May. 28, 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.
May’s word of the month is “patience.”
“The ability to endure a trying situation without complaint, loss of temper or becoming irritated.”

Have a Safe Memorial Day!
Monday, May 29, is Memorial Day – a day where we all join together to honor the men and women who have sacrificed their lives serving in our nation’s Armed Forces. THANK YOU to those who serve, those who previously served, and the surviving family and friends of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. As a nation we will come together on Monday to remember all our servicemen and servicewomen we’ve lost, and we will honor their lives and service. Please remember to talk with your children on the true meaning of Memorial Day. For more information on Memorial Day and its history, click here.

Bill Aims to Ensure Pennsylvanians’ Access to Flights, Federal Buildings Continues
Pennsylvanians would not have to purchase identification that complies with the federal REAL ID Act under legislation on its way to the governor’s desk.

Under Senate Bill 133, residents would be able to choose between a REAL ID or a standard driver’s license or photo ID. Residents who choose the standard form of identification must have a passport or other REAL ID-compliant identification to board an airplane or enter a federal building once the new system is in place.

It is not yet clear how long it will take to fully implement REAL ID in Pennsylvania, so the Commonwealth will be requesting an extension from the federal government. Assuming the extension is granted, Pennsylvanians will be able to continue using their current form of state-issued identification to board airplanes or enter federal buildings.

Offering residents a choice allows Pennsylvania to comply with the requirements of federal law while also avoiding unnecessary burdens on taxpayers who would face higher costs for the new form of identification. Gov. Tom Wolf has indicated he will sign the bill.

May 2017 Legislative Report
Click here to Watch
You can click this link for my latest legislative report featuring D.B. Bennett and Tom Bowditch, members from the Monroe County Joint Veterans Honor Guard. As a member of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, I have the opportunity to work on the front lines with legislation and public policy related to our veteran and military communities. That is why I want to make you aware of this very good-hearted, patriotic, civic-minded group in our area.

The honor guard is an independent, small group of veterans, which was formed back in 2011. The guard is in desperate need of members. Since it began six years ago, the honor guard has attended more than 400 funerals and has never charged a veteran’s family for its services. Thank you to all our veterans and their families!

Exploring Welfare Reform
On May 18, I joined my House Majority Policy Committee colleagues for a hearing about welfare reform efforts in the Commonwealth, including qualification and access to programs, as well as tackling waste, fraud and abuse. Every dollar we can save from waste, fraud and abuse is a dollar that can go to someone who truly needs it. The hearing was held at the West Side Career Technology Center in Luzerne County.

Financial Literacy Fair
As I continue to push for financial literacy coursework requirement in our school curriculum, on May 18, my office co-hosted another Financial Literacy Fair. It was held at Stroudsburg High School with the NE PA Community Federal Credit Union. This is an interactive financial literacy tool for young adults. It’s a hands-on simulation experience in which students identify their career choice and starting salaries. At the fair, each student completes a budget sheet requiring them to use their monthly salary to pay for basics such as housing, utilities and food. Each student faces the “Wheel of Reality,” which presents some of life’s surprises, and then meets with a financial counselor to discuss the experience. For more information about reality fairs, visit here.

Congratulations to Our Mrs. Pennsylvania Contestant
I was happy to have the opportunity to attend the 2017 Mrs. New Jersey and Mrs. Pennsylvania U.S. Pageant on May 21 at Rider University in New Jersey to cheer on contestant and constituent Caroline Verkaik. Caroline is beautiful inside and out and will continue as Mrs. Monroe County 2017 to focus on her platform message of mental health and suicide prevention in our youth. She has a heart of gold and we are blessed to have her as a member of our community. At the pageant, Caroline also received the Community Service Award and the Humanitarian Award. We are so proud of you, and wish you tremendous success in your future and thank you for your efforts on suicide prevention.

New Immunization Requirements for PA Schools This Fall
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has revised Pennsylvania’s school immunization requirements for the 2017-18 school year. The new rules require parents to get their children fully immunized prior to the fifth day of school or the students will be excluded from school. Previously, parents had eight months to meet school immunization requirements. If a student is in the middle of an immunization series and it is too soon for the next dose, the parents must provide the school nurse with a written plan, signed by their health care provider, within the first five days of school. For more information, contact your healthcare provider, visit or call 1-877-PA-HEALTH.
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