Juneteenth is Now a State Holiday
6/23/2019
 
 
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The latest news from PA State Representative Rosemary Brown


District of Character
The “District of Character” is an initiative I created to enhance character development and promote daily reminders for residents of the 189th District about how we can create a stronger community without policy changes. No one is perfect, but we can always work to improve our character daily.
June word of the month is “Ethics.”

“The discipline dealing with what is good, bad and with moral duty and obligation; a set of moral principles; a theory or system of moral values.”

 
Juneteenth is Now a State Holiday

 
On Wednesday, June 19, Gov. Tom Wolf signed House Bill 619, sponsored by Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin/Lebanon), into law making Juneteenth National Freedom Day a state holiday. The significance of June 19 as the date of this commemoration relates to an occurrence in Texas, where the holiday originated. On June 19, 1865, slaves in Texas first learned that they had been freed two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.

During a press conference, our very own Cleo Jarvis, president of the African American Network of the Poconos, shared her joy and appreciation of this historic day.

 

Here are my short remarks about this holiday honoring African-American freedom by emphasizing education and achievement.

 
    
A Juneteenth Celebration was also recently held at Courthouse Square in Stroudsburg by the African American Network of the Poconos (AANP). I spoke briefly that the governor is expected to sign House Bill 619, which passed the House and Senate unanimously with bipartisan efforts, on Wednesday, June 19 to make Juneteenth an official state holiday.

   
Previous to House Bill 619 we would pass resolutions yearly acknowledging the Emancipation Proclamation and African American culture. Thank you, Cleo Jarvis, AANP president, for some exercise dancing.
 

Budget Reform Package Passes the House; State Budget Expected to be Done On Time

In an effort to improve Pennsylvania’s budget process and its transparency, the House passed numerous budget reform bills this week, including my legislation to combat budget overruns, House Bill 923.

The taxpayers, regardless of their political party, deserve to have their dollars spent carefully and judiciously with justification and transparency.

If enacted, House Bill 923 would improve the Legislature’s ability to evaluate the governor’s requests for supplemental appropriations by requiring the submission of a statement about why it is needed and recommendations for cost-savings or other reforms which address the cause of the need.

Government needs, to the best of its ability, to gather complete and accurate information, especially when additional dollars (supplementals) are requested by the administration.

At its core, House Bill 923 reflects the checks and balances system of our democracy, ensuring we verify and check what each level of government is doing and why. I don’t know how as a legislator you can’t support such a request for information to better understand budgetary needs for the current situation and moving forward.

Other budget reform bills passed by the House this week are as follows:

House Bill 855: Would require the secretary of the budget to project revenue shortfalls for the fiscal year starting in December and to put amounts in budgetary reserve equal to any shortfall to balance the budget.

House Bill 920: Would update budget procedures related to unspent appropriations and how these amounts are dealt with at the close of a fiscal year.

House Bill 921: Would require the administration to issue quarterly reports on the amounts committed and awarded from special funds that provide grants and subsidies.

House Bill 922: Would require the administration to supply additional information as part of governor’s proposed budget.

As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I can tell you that both sides are working diligently to craft a budget that is beneficial to all here in the Commonwealth and it is expected to be passed by our deadline of Sunday, June 30.
 
 
Fun for All Ages Awaits at PA Fairs

 
Summer has officially arrived, and that means it’s also Pennsylvania fair season.

From June through September, communities across the Commonwealth will host more than 100 fairs featuring food, fun and entertainment as well as competitive exhibits highlighting animals, produce, crops, crafts, baking and more.

To make your fair planning easier, the Department of Agriculture is offering an interactive Fair Guide this year that will allow you to search for your favorite events through the “Find Fairs Near Me” tool or filters that narrow down fairs by county, month or date.

Click here to use the interactive tool.
 
 
Welcome Dr. Ahmad Chaudry

   
Recently, Dr. Ahmad Chaudry, DMD, MD and staff hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new Oral Surgery and Implant Center in Bethlehem. Senator Mario Scavello and our office were proud to present a plaque. Congratulations and wishing you years of success!
 
 
Salvation Army Awards Ceremony

 
Friday, June 14, the Salvation Army honored many members of our community for their generosity in time and dollars to help care for people in need as well as helping them to move forward in life.

Advisory Board Chair Gina Bertucci-Turner welcomed the group and introduced all honorees, including Bob Kelly (Distinguished Service Award), Robert Hemhauser (William H. Booth Award) and The R. Dale and Frances M.Hughes Foundation (Others Award). Thank you to all who give so much of themselves through this organization to help the people of our community.
 

Happy 100th Birthday Mr. Davis

 
Last week, I stopped in to say happy birthday to H. John Davis in Mt. Pocono as many friends and family celebrated his 100th birthday. As a lifetime member of American Legion Post 903, a veteran of our country, and 100 years of health and wisdom, he has a lot to celebrate. I reminded him of our appreciation for his service with a red, white and blue blanket from Knits for Vets and pinned him with a flag pin.

Blessings Mr. Davis and Happy Birthday! Thank you, Ken, from VIP Studios for the pictures.
 
Just a reminder: If you are encountering an issue with state government, please feel free to contact my district office. We are here to help you with the following services:      
 
 - Driver’s license and vehicle registration applications and renewals. 
 - Assistance with PennDOT paperwork (lost cards, changes, corrections, special registration plates, vanity plates, and temporary placards for disabled persons).                         
 - PACE and PACENET applications for seniors.                         
 - State Motor Vehicle and Driver Licensing Work.
 - Voter registration forms and absentee ballot applications.                         
 - State tax forms.                         
 - Student aid applications.                         
 - Free state maps, state park information, and PA Vacation Guides.                         
 - Copies of legislation and tours of the State Capitol.                         
 - Referrals to agencies to resolve state-related matters. 
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Office Locations
143 Seven Bridge Road, East Stroudsburg, PA 18301 | Phone: (570) 420-8301
210 Ryan Office Building, PO Box 202189, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2189 | Phone: (717) 260-6171
Email: rbrown@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614