Jul. 28, 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.”

National Guard Parity Bill Now Law

Working to ensure equity for the dedicated members of the Pennsylvania National Guard, a new law requires them to be compensated at the same level as their U.S. military counterparts.

Specifically, the law requires pay for deputy adjutant generals and general officers in command positions permanently employed by the Commonwealth be equivalent to the federal military base pay. In addition to specifying the eligibility requirements and conditions for the pay increase, this new law also determines how the cost-of-living adjustment is to be calculated.

Under previous law, the Pennsylvania National Guard adjutant general and uniformed deputy adjutant generals earned significantly less than their active duty counterparts, though they maintain the same military standards and comparable senior executive responsibilities.
Smithfield Gateway Construction is Underway

For the many constituents who have been inquiring about when Smithfield Gateway construction will begin-Nicole Walters from Channel 13 offers a quick recap along with some details on preserving pieces of history during this first phase. As the project continues, I will work extremely hard to keep roadwork sinage present so you may prepare for any delays.

Click here for the full story.
National Heat Stroke Prevention Day
Submitted by Tracy Fox from Highway Safety Network

National Heat Stroke Prevention Day is July 31, 2019. Traffic Safety Coordinator Tracy Fox from the Highway Safety Network has some safety reminders for this initiative.

It’s unimaginable, but it happens – a child is left in a hot car and dies because of heat stroke. It can happen to anyone. Busy schedules, changes in a routine, a rear facing car seat looks the same with or without the baby in it, children or babies fall asleep and become quiet passengers. These are just a few examples of how it can happen. So, please don’t think it can’t happen to you.

In 2018, we experienced the highest number of fatalities in one year, with 52 children dying after being left in hot cars (the national average is 38). The children ranged in age from 1 month to 11 years old. As of July 21, 2019, 21 children have died already this year.

How quickly can this happen? A child’s body will overheat 3-5 times faster than an adult’s body. The normal adult body temperature is 98.6 degrees. At 108 degrees, death can occur. Here’s an example: On a 70-degree, sunny day, a car can heat up to 104 degrees in 30 minutes. At one hour, that temperature can reach 113 degrees. Leaving the windows cracked open at the top does not slow the heating process or decrease the maximum temperature.

Pennsylvania state law on leaving an unattended child in a motor vehicle states “A person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle may not permit a child under six years of age to remain unattended in the vehicle when the motor vehicle is out of the person’s sight and under circumstances which endanger the health, safety or welfare of the child. This includes on highways and trafficways and for the purposes of this section only, the term “trafficways” shall include but not be limited to parking lots.” Violations of this section are considered a summary offense and it is a separate offense for each child left unattended. If a child should die after being left unattended in a vehicle, criminal charges could also be filed.

So, what can you do to help avoid another tragedy:

• Put something in the back seat that you will need when you get to your destination, such as a purse, briefcase, laptop or work ID.
• Make it a habit to always open the back door to be sure no one is left behind.
• Plan with the day care or caretaker that if the child doesn’t arrive by a certain time that they call you right away.
• Always make sure to keep your vehicle locked to keep kids from climbing into an unattended vehicle.
• Should your child get stuck inside a locked vehicle, teach them to honk the horn to get someone’s attention.
• If a child goes missing, immediately check the insides and trunks of all the vehicles in the area.
• Try to use drive-thru services for banks, pharmacies, etc. and pay at the pump for gas.
• If you are not the parent that usually transports the child, place a note on the dash to remind you that you have your child. Set up a plan that the other parent calls to verify the child was dropped off.
• If you see a child alone in a vehicle, call 9-1-1 immediately. If they appear in distress, get them out of the vehicle as quickly as possible.

Children are our most precious cargo, so help prevent another tragedy…please, LOOK BEFORE YOU LOCK!

Questions or comments can be emailed to tfox@hsnetwork.org.
Stopping Bad Robocalls Act Advances to U.S. House Floor for Consideration

Last week in Washington, D.C., a House panel voted to advance legislation aimed at protecting U.S. consumers from the billions of illegal robocalls made every year.

The Stopping Bad Robocalls Act had accrued 152 co-sponsors and passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee, 49-0. The bipartisan legislation takes aim at the illegal spam calls, often from scammers seeking to collect personal information on vulnerable consumers, by toughening up the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) ability to crack down on the scourge.

It would require telephone carriers to implement technology that verifies caller identity without charging customers an extra fee. The measure would also give the FCC more time to investigate and punish illegal robocalling operations, require the agency to pare down the list of companies that are allowed to use robocalling services, and raise the penalty for illegal robocallers to $10,000 per violation from $1,500.

A bipartisan amendment passed by the committee would establish a "hospital robocall protection group" to issue best practices for dealing with robocallers posing as hospitals, seeking to pull sensitive medical information from patients.

The act would additionally require the FCC to submit evidence of robocall violations to the Department of Justice (DOJ) for criminal prosecution and initiate a proceeding to protect customers from “one-ring” scams, which occur when fraudulent calls only ring once, encouraging the recipient to call back the number and potentially rack up fees.

Emergency Programs Can Save Lives

Drivers are reminded of two voluntary programs aimed at saving the lives of residents in emergency situations. Participation in both programs is free of charge.

Under PennDOT’s Yellow Dot program, participants fill out the program form with emergency contact, medical contact and medical information, insert it in the program’s folder and then place it in their vehicle’s glove compartment. A yellow dot sticker affixed to the rear window alerts emergency responders to the availability of information to help them provide better care to crash victims.

The Emergency Contact Information program offers Pennsylvania driver’s license and PennDOT-issued ID holders the opportunity to log into a secure database and list two emergency contacts. Participants can update their records as needed, but only law enforcement officials can view the information in the system. In the event of an emergency, law enforcement can use a participant’s ID to find his or her emergency contact information.

The Yellow Dot program is used only in vehicle crashes, but the Emergency Contact Information program can be used in other emergencies as well.


State Dedicates 486-acre Addition to Delaware State Forest 

This past Monday, officials from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources joined the state's Bureau of Forestry in dedicating a 486-acre addition to the Delaware State Forest. This is wonderful news for the Poconos, Pike County and the state of Pennsylvania!

Read more about it here.

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