Mar. 24, 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.
March word of the month is “Morality.”

“Conformity to the rules of proper conduct; moral or virtuous conduct.”

Newly Appointed as Chairman of House Special Education Subcommittee

Last week, I was appointed by House Speaker Rep. Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) to serve as the chairman of the House Special Education Subcommittee. I am honored to have been selected for this position and look forward to working closer with the House Education Committee Chairman as this session progresses.
Holding Public Officials and Employees to a Higher Standard

The House this week gave overwhelming approval to a bill that would ensure public officials or employees who commit felony crimes related to their jobs will not collect a taxpayer-funded pension.

Senate Bill 113 would expand the types of convictions that require officials or employees to forfeit their pensions to include any felony conviction, guilty plea or no contest plea related to an official’s job.

The measure would also put a stop to the practice of a person pleading guilty to lesser crimes to avoid losing their pension and closes several other loopholes that have been exploited by officials to continue to collect pensions from the state after breaking the law and violating the public trust.

The bill is now on its way to the governor for his signature.
DEP Starts Statewide Surveillance of Ticks

I'm pleased that my focused effort, launching the $500,000 grant for tick surveillance and testing for East Stroudsburg University, has set an example for our state on actions we must take to assist with Lyme and tick-borne diseases!

The Department of Environmental Protection is beginning a five-year environmental surveillance of ticks to assess the risk of tickborne illnesses across Pennsylvania.
The study is taking place in every county in Pennsylvania to track ticks’ habitats, life stages and peak activity levels and to test them for human pathogenic diseases.

The surveillance will focus on collecting three tick species: the blacklegged tick in its immature nymphal stage, when it most often infects humans with Lyme disease, as well as human babesiosis and human granulocytic anaplasmosis; the adult American dog (Dermacentor variabilis) tick, which transmits Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia; and the adult lone star (Amblyomma americanum) tick, which transmits ehrlichiosis and tularemia.

The project is being funded through the Department of Health.

Meet My Legislative Secretary Courtnay McKeal

I would like to introduce you to Courtnay McKeal, who is my legislative secretary in the Harrisburg office. She has worked for the House for many years and I am happy to have her on our team.
Highway Safety Network Aggressive Driving Enforcement Initiative

As the next wave of the aggressive driving enforcement initiative begins (Monday, March 18 through Sunday, April 28) Traffic Safety Coordinator for the Highway Safety Network Tracy Fox has some safety reminders and information for this initiative.

During this aggressive driving enforcement campaign, police agencies will be focusing on drivers who speed, commit traffic violations in work zones, fail to stop for school buses with red flashing lights, and drive distracted.

Those are only a few of the many aggressive driving behaviors that are exhibited by drivers every day. Some others are tailgating, red light running, failing to stop for stop signs, and cutting someone off. It can happen anywhere, day or night to anyone. No one is immune.

If you encounter an aggressive driver do not engage them by looking at them, making hand gestures, following them or retaliating. Find a safe location to pull over, call 9-1-1 and give a description of the vehicle make, model, color, license plate (if you can get it) and the direction they were traveling. Also, if you are able, give a description of the driver. Do not follow them to obtain this information. Tell the dispatcher how the driver was being aggressive and if there were any weapons involved.

Please, drive safely and courteously. Remember, you’re not the only life on the road.

Many New License Plate Options for PA Veterans

PennDOT is adding several new license plates to its collection honoring veterans and their service to our country.

The Honoring Our Women Veterans registration plate costs $35, of which $15 goes to the Veterans Trust Fund to be used for programs and resources that assist women veterans.

The Soldiers Medal, Presidential Service Badge and Legion of Merit registration plates each recognize veterans’ specific contributions during their service. These plates are available for a fee of $20. Veterans must be able to show that they are recipients of the respective awards.

Veterans from other countries can apply for a Veterans of an Allied Foreign Country registration plate, also available for a fee of $20.

The above plates may only be used on passenger vehicles and trucks with a registered gross weight of not more than 14,000 pounds.

Motorcycle owners can now get the Purple Heart Medal Motorcycle registration plate, which displays the words “Combat Wounded Veteran” across the bottom of the registration plate. To get the plate, applicants must be able to prove they received a Purple Heart Medal and pay the $11 fee.

Another new plate is the Historic Military Vehicle registration plate, which is available for antique or classic vehicles manufactured for use in any country’s military forces. The vehicles must be maintained to represent their original military design and markings. This plate is available for both historic military vehicles and historic military motorcycles for $75.

For more information about plates for veterans and applying for these plates, click here
Setting Up Students for Career Success

Working to ensure Pennsylvania students have a diverse array of career paths from which to choose, the state House overwhelmingly approved a bipartisan package of bills designed to boost career and technical education (CTE) at schools across the Commonwealth.

The initiatives are a cornerstone of the House Republican Caucus’ #GoodJobs4PA initiative aimed at ensuring all Pennsylvanians have access to good-paying jobs and careers.

To help students plot their path to success, there are bills that would allow technical schools to recruit students like colleges do; make it easier for students to see where credits transfer; create a database of workforce development programs at secondary and post-secondary institutions; create an online career resource center; and allow students who complete classes in STEM education to apply the credits to a course through a vocational-technical school, technical institution or vocational school.

The package is also aimed at improving business and education partnerships by creating a CTE investment incentive program, requiring CTE programs to establish advisory committees and having at least once administrator from a CTE center on each of the state’s Workforce Development Boards.

The bills now go to the Senate for consideration.

Learn more about #GoodJobs4PA here.

My Next Legislative Report to Air Soon on Channel 13

Last Monday, Sen. Mario Scavello and I taped a legislative report in Harrisburg before session. We sat down with Donel Wheeler (Knox Tolbert is his author name) who wrote the book “Unwanted.” Donel is also a middle school student from East Stroudsburg. Keep an eye out for the taping which will air on Blue Ridge Channel 13 on my legislative report as well as Sen. Scavello’s.
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
TTY: 855-282-0614