Senator Brown E-Newsletter

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We Crossed the Finish Line – A Historic Victory for Roadway Safety

Finally! After more than a decade of dedicated work, my legislation, Senate Bill 37 was signed into law – marking a new era of safer driving practices across Pennsylvania.

As this bill is now signed into law, I am filled with gratitude for those who helped me along this process, and I know this measure will protect drivers, prevent crashes, and save lives. This bill is more than legislation – it is a reminder of the power of perseverance and the impact we can have when we prioritize public safety.

Named the Paul Miller Jr. Law, Senate Bill 37 – now Act 18 of 2024 – limits the use of handheld cellphones or other communication devices while operating a motor vehicle on Pennsylvania highways. Drivers can still use their phones if utilizing hands-free technology such as a docking station, Bluetooth, or speaker technology.

This achievement would not have been possible without the unwavering advocacy of Paul and Eileen Miller, who have been with me every step of the way. Their son, Paul Miller Jr, lost his life to a distracted driver on Route 33 in Monroe County. Their tireless efforts have ensured that his legacy will protect countless others.

In 2023, there were more than 11,000 crashes in Pennsylvania involving a distracted driver, out pacing DUI crashes. In 2022, distracted driving fatalities in Pennsylvania surged to a decade high, claiming 80 lives. Pennsylvania now joins 26 other states with hands-free laws, including all its border states, which have reported declines in distracted driving incidents following the implementation of such laws.

This was a long battle to put the safety of Pennsylvanians first, but it is a battle worth winning. With Governor Shapiro’s signature, we have crossed the finish line. I look forward to seeing the positive impact this law will have on our communities.

You can read my full press release here or watch the full bill signing here.

Legislation Giving Disabled Veterans Financial Relief Receives Senate Support

To provide financial relief to more disabled veterans, the Senate passed Senate Bill 194 to exclude U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Attendance benefits as income when calculating eligibility for Pennsylvania’s 100% Disabled Veterans’ Property Tax Exemption.

Federal Aid and Attendance benefits provide monthly payments to disabled veterans who are housebound or need help with daily activities. Without the exclusion of this federal benefit, some disabled veterans are prevented from qualifying for property tax reductions.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs

This week, I attended the Pennsylvania State Association of Borough’s 2024 Legislative Breakfast. I also sat for their panel discussion in my capacity as the Majority Chairwoman of the Senate’s Local Government committee.

It was wonderful to catch up with boroughs from the 40th District; pictured are officials from Archbald Borough and Mayfield Borough. Thank you for all your work on behalf of your towns.

Transportation Update

This week, PennDOT will be conducting work in various locations across the district. Here are some updates from last week and remember to always exercise caution in work zones. Last week, Tobyhanna Township, Locust Ridge Road off PA 940 underwent bridge repairs by PennDOT Maintenance Forces. Additionally, several municipalities received shoulder work and widening on Mill Street and Lakeside Drive between PA423 and Main Street. Also, Interstate 80 East, from Exit 284 (PA 115) to Exit 310 (PA611) received crack sealing.

Register for Elder Justice Day!

Monroe County PA Area Agency on Aging is inviting Seniors from Monroe County to attend a free Elder Justice Day Conference on June 18th. This event will take place from 10am-2pm at the Dale & Frances Hughes Cancer Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital – Pocono.

Please call the number on the flyer to register, the event is limited to 50 participants.

Piebald Deer in the District

How many of you have spotted this beautiful Piebald Deer in the district? My staff snapped this picture off Brushy Mountain Road in East Stroudsburg. Reportedly, they make up less than 1% of the deer population in Pennsylvania. Definitely a reminder of the incredible natural beauty we are surrounded by daily in our region.


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