Apr. 30, 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.
April’s word of the month is “dependable.”
“A person who can be relied upon, counted on; worthy of trust.”

Sexual Assault Awareness Month in PA
Sexual assault is the most underreported crime in the United States, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement officials across the nation. An average of just 31 percent of rape and sexual assault incidents are estimated to be reported.

In an effort to bring greater awareness of the realities of sexual assault and violence, and encourage more efforts at the state and local levels toward education and prevention, I sponsored House Resolution 134, which designates April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month in Pennsylvania.

On Monday, I spoke at PA Coalition Against Rape’s (PCAR) press conference in Harrisburg, and then on the House floor about House Resolution 134. Thank you to the 50 rape crisis centers in Pennsylvania for the impactful work they do while caring for more than 30,000 rape victims and their families. And thank you to PCAR for supporting local agencies across the state. You can view my remarks in the video below.

It is estimated that one in five girls and one in six boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they are 18 years old. These are more than horrifying numbers; the lasting affects these crimes have on individuals will shape the society in which we live. The sexual violence epidemic is growing at alarming rates that is traumatizing men, women and children across our state and nation.

Every person can and should promote and share respectful behavior and care for each other and stop the harm before it occurs. Pay attention to unacceptable sexual behavior or verbiage and take action in some way to help change the actions that are unsafe. What can you do in your circle of activities to strengthen the respect among each other through your daily work. The National Sexual Assault Hotline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-656-4673.

Click here to Watch

Take Back the Night

On April 20, I also spoke at Women’s Resources of Monroe County’s “Take Back the Night” walk about House Resolution 134 and April being Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This event is symbolic in its work toward ending sexual and domestic violence.

Prize-Linked Savings Bill Heads to Senate
House Bill 1039, a bill I am sponsoring to authorize and regulate savings promotion raffles in Pennsylvania, was unanimously approved by the House this week. Savings promotion raffles are financial products offered by banks or credit unions that give depositors a chance to win prizes as they build savings. These financial products are sometimes called “no-lose lotteries” because the depositor’s balance is never at risk. Click here to learn more about the bill.

Celebrating Pennsylvania’s Small Businesses
Pennsylvania is home to one million small businesses, employing 2.5 million individuals – which equals about half of the state’s private workforce. The success of these businesses – which range from professional services, retail, and health care to construction, manufacturing, education and more – is key to improving the state’s economy.

There is plenty of reasons to celebrate, which is why April 30-May 6 has been designated Pennsylvania Small Business Week of celebrate these entrepreneurs and their impact on our economy. For more information, click here.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs can participate in the Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) Small Business Web Series and other educational programs across the state. Visit dced.gov/PASmallBiz for details, and follow along on social media by using #PASmallBiz17.

My colleagues and I recognize the valuable role these businesses play in our communities and we continuously work to create pro-small business policies, including tax fairness and regulatory reforms. Just this week, the House Finance Committee approved the Small Business Tax Fairness Package, which seeks to improve small business success by removing unnecessary impediments and leveling the playing field for small businesses in PA.

AP Students Visit the Capitol

On Tuesday, April 25, Mr. Healey and the East Stroudsburg South AP Government class visited the Capitol. Pictured above, Sen. Mario Scavello and I addressed the class as they sat in the Senate Chamber. Mr. Healey continues with his good work of exposing his students to the real workings of government.

Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors

During the Pennsylvania State Association Township Supervisors (PSATs) conference on Monday in Harrisburg, Rep. Jack Rader (R-Monroe) and I met with Hamilton Township Supervisor Lawrence Buzzard, “Buddy.” The conference included seminars about best practices for enforcing ordinances, EMS agencies and townships helping each other, keeping township ordinances current in a changing legal landscape, and staying on top of Right-to-Know laws and open record requirements, among many others.

Recognizing Chief Warrant Officer Larry Murphy

I attended the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center’s annual gala in West Chester on April 22 to present Chief Warrant Officer (CW4) Larry Murphy, an East Stroudsburg resident, with a House citation. He was honored at this event for piloting a CH-47 helicopter in Afghanistan and making an extraordinary rooftop landing. He retired his military service from the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 2013 after serving nearly 38 years. It was a great honor to attend this meaningful event. Thank you, Officer Murphy and your family, for your service!

Pocono Friends of Scouting Dinner

On April 20, I attended the Pocono Friends of Scouting dinner. This year’s dinner honored Paul and Judy Schuchman with the Distinguished Citizen Award for their philanthropic support throughout Monroe County. Dr. Greg Menio received the Good Scout Award for many years of dedicated service to youth in scouting. Dr. John Brinker was the chairman of the event and did a great job. Proceeds from the event benefitted local scouts and the Scoutreach program in the Minsi Trails Council’s Pocono District. Pictured above are Sen. Mario Scavello, Dr. Greg Menio, Elizabeth Menio, Paul Schuchman and Judy Schuchman.

Protecting the Second Amendment
To prevent local governments from enacting their own laws seeking to diminish the Second Amendment, the House gave its approval to House Bill 671 this week. Although Commonwealth law already stipulates that local governments cannot pass their own firearms laws, some communities have done so anyway. As a result, citizens with no criminal intent are placed in danger of breaking rules they don’t know exist.

House Bill 671 would deter local jurisdictions from imposing illegal ordinances by requiring them to reimburse reasonable attorney fees and costs to bring a lawsuit challenging the illegal ordinance. The measure, which was originally enacted in 2014, directly responds to a state court decision which ruled the law unconstitutional. That ruling was based on technical grounds, and the substance of the legislation was never called into question.

Additionally, the annual Second Amendment Rally will be held Monday, May 22, at 10 a.m. in the Main Rotunda of the State Capitol.
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
Email: rbrown@pahousegop.com
TTY: 855-282-0614