Brown Once Again Calls Upon the National Park Service for Urgency
This week, I contacted the Director of the National Park to call for the immediate prioritization of the required federal permit to begin work on Route 611 in Delaware Water Gap, which has been closed since Dec. 6, 2022. You can view the letter here.
The state has been ready with the necessary funding and crews to begin work since early 2023. We have made the reopening of this roadway a top priority and we are insisting this be a priority of the National Park Service, as well.
I have also been in communication with Congressman Matt Cartwright, and we will be convening a meeting next week with all stakeholders to plan a path toward reopening.
Since the initial road closure more than a year ago, the state has been compliant and reasonable throughout the permitting process with the National Park Service and working to understand what they require. It is not always easy, however, the need for urgency must be reciprocated for the people in this region. They need to prioritize the information needed, the processing of that information, and make definitive decisions to meet their laws so we can move forward. It is extremely dangerous to have this roadway removed from our detour options based on its location parallel to Route 80. It is also doing more harm than necessary to our businesses.
One lane, safely opened, at this point is the goal, and the state is ready when the National Park Service says go.
2023 Review: Empowering Parents with Their Children’s Education
Just as Senate Republicans led efforts to help students, we also focused on increasing parents’ involvement in the education of their children. After all, the people who know their child best and love them most should not be barred from playing an active role in their lives in any environment.
We passed a bill to empower parents to protect their own child from accessing sexually explicit content at school, without impacting the books available to other students. Schools should not have the ability to show our children content adults are barred from viewing at their jobs if their parents don’t support it. Another bill would expand parents’ access to what students are learning.
A new law makes it easier for parents to enroll their children in school when they move because of the family’s involvement in the military. It would help students avoid delays that can require them to take summer classes or graduate later than expected.
2023 Review: Supporting Pennsylvania Veterans
Our military members and veterans made the selfless decision to serve our country and preserve the American way of life we hold so dear. The Senate passed several measures in 2023 to support military families and veterans.
Act 13 of 2023 ensures Pennsylvanians entering military service can retain professional licenses and certifications. Previously, veterans had a much more challenging transition from military life to civilian life because certain skills they obtained during the service were not recognized. Now, veterans don’t have to waste time duplicating the training they already received.
Senate Resolution 46 establishes the Task Force on Women Veterans’ Health Care, which will study the unique health care and access issues facing female veterans and make recommendations to the governor and General Assembly for action.
Other measures we passed exempt disabled veterans’ benefit payments from income eligibility calculations for government programs, provide educational support for children of National Guard and Reserves members, establish the Veteran-Owned Business Loan Guarantee Program and more.
Praying for the Scranton City Police Department
Please join me and many others in prayer for the Scranton City Police Department. On Thursday, a Scranton Police officer was involved in a shooting. My thoughts are with the officer, his family, the city of Scranton and Lackawanna County, and all officers who risk danger to keep our families safe every day. Watch their most recent new conference here.
Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a time for reflection on his peaceful contributions to the civil rights movement. Many people also spend time honoring Dr. King’s legacy by participating in community service to better their neighborhoods. No matter how we spend the day, let us remember his desire to unify our country as he shared in his historic speech in Washington, D.C. more than 60 years ago.