Jul. 21, 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.
July word of the month is “Temperance.”

“Moderation in action, thought, or feeling; showing restraint.”
Community Comes Together to Welcome Home Petty Officer 1st Class Kari Raffensberger

Thursday night, I stopped by to welcome home Petty Officer 1st Class Kari Raffensberger (Military Intelligence Specialist) as she was escorted to Jimmy’s Hilltop Ice Cream in Brodheadsville after a year of service in Afghanistan.

Many were there to greet her. Desert Storm veteran Jason Wenton and his wife, Georgette, (pictured above) made sure they were there and understand the many sacrifices of going overseas. Jeff Gilbert, President of Rotary of the Stroudsburgs, also attended to show his support. Many blessings to all that helped escort her and took the time to be there to welcome Kari home! If we could only welcome each veteran home like this always!

I also want to thank Warriors’ Watch Riders, Common Ground MC, Pocono Mountain Hog chapter, B.A.C.K, Touch Of Home, Pocono Raceway Pace cars, numerous police departments and fire departments, West End Fire Company for helping make this welcome home possible.

Remember that if you know a veteran coming home, please contact my office as I would always like to welcome them home and be a resource.
Local East Stroudsburg Native Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in U.S. Army

Due to a glitch in our system, the above photo of Matthew did not show up in last week’s eblast.

Congratulations to Matthew Horton, a 2015 graduate of East Stroudsburg High School North. In May 2019, he graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s in health care management and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.

This young man has just turned 22 years old and has been assigned to the 4th Brigade Combat Team Airborne, 25th Infantry Division as an Artillery Officer, based at Fort Richardson in Anchorage Alaska.

Matthew's parents are Roy and Marisela Horton of Tamiment and his younger sister, Barbara, is entering the third grade.

So proud of Matthew and his outstanding achievements! Wishing you continued success.

Sign Up for the New Spotted Lanternflyer for Updates from Department of Agriculture

The PA Department of Agriculture has created the Spotted Lanternflyer, an e-newsletter to share the latest happenings related to the invasive Spotted Lanternfly. It includes updates on treatment, research, permitting, quarantine, life cycle and more.

Follow the link below to sign up for the newsletter.

House GOP Advocacy Leads to New Laws to Ensure Fairness, Justice

Working to ensure justice is served for victims of crime in the Commonwealth, several initiatives championed by House Republicans aimed at improving the effectiveness and fairness of court proceedings were recently signed into law.

Recognizing that children and people with intellectual disabilities are often targeted as victims and may have more difficulty handling the trauma of testifying in court, two laws expand the situations in which out-of-court statements by victims or witnesses may be used in lieu of in-person testimony.

Act 31 of 2019 adds several different crimes – such as human trafficking, sexual abuse and related offenses – to the statute allowing out-of-court statements by children. Act 30 of 2019 extends the ability of the court to accept out-of-court statements made by people with intellectual disabilities or autism.

Other measures recently signed into law to address court proceedings include Act 23 of 2019, which ensures a victim is permitted to be present at any criminal proceeding unless the court determines the victim’s own testimony would be altered by hearing other witnesses; and Act 24 of 2019, which prevents prosecutors from bringing up a victim’s sexual history or prior allegations of sexual abuse while prosecuting certain crimes.

Learn more about our victim protection initiatives here.
Supporting Foster and Adopted Children

Working to ensure success for children in the foster system and those who have been adopted, the General Assembly has enacted three new laws.

Act 14 of 2019 promotes the placement in adoptive homes of children who have disabilities or are otherwise hard to place due to age, sibling relationships or ethnicity. The law allows family members who are granted permanent legal custodianship for qualified children up to 21 years of age to receive subsidies for their care.

Act 16 of 2019 assists children in the foster care system with the challenges of accessing higher education opportunities by creating a tuition and fee waiver option for youth in foster care, who were adopted from the foster care system, or have aged out of foster care. Statistics indicate only 50% of foster youth graduate from high school, only 20% go to college and less than 10% complete their postsecondary education.

Act 47 of 2019 simplifies the process for certain adoptions by allowing a prison employee to serve as a witness to the completion of an adoption consent form by an incarcerated birth parent. If a second witness is unavailable, the new law allows the consent to be acknowledged before a notary public. Under prior law, potential adoptions were delayed for months, leaving the child stuck in the system rather than under the care of adoptive parents.

Removing Barriers to Employment

Building on our long-term efforts to promote economic opportunity and remove barriers to work, the General Assembly has passed a new law improving the portability of professional licenses.

Act 41 of 2019 requires the licensing boards and commissions under the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) to provide licensure by endorsement for applicants who hold similar licenses in other states. It also offers a provisional endorsement license to quickly move these professionals into the work force.

Under prior law, professionals moving into the state – including members of the military and their families – faced a number of barriers and delays in obtaining the appropriate licenses to reenter the work force, creating a financial burden for them and their families. In some cases, the delays could lead to missed job opportunities or even a decision to avoid moving to the Commonwealth.

The law is a win-win for both employees and employers.

Monroe County Senior Expo

Last week, I had a fantastic time at the Senior Expo co-hosted by Sen. Mario Scavello, Reps. Jack Rader and Maureen Madden, and me. It was an incredible turnout. Countless government agencies and local nonprofits showed up with the purpose of helping seniors, hearing their concerns and answering their questions.

Thank you to all the vendors and seniors who attended. It was a pleasure to chat with so many of the 189th’s constituents and all others!

Happy 100th Birthday Local Veteran, H. John Davis

I recently stopped by Mt. View Park to both thank and celebrate the 100th birthday of WWII veteran H. John Davis and the American Legion. American Legion Post 903 hosted this event and music was offered by veteran Aaron Ragg. As a disabled veteran, Aaron started The Pocono Hawk WHKK-08 and began his DJ business. Thank you once again to all of our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifices. Blessings!
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