defraud the public; 2) provide training programs for elected tax collectors; 3) create a new criminal offense for use of “date rape drugs”; 4) stiffen penalties for graffiti crime; 5) authorize county commissioners to lower the intangible personal property tax rate; 6) authorize the creation of auxiliary Boards of Assessment Appeals to help in the review process of county reassessments; 7) require insurance companies to pay interest on overdue death benefits; 8) provide civil immunity for town watch and anti-drug volunteers performing in the line of duty; and 9) allow the Pennsylvania state flag to be draped over coffins of deceased firefighters and emergency service personnel. The eight bills Rep. Bard sponsored on behalf of the Local Government Commission provide for recording of public records and provisions for telephoning price quotations and streamlining financial report requirements for local governments.
Ellen’s leadership qualities have earned her recognition from groups such as the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the Pennsylvania Tax Collectors’ Association, which presented Ellen with its "Legislator of the Year" award in 1996, the PA Holocaust Education Task Force, Manor College, Briar Bush Nature Center which presented Bard with the Griscom Award, the Willow Grove Chamber which honored Rep. Bard with the Community Service Award, the Wyncote Audubon Society which presented Rep. Bard with the Dornan award; and a service award from the Montgomery County Fire Police Association.
With experience as a small business owner and with a Master’s Degree in Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rep. Bard believes in efficient and effective government. A former township commissioner, she applies what she knows about the needs of local government in her role as ranking House member of the Local Government Commission and Policy Committee and as a member of the House Local Government Committee. She is also a member of the Transportation, Consumer Affairs and Urban Affairs, and Environmental Resources and Energy committees and has been appointed by House Leadership to serve on the Majority Policy Committee. On a national level, Rep. Bard has been elected to the Executive Committee
Beyond her legislative duties, she founded the environmental organization “Earthright” and the Abington Trails Advisory Committee. The establishment of these organizations and her membership on the Montgomery County Open Space Preservation Task Force and Montgomery County Lands Trust attest to her commitment to a healthy, clean environment.
Rep. Bard also is intensely concerned about issues affecting the elderly and serves on the Montgomery County Aging and Adult Service Advisory Council, the Manor College’s Council of Presidents’ Association, the Board of Directors of Citizens and Police Together, the Penn State Abington Advisory Board and the Montgomery County Teen Parent Task Force.
Rep. Bard, her husband Rob, and their daughter Allison, reside in the Jenkintown section of Abington Township.
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