Senator Brown E-Newsletter

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Senate Finishes Review of Shapiro’s Budget Proposal

The Senate Appropriations Committee has recently concluded its detailed examination of Governor Josh Shapiro’s budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year. This proposal requests an increase in state spending to over $48.3 billion, marking a 7.1% rise from our current financial allocations. This would completely drain our state’s savings in just five years. Additionally, as drafted, the proposal relies on revenue projections that are not in line with our state’s non-partisan Independent Fiscal Office.

During our hearings with the Dept of Revenue and the Governor’s Budget office, we discussed this discrepancy. The report from the Independent Fiscal Office indicates a $24 billion gap between Shapiro’s spending plans and the revenue the state expects to collect within the next five years. These projections show it will be all but impossible to balance budgets in the next five years without spending cuts or massive tax increases.

It is important to remember, you must look at a government budget the same way you review your personal budget. While the state’s budget may be larger and more complex, the fundamental principles remain the same.

First and foremost, you must have confident knowledge on what you’re bringing in. Then, you must ensure you don’t spend more than you make, and you must have a savings account to buffer during an economic downturn.

Having completed the official review of Shapiro’s budget proposal, the Senate will use its findings from the hearing to craft its own spending plan, with the goal of enacting a final 2024-2025 state budget. Find video and recaps of every budget hearing at

Recognizing K9 Veteran’s Day in Pennsylvania

This past week, March 13th, we celebrate K-9 Veterans Day. I was pleased to attend an event in Delaware Water Gap, hosted by Paul and Maryann Baader, to acknowledge these heroes.

The official K9 Corps was created on March 13, 1942, when the U.S. Military began actively recruiting and training canine forces.  Just like human soldiers, military working dogs are always on the clock, actively working in combat zones worldwide.  It is important to recognize the thousands of dogs that served with honor, dignity, valor, and heroic efforts throughout history.  These K9 military dogs have served in many wars, having been employed by the United States Military from World War I to present conflicts. Every military working dog (MWD) is a non-commissioned officer, one rank higher than their handlers.  They are part of the team, part of the risk, part of the intelligence, part of the protection and part of the U.S. Military.

I am pleased to have sponsored legislation to formally designate March 13th at K9 Veterans Day in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. You can read my proposal here.

Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency Relief Program

A Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA) program created after the pandemic to help homeowners facing foreclosure or having their property sold for back taxes has reopened after over a yearlong pause. Review details and eligibility here on this reopened program.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick, who lived in the fifth century, is the patron saint of Ireland and was credited with bringing Christianity to the country.

Even though the Irish have observed St. Patrick’s Day as a religious holiday for more than 1,000 years, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade actually took place in America. Records show the first parade was held on March 17, 1601, in a Spanish colony in what is now St. Augustine, Fla.

“May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.” – Irish blessing

Celebrating Read Across America

These last two weeks, I had the pleasure of celebrating Read Across America with students from all over the 40th Senatorial District. I always enjoy spending time with students, especially to foster the joy of reading and being life-long learners.


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