Own a Private Dam? Private Dam Financial Assurance Program Officially In Effect
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The latest news from PA State Representative Rosemary Brown


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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.

January word of the month is “Character.”

“Qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity.”

Swearing In Day at the Capitol
On New Year’s Day, my colleagues and I were proud to stand in the House chamber and take our oaths of office, marking the beginning of our new term as your state representatives. I also was appointed as a deputy whip of the Republican Caucus.

It truly is an honor to continue to serve as your state representative. As my fifth term begins, it is my goal to support strong government initiatives that meet the needs of Monroe and Pike County residents. I will be focused on legislative goals that work toward measures to help alleviate the large burden of school property taxes, including funding formulas, cyber charter school reimbursements, spending controls, economic development and more.

I will also be focused on reducing distracted driving behaviors, improving financial literacy for our students, private community living issues, education and many other concerns.

Please always know that our East Stroudsburg district office is open and available to help with any of your state-related needs or be a resource for you. We are located at 143 Seven Bridge Road, East Stroudsburg, and are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The best methods of contact are by phone, 570-420-8301, or by filling out a contact form on my website repbrown.com.

Own a Private Dam? Private Dam Financial Assurance Program Officially In Effect
My legislation to create the Private Dam Financial Assurance Program, which was included in the 2018-19 fiscal code, has officially gone into effect as of Wednesday, Jan. 2.

I have been working diligently with statewide private dam owners and various DEP officials over the last few years to develop this program which will benefit private dam owners by providing them support to meet their financial obligations. I am pleased to see this program finally launch and encourage all private dam owners to consider joining.

Through this self-funded program, a one-time $1,000 fee, and an annual fee of 1 percent of the bond amount required by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will be deposited into the fund. Involvement in this revolving loan program will take the place of much larger bond requirements that DEP was originally mandating. This program will also provide maintenance and repair assistance to dam owners once the fund’s balance is equal to, or greater, than $1.5 million.

For more information about this legislation, or any state-related issue, please contact my district office in East Stroudsburg. Information can also be found on online at RepBrown.com or Facebook.com/RepRosemaryBrown.
New Law Cracks Down on Repeat DUI Offenders
A new law cracking down on habitual DUI offenders is now in effect. Statistics show repeat offenders cause 40 percent of all DUI-related crashes.
Pennsylvania was previously one of four states that did not punish repeat DUIs as felonies.

Act 153 of 2018 fixes that by increasing penalties for repeated DUI crimes.
Under the new law, any individual convicted of his or her third DUI with a BAC of 0.16 or higher could be found guilty of a felony offense.
The same penalty would apply to all individuals convicted of four or more DUI offenses.

Repeat offenders who are convicted of homicide while DUI now face a minimum prison sentence of five or seven years, up from the previous three-year minimum.
Winter Safe Driving Week - January 6-12, 2019
As Jan. 6-12 is Winter Safe Driving Week, we have partnered up with Traffic Safety Coordinator for the Highway Safety Network, Tracy Fox (better known as “Safety Fox”) to provide you with up to date safety reminders and information.

Is Your Vehicle Ready For Winter?

1. Check that all lights on the vehicle are working and clean.
• Use a mixture of windshield washer fluid and a little water with a sponge to clean. This will ensure you can see, and others can see you.

2. Check your tires for proper tread and inflation.
• If you switch tires for summer and winter be sure your tires have been put back on.

3. Windshield washer fluid can run out quickly.
• Carry a spare bottle in your vehicle so you can always refill and ensure you can see out your windshield correctly.

4. Always carry a winter emergency kit in your vehicle. Include in your kit:
• Flash light with extra batteries.
• Water.
• Non-perishable food.
• Blankets.
• Sand or cat litter.
• Small shovel.
• Extra hat, gloves, scarf.
• First aid kit.
• Don’t forget about pet supplies for your furry friends if you travel with them and supplies for children.

5. Don’t go out during a storm.
• If you get stuck in a storm, pay attention to reduced speed limits.

6. Increase your following distance if there is a vehicle in front of you.
7. Don’t pass or follow too closely to plow trucks or other vehicles.
8. If the roads are wet and the temperatures start to drop, be on the lookout for black ice and remember that bridges freeze before roadways.
9. Snow squalls can come up quickly. Pull off the road as far as you can, put your four-way flashers on, stay in your vehicle and wait for it to pass.
10. Lastly, if there is snow on your vehicle be sure to clean it off ALL the windows, the hood, the roof and the trunk. You can be cited for not having them cleared off completely and if snow falling off your vehicle damages another vehicle or injures someone the fines can be up to $1,000.

Legislative Open House to Start the New Year

On Saturday, Jan. 12, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., our district office will be open for constituents to visit, enjoy a cup of coffee and speak casually with me regarding both state-related issues and my legislative initiatives for the new legislative session. Members of my staff will be available to assist with normal casework as well.
PA Farm Show Kicked Off on Saturday
The 103rd Pennsylvania Farm Show kicked off Saturday, Jan. 5, and will run through Saturday, Jan. 12. This year’s theme is “Inspiring Pennsylvania’s Story.”

In addition to all the delicious food offerings, the Farm Show features 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibitors.

Admission to the show is free, but parking is $15 per vehicle. Shuttle service is provided.

If you’re participating in or attending the Farm Show, take your camera or phone along and snap some photos. You can share your memories and photos on my Facebook page at facebook.com/reprosemarybrown . And when you’re posting the photos, don’t forget to insert the hashtag #PAFS19.

More information is available at farmshow.pa.gov.

Increased Funding to Aid Ambulance Services
Ambulance companies across Pennsylvania will see a much-needed increase in Medicaid reimbursement rates this year.

Approved as part of the 2018-19 budget, reimbursement rates have increased from $200 to not less than $300 for Advanced Life Support (ALS) services and from $120 to $180 for Basic Life Support (BLS) services, effective Jan. 1.

The increases, to be funded by $4 million in state funds and approximately $8 million in federal matching funds, are necessary to help meet growing costs faced by the Commonwealth’s emergency medical service providers. It is the first increase since 2004.

To further support these life-saving services, another new law, Act 103 of 2018, requires both private insurers and Medicaid to reimburse for treatment provided regardless of whether transport takes place. This is a common occurrence with patients suffering with diabetes as well as for drug overdose calls.

Additional initiatives to shore up the state’s fire and emergency response organizations were outlined in a recent report released under Senate Resolution 6 of 2017. The report includes 92 concepts incorporated into 27 recommendations to address challenges in the fire and EMS communities, with most of them focused on staffing, funding and training needs.
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
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