Oct. 15, 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.
October’s word of the month is “Self-Control.”
“Free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere, genuine, real.”

 REAL ID Grace Period Now Through January 2018
Pennsylvania residents who need to access federal facilities may continue to do so with a traditional PennDOT issued license through Jan. 22, 2018. The state was recently granted a grace period on enforcement through that date by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This grace period went into effect this week. The enforcement grace period applies only to entrance to federal facilities. There is also no enforcement on commercial air travel until Jan. 22, 2018.

PennDOT has begun work on the implementation of REAL ID, and estimates REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available at the customer’s option in March 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a REAL ID product to get one before the final DHS effective date of Oct. 1, 2020. Information on REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions, is available at dmv.pa.gov.

For those flying after Jan. 22, but before the new REAL-ID compliant licenses are available (expected 2019), PennDOT will submit a request to DHS for an extension until Oct. 1, 2020. Assuming DHS grants an extension, Pennsylvania residents will still be able to use their current driver's license or identification card to board domestic commercial flights and enter federal buildings.

 Recognizing Our Veterans

A tribute to those who served.
Saturday, Nov. 18, from noon to 3 p.m.
Middle Smithfield Elementary School, 5180 Milford Road, East Stroudsburg
Veterans in the189th District and their families are invited to attend. Light food will be provided by area businesses, various veteran-related services will be available, and medical screenings will be available by Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Luke's. Advanced reservations are required for this event. Please confirm your attendance before Oct. 20, by calling 570-420-8301. Please provide your name, rank, branch of service and time served.
Sign up for Pennsylvania Veterans Registry

Did you know that if you sign up for the PA Veterans Registry, through the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), you can receive weekly communications from the DMVA, including up-to-date veterans benefits and program information, as well as current employment opportunities available specifically to veterans? Register at register.dmva.pa.gov.

Monroe County Veterans Day Parade
This year’s Veterans Day Parade will take place on Sunday, Nov. 12, beginning at 1 p.m. The parade route will go from Stroudsburg High School to Dansbury Park in East Stroudsburg. The parade is presented by the Monroe County Veterans Association. To participate in the parade and receive a registration form, contact June Pepe at 570-422-2812 or veterans@esu.edu. I encourage all business and community organizations to show your support and participate.
Discussing PA’s State System of Higher Education

On Monday, I attended a meeting to discuss the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and East Stroudsburg University. Pictured (front row, from left) are PASSHE Interim Chancellor Dr. Karen Whitney, Board of Governor Chair Cynthia Shapira and ESU President Marcia Welsh; (back row, from left) are Sen. Mario Scavello, me, Rep. Jack Rader and Cooper Norquist, legislative aide to Rep. Maureen Madden.

 2nd Annual Thousand Lights Pink Walk

The 2nd Annual Thousand Lights Pink Walk was held at Moonlit Lake at Saw Creek Estates on Saturday, Oct. 7. The event was held to raise awareness for breast cancer, and the lives it affects. I attended this event with my husband and daughter, and spoke about breast cancer awareness and the state’s efforts. Thank you to everyone who attended this meaningful event, and to the Saw Creek Community for opening this up to the public.

Fighting for LIFE

On Oct. 5, I spoke as part of the event, “Fighting for LIFE,” a panel discussion on battling the opioid and heroin epidemic in the Poconos. The panel was filmed by the Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) and has been airing on its network.

Celebrating Integra Home Counseling’s Five Years of Service

On Oct. 6, I was the keynote speaker at a breakfast celebrating Integra Home Counseling’s five years of service to the Monroe County community. I spoke about the importance of financial literacy and the legislation I am sponsoring to define financial literacy as an integration of various factors relating to personal financial management, including understanding financial institutions, using money, learning to manage personal assets and liabilities, creating budgets and many other factors that may assist an individual to be financially responsible. My plan would also allow future high school students who successfully complete a course in personal financial literacy to apply up to one credit to satisfy a student’s social studies, math or consumer science requirements for graduation. This legislation House Bill 429 is scheduled to be voted on in the House Education Committee on Monday, Oct. 16. Thank you to Linda Gerkensmeyer and her tremendous team for their service to our community for the past five years.

Helping Hands and Beyond Ceremony

Herline Raphael, pictured above, spoke at the Helping Hands and Beyond (HHB) dinner and award ceremony, which I attended, on Oct. 8. HHB was established in 2009 as a nonprofit humanitarian organization to educate and promote wellness, by encouraging and stimulating healing and recovery. Herline’s team established a fully staffed medical clinic in Haiti and have sponsored over 19 mission trips while offering many additional services.

Alzheimer’s Resources Available in Our Community

Caregiver Support Group

On the second Monday of each month, from 5:30-6:30 p.m., there will be an opportunity for those who have someone they love suffering from Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia to connect with other caregivers in the community for a support group. This will take place at the Loder Senior Center in East Stroudsburg, and will be facilitated by the Alzheimer’s Association Community Outreach Volunteer Jennifer Bayer. You can contact her at 570-517-9292 or bayer4@ptd.net.

?Music Therapy for People Living with Dementia
On the first and third Tuesdays of the month, from 1-2 p.m., there will be an opportunity for those with dementia to interact with others through instrument playing and singing. This will be facilitated by Cheryl Mozdian, MM, MT-BC, Summit Music Therapy. Please RSVP to Nicole at the Friendly Community Center by calling 570-481-4330.
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