Senator Brown E-Newsletter

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Senators Brown and Pennycuick Host Joint Hearing on Protecting Municipalities from Cyberattacks

As Chairwomen of the Senate Local Government Committee and the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, Sen. Tracy Pennycuick (R-24) and I hosted a joint hearing this week that examined cybersecurity threats faced by local governments and municipal authorities.

Recent cyberattacks targeting the Bucks County emergency dispatch system and the Aliquippa Water Authority highlight the vulnerability of Pennsylvania’s more than 2,500 local governments and authorities.

We don’t often think about cybersecurity until there is a news report of a breach or hack that caused serious disruptions. However, we should all be mindful of cybersecurity. Thankfully, there are individuals who prioritize infrastructure safety. During this week’s joint committee hearing, we heard from some of these experts to help address concerns and build on Pennsylvania’s cybersecurity infrastructure.

While exposure of residents’ personal information is a serious concern, these attacks can also interfere with ways people satisfy basic needs, such as the delivery of clean drinking water to their homes and being able to call for help in the case of an emergency.

Learn more by reading our press release or by viewing the full hearing.

We Stand with Texas

The crisis at our southern border presents an imminent threat to the ENTIRE country, including Pennsylvania, and the federal government continues to ignore its most fundamental responsibility. From drugs, to crime, to adequate resources for American citizens, I stand with the PA Senate Republicans in their support for Texas governor, Greg Abbott, and his constitutional authority to protect the border.

Protecting our borders and enforcing federal immigration laws should be a bipartisan priority. The federal government has not only abandoned their duty under the law but have gone even further by attacking Texas’ right to defend itself.

I encourage the Governor of Pennsylvania to join the other 25 states who have expressed support for Governor Abbott and Texas. I acknowledge how this crisis impacts the Pennsylvanians I represent.

2023 Accomplishments: Supporting PA Seniors

As part of Senate Republicans’ commitment to healthy and safe communities, my colleagues and I are focused on supporting Pennsylvania seniors. This means making sure they have access to the health care they need and preventing their exploitation.

One new law adjusts Medicaid reimbursement rates for nursing homes so the facilities can continue to meet the needs of vulnerable patients. Another law ensures seniors do not lose access to Pennsylvania’s prescription drug programs due to an increase in their Social Security payments.

A third piece of legislation recently signed into law aims to prevent elder abuse by strengthening guardianship laws. It protects vulnerable adults within the guardianship system from fraud, abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Supporting School Safety and Mental Health

Grants are available through a few different state programs to support the physical security and behavioral health needs of students in the commonwealth. All grant applications must be received by Feb. 29.

School Mental Health Grants make $90 million available for school districts, intermediate units, area career and technical schools, charter schools, regional charter schools, and cyber charter schools.

Approximately $32 million is available through Competitive School Safety Grants for school resource officers, security-related technology and violence prevention programs that address safety and security. As part of Senate Republican efforts to ensure safe schools and communities, a budget measure passed in December included provisions to consolidate and streamline school safety and security programs and operations under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.

The School District Meritorious Grant Program is specifically for school districts and approximately $18.6 million is available. Individual awards to address physical safety and security range from $30,000 to $45,000.

Out and About Listening to You

TOP LEFT: Congratulations, Daniel, on attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. I was pleased to attend his Eagle Scout Court of Honor last weekend in Mt. Cobb.

BOTTOM LEFT: Congratulations to Nicholas on achieving Eagle Scout! For his Eagle Scout project, Nicholas gathered donations for fire fighter equipment from local companies, then organized to send this equipment to Ukrainian emergency responders.

TOP RIGHT: Pleased to recognize Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company Chief, Jason Witcraft, on 35 years of dedicated service. Thank you for your selfless service!

BOTTOM LEFT: Congratulations to Mehmet Barzev for his outstanding dedication and attainment of life membership with the Stroudsburg Borough Fire Company. Thank you to all our volunteer fire fighters for their selfless service and tireless efforts to make our communities safer and stronger.


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