Feb. 10, 2017

 
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The latest news from PA State Representative Rosemary Brown

 
District of Character Word of the Month:
Charity

“A voluntary act of giving help; giving assistance to those in need.”
Learn more here.
 
 
Return on Taxpayer Investment in Government Spending and Streamlining Should be the Focuses in 2017-18 Budget

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The annual state budget process got underway this week, when my House colleagues and I were part of a joint session of the General Assembly to hear the governor’s budget proposal for the 2017-18 fiscal year on Tuesday. The governor provided a brief outline of his proposed spending plan. As we move forward with this year’s budget process, I want to share my thoughts with you about what I think is most important.

The Legislature and the administration need to work together and be intentional while allocating every cent of taxpayer money in this year’s budget. We need to reprioritize, and change the way we craft these budgets. One of government’s main purposes is funding our core services, and we need to proceed by reviewing each line in the budget and ensuring that our taxpayers are getting a great return on each and every cent of their investment.

Consolidating and streamlining government services, while ensuring quality results, should be another major focus. One of the services in which I am most focused continues to be those related to opioid and heroin abuse, prevention, education and treatment programs. With an epidemic as large as this, we need to ensure that the funding we allocate leads to long-term success. We need a plan, and we need to fund that plan adequately, as so many lives could be saved as a result. Throwing money at the problem without having a strong plan is irresponsible. This is also true for our public education system.

We cannot ask taxpayers to pay more until we have done our job and reined in our state’s spending in any way we can. Generating future success and prosperity for our state and its citizens is at the helm of our work as legislators. The governor mentioned early in his speech that households cannot spend more than they have and the government is not any different. I agree with that, as many of the households in the 189th District continue to struggle to make ends meet. The next few months will include responsibly finding ways to fund our budget and close the gaps that currently exist.

The next step in the budget-crafting process will be the budget hearings in the House, which will begin on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Click here for more information about the schedule.
 
 
Wearing Red for Women

My staff and I wore red last Friday for "Go Red for Women" day, to raise awareness of women's heart disease. Legislative efforts over the years have made the official designation in Pennsylvania as a way to remind women of the risks of heart disease.
  
 
Connecting Nonprofits Through 2-1-1

To raise awareness of a free service by the United Way that partners local nonprofits and social service groups together to help assist Pennsylvanians in need, the House passed House Resolution 49 recognizing Feb. 11 as “2-1-1 Day in Pennsylvania.”

By dialing 2-1-1, people are instantly connected to a wealth of information related to their area’s nonprofit and human service providers. This “one stop shop” helps people cut through red tape and more easily find the help they need. These services are offered on a regionalized approach, ensuring that people are helped by their neighbors and people in their own community. More information is available at pa211.org.

Monroe County residents can call the PoconoInfo Helpline. PoconoInfo is the local partner for 2-1-1 support and is available at 570-517-3954, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. It is available 24/7 online by clicking here. PoconoInfo is a service of Pocono Alliance with assistance through the United Way of Monroe County. The helpline is dedicated to assisting Monroe County individuals find the health and human service information they need. 
 
 
Gone Fishin’: Trout Stocking Schedules Available

Trout season is just around the corner, and local anglers are now able to find out when their favorite fishing hole will be stocked with trout by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The guides are available in print, online and on the commission’s FishBoatPA mobile app.

The commission stocks approximately 3.15 million adult trout in more than 720 streams and 120 lakes open to public angling each year. These figures include approximately 2 million rainbow trout; 640,000 brown trout; and 500,000 brook trout. The average size of the trout produced for stocking is 11 inches in length.

The statewide opening day for trout season is Saturday, April 15. Additionally, the commission will host a Mentored Youth Trout Day on Saturday, April 8, statewide. Youth under the age of 16 can join a mentor (adult) angler who has a current fishing license and trout permit to fish for trout the Saturday before the regular opening days. Youth anglers must obtain a mentored youth permit or voluntary youth fishing license as well. Click here for more information about the program.

For more information about fishing licenses or regulations, or to check the online stocking schedule, click here
 
 
Emergency Programs Can Save Lives

 
To help first responders help motorists and passengers who may be injured in car crashes, PennDOT offers two programs aimed at saving the lives of Pennsylvanians in emergency situations – the Yellow Dot and Emergency Contact Information programs.

Participants in Yellow Dot fill out the program form with emergency contact, medical contact and medical information, insert it in the program’s folder and then place it in their vehicle’s glove compartment. A yellow dot sticker affixed to the rear window alerts emergency responders to the availability of information to help them provide better care to crash victims.

The Emergency Contact Information program offers Pennsylvania driver’s license and PennDOT-issued ID holders the opportunity to log into a secure database and list two emergency contacts. Participants can update the information as needed, but only law enforcement officials can view the information in the system. In the event of an emergency, law enforcement can use a participant’s ID to find his or her emergency contact information.

The Yellow Dot program is used only in vehicle crashes, but the Emergency Contact Information program can be used in other emergencies as well as crashes. To learn more, click here.
 
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
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