Senator Brown E-Newsletter

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Senate Continues Detailed Review of Governor’s Budget Proposal

This week, I joined my colleagues on the Senate Appropriations Committee for another round of budget hearings. We hosted PA Fish and Boat, the Dept of Agriculture, the Dept. of Education, the Dept. of Environmental Protection, and the PA Liquor Control Board.

To watch all my questions with these agencies, visit my website here.

Of note during this week’s hearings, I discussed the need for our regulatory agencies to work more efficiently with job creators and those who invest in Pennsylvania. You can view my exchange with the Dept. of Environmental Protection on their permitting processes here. I share an experience of a local Day Care in our district, their investment, and their inability to open to provide much needed quality childcare to our community. Additionally, I questioned the Pennsylvania Dept. of Education Secretary on the Administration’s priority of Career and Technical schools in our Commonwealth – you can view this exchange here.

The hearing was one of a series held by the committee to analyze the Governor’s proposed $45.8 billion 2024-25 state budget. His plan would boost state spending by more than $1.3 billion above the current year’s budget. It requires thoughtful consideration so tax dollars are spent wisely without eliminating the state’s Rainy Day Fund in five years as projections indicate would happen with the Governor’s proposal budget.

Find the hearings schedule, livestreams of budget hearings, daily recaps and video from prior hearings at

Intersection Update: US209 and Shafer’s Schoolhouse Road

Many of you travel US209 regularly and are also aware of the safety concerns along this corridor. Our community has mourned several tragedies along this stretch of roadway, and it is clear we need some upgrades to increase safety. A contract has been awarded on this project, and I would like to clarify some of the concerns that have been raised in my office.


Work on this project includes roadway widening, roadway rehabilitation, pavement removal, median barrier installation, traffic signal removal, drainage upgrades, stormwater management, and more. Ultimately, when this project is complete there will be no access to or from US209 at Beaver Valley Road.

However, there will be a right-in and right-out access at US209 from Shafer’s Schoolhouse Road. There will be acceleration lanes for Shafer’s Schoolhouse Road to gain speed to safely merge onto US209, and deceleration lanes for US209 traffic to reduce speed prior to turns onto Shafer’s Schoolhouse Road.

The concrete median on US209 will be extended through the current intersection. The design has two sections, approximately 50 feet wide, where the median will be open for emergency service vehicles to cross.


PennDOT awarded the contract for this project in September of 2023. Currently, you can expect sporadic lane restrictions (9 AM – 3 PM) for surveying and preparatory work. There is no construction activity at this time, but a tentative start date is mid-March. In the beginning, most of the work will be utility relocations, building drainage swales, a contractor access road, basin construction, and some pipe / intel installation with daily lane restrictions.

We expect the intersection to be closed around mid-June. During this time, the traffic light will be removed and should work will begin. During construction, the Shafer’s Schoolhouse Road detour will utilize Hickory Lane, Hidden Valley Road, Manor Drive, Middle Easton Belmont Pike, and BUS 209 / Hamilton Road East.

Once the project is complete, the detour will be lifted and Shafer’s Schoolhouse Road access to US209 will be reopened with the right-in / right-out only configuration.

Celebrating the “Star-Spangled Banner”

Sunday, March 3, is National Anthem Day. “The Star-Spangled Banner” shares a message of endurance and perseverance. Francis Scott Key originally wrote his poem during a naval attack on Fort McHenry during the War of 1812. That battle was nearly lost.

It wasn’t until March 3, 1931, that President Herbert Hoover signed a law officially making “The Star-Spangled Banner” our country’s national anthem.

Rather than commemorating victory, our national anthem highlights our ability to withstand attack. Today, we continue to raise our flag and refuse to be defeated.

Scholarship Grants Available for EMS Professionals

To recruit and retain emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, a tuition assistance program offers up to $5,000 for reimbursement of EMS state certification training for permanent Pennsylvania residents.

Up to $300 is available for emergency medical responders, up to $800 for emergency medical technicians, up to $1,000 for advanced emergency medical technicians and up to $5,000 for paramedics.

Pennsylvania-licensed EMS agencies are eligible to receive up to $1,250 of recruitment and retention expenses per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30). Reimbursement will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until funding is exhausted. Learn more.

Scouting in the 40th Senate District

This weekend, my staff attended two events to celebrate the milestones of constituents involved with the Boy Scouts of America.

Pictured left, Kristine from my staff attended Pack 89 in Coolbaugh Township’s Blue and Gold Banquet, celebrating the “crossing over” of Owen and Logan. A crossing over ceremony represents their attainment of a new level of scouting. Congratulations on this important milestone in one’s scouting journey and demonstrating qualities of good citizenship through display of character, leadership, and scholarship.

Pictured left, Mackenzie from my staff attended Eric Ranzan’s Eagle Scout Ceremony from Troop 85. This outstanding achievement is a testament to Eric’s dedication, perseverance, leadership, and quality character.


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