Senator Brown E-Newsletter

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Harrisburg Legislative Update

This week, I joined my colleagues in Harrisburg and moved forward meaningful legislation for Pennsylvania. Here are some highlights:

We approved legislation to create the Independent Energy Office (IEO) and Pennsylvania’s Opportunity with Energy Reliability (POWER) board. Under Senate Bill 832, the IEO provides data-driven analysis to ensure lawmakers have the reliable information necessary to review and implement current energy strategies as well as be on the forefront of new innovated technologies. The POWER Board will be a public clearing house for energy development in Pennsylvania and allow residents to see public accountability on decisions that impact energy prices in Pennsylvania.

The Senate also moved forward legislation to combat illegal street racing. This proposal would increase street racing fines for first offenses to $500 and all additional infractions to $2,000. Senate Bill 998 also calls for impoundment orders for vehicles used in the offense and would hold event organizers accountable.

In an effort to move people towards the workforce and combat “job dodging”, we approved legislation that would prevent Unemployment Compensation recipients who apply for a job from unreasonably discouraging their own hiring. It would require the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to create or update forms enabling employers to report Unemployment Compensation claimants who discourage their own hiring through job dodging. The bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

This week, I spoke on the floor in support of my resolution, Senate Resolution 278, to designate April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. As you know, I have been a long time advocate of increased roadway safety, particularly with my legislation, Senate Bill 37, which would limit the use of hand-held cell phone use while operating a vehicle on our roads.

You can view my remarks from the Senate floor this week above.

Recognizing K9 Veterans Day in the Commonwealth

This week, Senate Bill 1108, sponsored by Senator Doug Mastriano and myself, passed the Senate’s State Government Committee. This legislation would designate March 13th of each year as “K9 Veterans Day” in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Dogs provide valuable contributions to serve our country and contribute significantly to public safety. These K9s risk their health and lives to work alongside our military, officers, and other public safety officials. They deserve formal recognition in our state.

Detective Briggs, one of Pennsylvania’s most notable crime fighting K9s, joined us during the committee vote.

Congratulations, Martin Pane!

The Senate Judiciary Committee considered nominations for the Pennsylvania Parole Board – including constituent, Martin Pane. I was pleased to speak on his professionalism, extensive experience, and admirable qualifications to this important position.

Through his work, Martin has had a highly distinguished career in law enforcement beginning in 1988 as a US Deputy Marshall working his way up to a United States Marshal in 2011. Under his leadership, the Middle District of Pennsylvania received the US Marshal Service Distinguished District, the highest service award.

Martin received a well-deserved unanimous favorable recommendation by the Senate Judiciary Committee. His nomination now moves to the full Senate for consideration.

Notre Dame Elementary Visits the Capitol

This week, Notre Dame Elementary School’s 4th and 5th grade choir performed in the Capitol Rotunda. I stepped away from the Senate floor for a moment to watch their beautiful performance, thank them for their visit, and chat with their teachers and parents. It is always a treat to have visitors for the 40th district – especially our students and families.


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