PennDOT to Start Issuing REAL IDs
3/3/2019
 
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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 Proposed PA GI Bill Would Extend Participation in Education Program for PA National Guard Families  

Yesterday, Gov. Tom Wolf announced the proposal for his new PA GI Bill, Military Family Education Program, that enables members of the Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG) to earn college benefits for their spouse and children. It would be the first education program of its kind in the nation.

This program would also improve PNG retention and strengthen its readiness. The PNG is the third largest National Guard in the nation with nearly 20,000 soldiers and airmen who reside in every county across the Commonwealth.

The education benefit will be available to PNG members and existing service members transferring into the PNG who completed their initial military term and commit to an additional six years of PNG service. The program will provide for 10 semesters of tuition-free education for a family member(s). The benefit must be used at a Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency-approved educational institution, and at the tuition rate set by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

This legislation will now be considered by both the PA Senate and House.
 

Protecting the Rights of Crime Victims 

Understanding the struggle many crime victims face when seeking justice, lawmakers have been working to advance a package of bills designed to protect the rights of crime victims.

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee approved five bills for consideration by the full House. The package includes:
  • House Bill 276, a joint resolution known as Marsy’s Law, would add a victims’ bill of rights to the Pennsylvania Constitution.
  • House Bill 502 would ensure victims can attend proceedings against their abusers.
  • House Bill 503 would help victims and witnesses with intellectual disabilities or autism testify in court.
  • House Bill 504 would shield rape victims from irrelevant cross examination.
  • House Bill 505 would strengthen protections for young abuse victims.
Just as those accused of a crime have certain rights, House Republicans are ensuring crime victims are treated with dignity and respect throughout the entire criminal justice process.
 
 
Budget Hearings Continue 


The second full week of budget hearings wrapped up on Thursday, with members of the House Appropriations Committee asking agency and department officials a variety of questions about executive functions, programs and efficiencies. These questions, along with submitted written testimony, will serve as the foundation for budget negotiations this spring.

This week’s hearings featured the Pennsylvania State Police, as well as the departments of Transportation (PennDOT), Corrections, General Services, Health, and Drug and Alcohol Programs, as well as the Liquor Control Board and the Gaming Control Board.

Next week concludes the House’s budget hearings with appearances by the departments of Education, Agriculture, and Military and Veterans Affairs, as well as the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and State Employees’ Retirement System.

The full schedule is available here. The site also includes links to video of the archived hearings once available.

 
PennDOT to Start Issuing REAL IDs

 

Effective this past Friday, March 1, PennDOT will begin issuing REAL IDs.
A federally accepted form of identification must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building starting Oct. 1, 2020. A Pennsylvania REAL ID will fulfill this requirement, as will a U.S. Passport.

Under state law, REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

Pennsylvanians who have pre-verified their required documentation for obtaining a REAL ID may apply online to receive it without visiting a driver license center. PennDOT has indicated those IDs will be mailed out to recipients in 10 business days.

Residents who have not been pre-verified but wish to obtain a REAL ID will be required to bring original versions or certified copies of the following documents for verification to a local driver license center:
  • Proof of identity, such as an original or certified copy of your birth certificate with a raised or embossed seal, or a valid U.S. Passport or Passport Card. Birth certificates with a sticker rather than an embossed seal will not be accepted.

  • Proof of Social Security number by providing your Social Security card. The name on the card must match the name on your current driver license or photo identification card.

  • Proof of legal name changes, such as marriage certificates or court orders issued by a family court. You must have documentation to show all name changes from your original name on your birth certificate to your current name.

  • Proof of current, physical address, such as your current, unexpired driver license or state issued ID card, vehicle registration or utility bill. TWO forms of proof must be provided.
More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and additional guidelines on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at www.penndot.gov/REALID.

To help ease this process for our community, I will be hosting two Real ID Pre-Verification events in which PennDOT workers will be available to pre-verify you for your Real ID. The first event will be on Friday, March 15, 5-8 p.m., at the Middle Smithfield Township Building, 147 Municipal Drive, East Stroudsburg, and the second event will be on Friday, March 22, 5-8 p.m., at the Monroe County Safety Center, 100 Gypsum Road, Stroudsburg.

Registration is required for these events. To register, or for more information, please call my office at 570-420-8301.

 
Local Financial Workshops are Approaching 

 

Pocono Alliance is providing a series of workshops in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities.

Workshops will focus on a variety of topics including planning for retirement, avoiding frauds/scams, banking basics, planning for purchases and more.

These workshops are open to anyone interested in learning more about financial wellness and will be held at the Hughes Library on Route 611 in Stroudsburg.

Participants can take part in one or all of the workshops. There are a limited number of spots available for this program. Contact Misozi Houston at 570-517-3956 or email mhouston@monroecountypa.gov to register.

As an advocate for financial literacy for people of all ages, I encourage students and families to take full advantage of these workshops. Thank you to Pocono Alliance and the Department of Banking and Securities for putting these workshops together for our community.


Free Admission at Several Local Museums

To help the Commonwealth celebrate its 338th birthday on Charter Day, the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) will offer free admission to the State Museum in Harrisburg and many historic sites and museums along the Pennsylvania Trails of History on Sunday, March 10.

Pennsylvania was created when England’s King Charles II granted a charter to William Penn in 1681. Once each year, the Pennsylvania State Archives displays the original document, for a limited time, at the State Museum of Pennsylvania. For the remainder of the year the charter is safeguarded in a special vault within the archives.

Charter Day celebrates the founding of the Commonwealth and gives visitors to The State Museum of Pennsylvania a rare opportunity to see the original Charter of Pennsylvania written in 1681. This year, documents relating to the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, granting women the right to vote, including Pennsylvania’s copy of the “Joint Resolution of Congress Proposing an Amendment to the United States Constitution Extending the Right of Suffrage to Women” and Pennsylvania’s “Joint Resolution for Ratification of the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution” will be on display. The documents will be on display until 1 p.m. Friday, March 15.

For a complete list of the participating museums and historic sites in this year’s celebration, click here.

 
Historical Association Announces Winners of 14th Annual Historic Preservation Awards 


I had a wonderful time attending the Monroe County Historical Association’s preservation awards last week. Pictured above from left: Ken Sandri, Monroe County Historical Association, chair of the P.E.P. Award Committee; me; Elizabeth Tilley, recipient of the 2019 Residential Property PEP Award; and Jonathan Allotey, a representative from Sen. Mario Scavello’s office.
To select the winners the historical association judged three categories of buildings: commercial, nonprofit, and private residence. The 2019 winners included:
  • For commercial property – Ken & Company, Main Street, Borough of Stroudsburg.

  • For nonprofit property – Cattell Cabin and the Friends of Big Pocono, Jackson Township

  • For residential property – “Colonel Peter Snyder Home” owned by Elizabeth Tilley, Hamilton Township.
I want to congratulate these winners and thank the Monroe County Historical Association and their volunteers for its hard work.

 
Pleasant Valley School District’s Night of Unity 


Participating in Pleasant Valley School District’s Night of Unity is always a pleasure. This diversity-celebrating event has been put on by the school district’s diversity task force for the past 18 years. It is always a joy to see the community come together each year and enjoy a night filled with good food, fun entertainment and, most of all, learning about the different cultures that makes up our community.

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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