May. 05, 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.
May word of the month is “Prudence.”

“The ability to govern and discipline oneself by use of reason; skill and good judgment in utilizing resources.”

Don’t Drive Distracted, #ItCanWait

Last Tuesday, I held a distracted driving press conference to highlight my hand-held cellphone ban legislation, House Bill 37, and bring attention to the horrible impact distracted driving was in our state. I was happy to be joined by several colleagues including Sen. Mario Scavello as well as supportive local organizations and families impacted by distracted driving!

We know all too well the dangers of distracted driving and the devastation that it inflicts here in Pennsylvania as well as across the country. It is time that we work together to pass this commonsense legislation to better protect our residents and their families! It is time to put down our phones when driving and focus on the roads ahead!

After the press conference, I took the no-text-pledge and experienced AT&T’s distracted driving simulator which we had set up at the Capitol for anyone to use. Thank you AT&T for your commitment to be at the Capitol as well as your national slogan and public awareness campaign #ItCanWait.
Our Anniversary Tea Celebration Registration Deadline is Tomorrow!

The registration deadline for our Anniversary Tea is tomorrow, Monday, May 6, at 5 p.m.!

Our Anniversary Tea will be held on Friday, May 17, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. at the Shawnee Fire Company #1, 102 Firehouse Lane, Shawnee-on-Delaware.

If you or anyone you know is celebrating 50 or more years of marriage and is interested in attending this event, please register through my district office at 570-420-8301.
Good News for PA Budget, Taxpayers
We have some great economic news to report related to the state budget!
State revenue collections are more than $828 million ahead of estimates with two months to go in the current fiscal year. But that does not mean we should be spending it all.

House and Senate Republicans came together last week to stress our intention to devote much of the additional funding to building up the state’s reserves for the next “rainy day” to help ensure we can weather the next economic slowdown.

Watch the press conference here.

The Commonwealth’s revenue growth is the result of pro-growth policies and our commitment to standing up for taxpayers – and standing against excessive taxes and spending proposed by the governor over the last several years.

We will continue that commitment through this year’s budget negotiations. A final 2019-20 state budget is due by June 30.

Find further details on Pennsylvania’s revenues here.

Government Done Right – Pennsylvania Needs an Upgrade

House Republicans are devoting the month of May to giving our state government a long-overdue upgrade.

Having “government done right” means upgrading to a more effective and efficient government while providing core services. It means repealing out-of-date laws, reexamining the effectiveness of some state boards and commissions, and putting a stop to the red tape and overregulation that has tied the hands of job creators and hampered economic progress.

We kicked off the effort this week by passing House Bill 762 to require state agencies to designate a regulatory compliance officer to facilitate better understanding of new and existing regulations and boost compliance rates among affected businesses.

We also passed House Bill 509, which would boost transparency in the permitting process by requiring agencies to post information online and create an accessible tracking system for applicants to check the status of their applications.

Finally, we started a spring cleaning of sorts to get rid of some our most outdated, irrelevant laws. These include measures that regulate when things can or cannot happen on Sundays, such as movie times, baseball and football games and even playing music. Other laws we are working to repeal include antiquated sections of our Public School Code and the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children, which closed in 2009.

You can read more about what we are doing to improve Pennsylvania’s government here.  
Prevent Lyme: Free Tick-Testing Available

With May designated as Lyme Disease Awareness Month in Pennsylvania, individuals who spend time outdoors should check themselves for ticks and be aware of the symptoms of Lyme disease and other tick-related ailments.

The first line of defense against Lyme is to take precautions in the outdoors by using insect repellent with DEET, wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, checking for – and promptly and properly removing – any ticks, and showering shortly after exposure. If you are like me and try to use chemical bug sprays as little as possible, spraying from the knees down may reduce your contact with a tick by 70 percent.
If bitten, an individual should monitor the area for the next month. Symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pain, a bull’s eye rash may appear (only about 40% of the time), and other symptoms that can be mistaken for viral infections, such as influenza or infectious mononucleosis.

Pennsylvania has led the nation in confirmed cases of Lyme disease for three straight years.

Last year, I led the initiative to allocate $500,000 in grant dollars for East Stroudsburg University’s (ESU) tick-testing lab to allow all Pennsylvania residents to have ticks (found on them or a family member) tested for free by the university. The Tick Lab is located within the Dr. Jane Huffman Wildlife Genetics Institute at ESU. Click here to access the Tick Lab website with all the details.

For tips about how to protect yourself from Lyme disease, click here.
Clean Water Lobby Day in Harrisburg

Thursday was Clean Water lobby day in Harrisburg and I met with several individuals to discuss policies involving our water in Pennsylvania. Emily Renaldi and guests with the Delaware River Watershed and I had a great conversation about current efforts.
Congratulations to Sam Matrisciano and Alex Kelly on Achieving Rank of Eagle Scout 

Last Sunday, I attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for Sam Matrisciano and Alex Kelly, seniors at Notre Dame High School. Both of these wonderful young men worked extremely hard and achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, displaying their commitment to education, skill development and exceptional character. Congratulations Sam and Alex!

Honoring a Local Lyme Disease Advocate

Last Thursday, local resident Mikki Weiss was presented a plaque by the county commissioners for her tireless efforts regarding Tick Borne Disease at the Pike County Commissioners meeting in Milford. PA State Rep. Mike Peifer, Senator Lisa Baker, and I also presented a plaque to Mikki.
She helped start the Pike County Tick Borne Disease Taskforce in 2015.

First Picture: Pictured from left, Commissioner Matthew Osterberg, Mikki Weiss, Commissioner Ronald Schmalzle and Commissioner Steve Guccini.

Second Picture: Pictured from left, Mikki and Christian Ferro, from my district office.
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