Hands-Free Driving Legislation Press Conference
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.
September word of the month is “Sensitivity.”
“Being aware of the feelings of others and reacting accordingly.”
Brown Held Press Conference on Her Hands-Free Driving Legislation to Address the Need for Action


On Monday, Sept. 24, I hosted a press conference in the Capitol Media Center to urge action my hands-free driving legislation, House Bill 1684.

Time and time again, we hear about serious or fatal accidents that stem from drivers using their cell phones while driving. Too many innocent lives have been taken by those who deemed it necessary to be on their phone instead of paying attention to the road in front of them. House Bill 1684 seeks to curb handheld cell phone use while driving which, in turn, would help reduce the amount of cell phone-related accidents.

House Bill 1684 would prohibit calls on hand-held mobile telephones in Pennsylvania, except with the use of hands-free accessories, while operating a moving motor vehicle. Also, no person under the age of 18 years of age would be permitted to use ANY mobile telephone, including one with a hands-free accessory while operating a moving motor vehicle.

Exemptions included in House Bill 1684 are as followed:

  • Using hand-held mobile telephone during emergency situations only if the vehicle is not equipped with hands-free technology.
  • Permitting emergency responders, while in performance of their official duties, to only use hand-held mobile telephones if their vehicles are not equipped with hands-free technology.
This bill is in the House awaiting second consideration.
House Votes to Empower Victims

In a historic, bipartisan vote, the House passed legislation that would empower victims of sexual abuse by eliminating the criminal statute of limitations for prosecutions of sexual abuse of minors and extending the civil statute of limitations for lawsuits alleging sexual abuse of minors until the victim reaches 50 years of age.

Among its most notable provisions, the House voted to open a two-year statute of limitations window for those victims claiming abuse who are beyond the age of 50.

According to statistics, one-third of victims of child sex abuse disclose the incidents when they are still children, while another one-third never disclose. For the remaining one-third, studies show that the average age to disclose is 52.

This legislation, Senate Bill 261, includes several of the recommendations outlined by the state attorney general after the August release of a report alleging widespread coverup of sexual abuse within the Catholic church across the state and dating back generations. Another one of the recommendations -- which would increase penalties for mandated reporters who continue to fail to report suspected child abuse and broaden the “continuing course of action” provision -- was reported out of the House Children and Youth Committee on Wednesday. That goes now to the House floor.
The Senate bill now goes back to that chamber for concurrence.
Speaking with Kiwanis Club of the Poconos - Daybreak


I enjoyed being the guest speaker for the Kiwanis Club of the Poconos – Daybreak early last Wednesday morning. Thank you to the group for great questions and conversation. Pictured with me above are proud members Steve Kozar and Andy Geering, who is president).
Delaware Township Fall Harvest Festival


Great job Rebecca Gray, chairman of Delaware Township Recreation Committee, and the committee as well as the supervisors for organizing another wonderful Fall Harvest Festival! The weather was wonderful at Akenac Park, which was filled with families and vendors enjoying the day. It was a pleasure to be there to speak with residents regarding any of their questions, suggestions or concerns. Look for the Harvest Festival again next year!
Recognizing Local Photographer Nicodemo Rinaldis


The Twin Towers 2 days before September 11, 2001 


Sky Top Mountain

I wanted to take the time to recognize Nicodemo Rinaldis, a local photographer who resides in our area. Rinaldis showcases the world around us through his photographs and reminds us all of the true beauty that surrounds us every day. Above are a few examples of his work. Should you wish to view more of his work, you can visit his website. Nicodemo, now retired, is devoted to teaching and traveling with his photography. His photographs are also proudly displayed at Skytop Resort and Lodge in the district.
Bushkill Reformed Church Fall Community Day


I stopped in at Bushkill Reformed Church’s Fall Community Day, where families enjoyed time together with games, hay rides and our very own Bushkill Volunteer Fire Company serving up some delicious food! Also, I learned of their many Christian counseling services they offer. The Rev. Jim Virtue and his team offered a fun day for our community.
Meeting with DEP Deputy Secretary on Clean/Regulated Fill Standards


Clean fill and regulated fill standards are a big issue in Monroe and Pike counties, especially with our close proximity to New York and New Jersey.

Unfortunately, we receive a high volume of out-of-state fill material that contains various levels of allowed contaminants and is classified either as “clean” or, where higher levels of contaminants exist, “regulated.”

State Rep. Marcia Hahn (R-Northampton), Sen. Mario Scavello (R-Northampton/Monroe) and I met earlier this week with Deputy Secretary George Hartenstein from the Department of Environmental Protection to discuss our concerns with the environmental impact that dumping of out-of-state fill material in our region is having.
Monroe County Veterans Parade Set for Nov. 4

On Nov. 4, at 1 p.m., the Monroe County Veterans Association will be hosting a Veterans Parade that will begin at Stroudsburg High School and end at Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg.

If any local groups or organization would like to participate in the parade this year, click here for the application and parade rules/fees. Applications and fees should be submitted to the Monroe County Veterans Association no later than Monday, Oct. 22.
Prescription Bottle Collection for Bushkill Lions Club Update

THANK YOU so much to everyone who has helped to collect prescription bottles to donate to the Bushkill Lions Club. My office has stopped collecting bottles due to the overwhelming donations we have received. Thank you again for your help with this meaningful project.

Organizations Given Option of Carrying EpiPens

To help save lives in emergency situations, the House unanimously approved legislation this week that would allow law enforcement and a variety of organizations and businesses to carry epinephrine auto-injectors, known as EpiPens.

House Bill 126 would permit a number of entities – law enforcement, recreation camps, colleges, universities, day cares, youth sports leagues, amusement parks, restaurants, places of employment and sports arenas – to stock a supply of EpiPens in the event a patron comes in contact with an allergen and has an anaphylactic reaction, which could be fatal.

Under the bill, a designated employee must receive training in how to recognize signs and symptoms of severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis; standards and procedures for the storage and administration of an epinephrine auto-injector; and emergency follow-up procedures. Immunity would be granted for those who reasonably administer the EpiPen in good faith.

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) reports that as many as 15 million individuals have food allergies, and 6 million of those individuals are children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the prevalence of food allergies in children increased by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011.

The bill has been sent back to the Senate for agreement.
Emergency Alert to Sound Test Next Week

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will conduct a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) on Oct. 3.

The wireless portion of the test commences at 2:18 p.m. EDT, and the EAS portion follows at 2:20 p.m. EDT. The test will assess the operational readiness of the infrastructure for distribution of a national message and determine whether improvements are needed.

The WEA test message will be sent to cell phones that are connected to wireless providers participating in WEA. During this time, WEA compatible cell phones that are switched on, within range of an active cell tower and whose wireless provider participates in WEA should be capable of receiving the test message. Some cell phones will not receive the test message, and cell phones should only receive the message once.

The EAS test is made available to EAS participants (i.e., radio and television broadcasters, cable systems, satellite radio and television providers, and wireline video providers) and is scheduled to last approximately one minute. The test message will be similar to regular monthly EAS test messages with which the public is familiar.

The WEA system is used to warn the public about dangerous weather, missing children and other critical situations through alerts on cell phones. The national test will use the same special tone and vibration as with all WEA messages (i.e. tornado warning, AMBER Alert). Users cannot opt out of receiving the WEA test.
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