Mar. 17, 2017

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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. Click here to learn more.
The word of the month for March is “tolerance.”
“A fair, objective and permissive attitude toward those whose opinions, beliefs, practices, racial or ethnic origins, etc., differ from one’s own.” 
As the snow removal and cleanup process continues in our area, I just want to send my thanks to PennDOT, municipal crews and private personnel who have worked so hard this week, with many long hours, to help keep our roads open and our communities safe. I am thankful for their efforts, and looking forward to the first day of spring on Monday!
Area K-9 Units Assist with Curbing Illegal Drug Epidemic

Each month, I produce a new Legislative Report focused on an issue of significance to the people in our area. This month, I talked with Pocono Mountain Regional Police Patrol Cpl. Matthew Nero and K-9 Niko to bring awareness to the important work their team does throughout our community. Police dogs are able to detect the smell of illegal drugs, and are a true enforcement partner in fighting crime.

These dogs and their officers serve in many important roles across our state, and they deserve our appreciation. During our conversation we specifically talked about how these K-9s are doing their part to help curb the illegal drug epidemic in our area. You can watch our interview on Thursday mornings at 8:30 a.m. on Blue Ridge TV Channel 13.
Local Girl Scout Completes Silver Award

Cadette Emma Thompson recently earned the Girl Scout Silver Award (the highest award possible at the Cadette level) by displaying her organized, determined and dedicated spirit to improving the world around her. Emma dedicated more than two years and 100 hours of service to her project, which consisted of two parts. She collected, sorted, cleaned and bagged 1,959 pairs of shoes that she donated to Soles4Souls, an organization that collects and distributes shoes to those in need. In a separate collection, she cleaned and sorted an additional 58 pairs of shoes, and placed each pair in a decorative bag with an inspirational tag attached. Those shoes were donated locally to Women’s Resources. Emma is a member of Barret Troop 50705. Great job, Emma! You’re a true inspiration and a light in our community. Keep up the wonderful work.
Recognizing Hannah Callowhill Penn

To continue our theme of recognizing incredible women throughout Pennsylvania’s history – as March is Women’s History Month – I share with you Hannah Callowhill Penn. Hannah was born in 1671 in England, came to America in 1699, and then lived in southeastern PA. Hannah, a Quaker, married Pennsylvania’s founder William Penn in March 1696, and was the mother to the couple’s eight children. When William fell ill in 1712 after suffering several complications related to strokes that left him incapacitated, Hannah technically became our state’s first female governor, as she ran the colony for six years. This makes her the only woman to have controlled a British proprietary colony for so long. Click here to learn more about Hannah Callowhill Penn
Meeting with U.S. Army War College Representatives

Last week at the state Capitol, a joint House and Senate informational meeting was held with officers and students from the U.S. Army War College’s Advanced Strategic Arts Program. As a member of the committee, I attended this meeting, where the group discussed a number of issues, from veteran-related legislation to the border patrol and the heroin crisis. The group is pictured here in the Main Rotunda following the meeting.
Celebrating Our Volunteer Fire Departments

Thank you to both the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Department and Stroud Township Volunteer Fire Department for the honor to attend as a guest at their annual banquets on March 11. It was a pleasure to present the year of service awards at these events and thank our volunteers for the tremendous service they offer my constituents and the community. I am pictured (left) with Sen. Mario Scavello and Chief Dave Timko of the Shawnee Fire Department.
Valentine Celebration at Shepherd’s Maternity Home

The Shepherd’s Maternity Home mission is to provide shelter, care, counseling and education for expectant mothers in our area. On March 12, Sen. Mario Scavello and I attended the 15th Annual Valentine Celebration at Ridgecrest at the Stroudsmoor Country Inn, where Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, Most Reverend Bishop Joseph Bambera, was honored for his ongoing support of the Shepherd’s Maternity Home and all programs of Catholic Social Services of the Diocese of Scranton. Thank you, Bishop Bambera, for all that you do. I presented him with a House citation in honor of his service.
Area Vietnam Veteran Visits House Floor

It was a true honor to recognize Alfred and Alice Fariole on March 13, when they visited the state House and met with me on the House floor. Alfred was a sergeant in the Air Force from 1968-1972, and served two years in Vietnam and is a retired constable. We thank him and his family – and all our veterans – for their service to our great nation.
Improving PA’s Unfriendly Adoption Policies

The House passed eight bills this week to improve the state’s unfriendly adoption policies by ensuring birth parents, adoptive parents and children can benefit from a smoother process. From shortening the period in which a birth parent can revoke his or her consent to an adoption from 30 days to 14, to ensuring birth parents have access to adoption-related counseling services, we are doing what we can to better the adoption process in Pennsylvania. All bills have been sent to the Senate.
Expanding Educational Choice

Also this week, the House voted to expand the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and the Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC), two popular tax credit programs that have allowed thousands of families to choose the best education for their kids. House Bill 250 increases the amount of tax credits available for EITC by $50 million (to total a record $175 million), and OSTC by $25 million (to total $75 million). This bill has also been sent to the Senate for consideration. 
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
164A East Wing, PO Box 202189, Harrisburg, PA 17120-2189 | Phone: (717) 260-6171
TTY: 855-282-0614