In this Update:
District of Character
The “District of Character” is an initiative I created to enhance character development and promote daily reminders for residents of the 40th Senatorial 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.
February word of the month is, respect: “Due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.”
My personal belief on respect: “You must always display respect if you expect to receive and gain respect. It doesn’t just go one way.”
Brown Appointed to Serve on Advisory Council for Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center
I am humbled to have been appointed by President Pro Tempore Kim Ward to serve as a member of the advisory council for the Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center. This center, established in 1994, is named after World War II hero from Northeastern Pennsylvania who received the medal of honor. Resident benefit from an active lifestyle with a daily agenda filled with organized programs that the residents help plan and execute. Read my full release here.
Brown Welcomes You to Attend her Distracted Driving Press Conference
I am hosting a news conference on Tuesday, Feb. 28 at 10:00 a.m. in the Main Capitol Rotunda, 501 N. 3rd St, Harrisburg, to bring awareness to distracted driving. I’m sure we all know someone who has been impacted by distracted driving and I would welcome your attendance at this important event.
During the conference, I will be introducing legislation enhancing driver responsibility by prohibiting the use of a cell phone or other communication devices while operating a motor vehicle on a Pennsylvania highway or trafficway.
All are welcome to attend, and victims of distracted driving are encouraged to contact my Harrisburg office if you will be attending in-person so that you may be recognized.
Livestream will be available here.
Senate Launches Hearings into Train Derailment at Pennsylvania-Ohio Border
The Pennsylvania Senate is holding hearings on the Feb. 3 derailment of a Norfolk Southern train carrying toxic chemicals near the Pennsylvania border.
The derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, near the border with Beaver County, Pennsylvania, was followed by a “controlled burn” of train cars containing vinyl chloride.
Thursday’s hearing in Monaca, Beaver County by the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee focused on the emergency response to the train derailment and subsequent controlled chemical burn. It also featured testimony from concerned residents.
On Feb. 27, the Senate Transportation Committee will conduct a hearing on hazardous materials transported by rail in Pennsylvania. The panel will review federal and state laws, regulations and policies covering the safe transport and management of hazardous materials by rail. The public is invited to submit questions here.
Pennsylvania ranks first in the nation with the highest number of operating railroads, 65, and fifth in total track mileage, with more than 5,600 miles.
Friday Deadline for Business Taxpayers to Sign Up for New Online State Tax-Filing System
Business taxpayers in Pennsylvania are encouraged to sign up for an account on myPATH – the new online system that enables them to register, file and pay their state taxes through the Department of Revenue – before the old system goes offline next Friday.
The myPATH system was created to replace the prior online filing system known as e-TIDES, which the Department of Revenue will retire on Friday, Feb. 24. Taxpayers no longer will be able to use e-TIDES after that day. They will need to use myPATH to file their taxes.
Businesses can migrate their prior account information from e-TIDES into their new myPATH accounts.
An informational website about myPATH features step-by-step instructions and video tutorials on switching over, and an online customer service center can help taxpayers who still need assistance.
Resources for Understanding Military Benefits and Tax Filing
If you are a member of the military or veteran, you earned benefits from grateful citizens in honor of your service to our nation. You may find these resources on taxes and their benefits helpful this tax season.
For Pennsylvania state taxes, this U.S. Army site provides information on:
For federal taxes, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides information on how veterans can maximize their tax benefits. It covers what’s taxable and what’s not and includes AARP Foundation’s Tax-Aide program, which offers free tax help to anyone, with a focus on taxpayers who are 50 and older and have low to moderate incomes.
PA Senate Library Holds 200 Years of History
The Library of the Senate of Pennsylvania has served as the major source of information on the chamber for more than 200 years. It has in-person exhibitions and online exhibits that intrigue and inform to this day.
The current exhibition is Officers of the Pennsylvania Senate, which focuses on the President, President Pro Tempore, Chief Clerk and Secretary of the Pennsylvania State Senate, positions critical to making the chamber function.
The library is located in Room 157 of the Main Capitol Building. Exhibition hours are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with limited access when the Senate is in session.
Heart Healthy: How to Monitor Your Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is often called the silent killer. You might not have symptoms, but it’s a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Monitoring your own blood pressure at home can help you keep your blood pressure under control.
Understanding the risks posed by high blood pressure is one step you can take to be heart healthy during American Heart Month.
Around the 40th District
This week, I was pleased to present Rick Porvaznik with a plaque recognizing his eighteen years as a Monroe County Constable. Rick is an amazing and thoughtful individual who dedicated years of his life to public safety and service to his community. Please join me in thanking Mr. Porvaznik!
Attention all Dads! Being a father is probably the most important thing you will do in life – a role full of meaning and purpose. Check out the Pocono’s local chapter of the National Fatherhood Initiative. Sign up for their Dad class starting the week of March 6th, attend an information session the week of February 27th, and sign up for their FREE newsletter! Check out www.PoconoDadProject.com for more information.
Writing a good resume is critical to your professional development. Attend a resume writing workshop THIS SATURDAY at Northampton Community College – Monroe.
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