Senator Brown E-Newsletter

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Brown’s Legislation to Advance Alzheimer’s Support in Pennsylvania Passes Senate

After two years of dedicated work, my legislation to advance support for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) has been passed by the Senate. You can watch my floor remarks here.

This marks a significant step forward in supporting the many Pennsylvania families affected by Alzheimer’s Diseases and Related Disorders. These families have shown unwavering dedication to their loved ones, and now it’s time for our state to do the same.

Senate Bill 840 aims to improve Pennsylvania’s response to the growing ADRD crisis by establishing a permanent ADRD Division and an ADRD Advisory Committee within the Department of Aging. These entities will collaborate to bring stakeholders together, advocate for effective policies, and secure federal funding.

Our current approach lacks the necessary coordination, leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities for comprehensive care and support. While we have a state plan, progress has stalled. It is time to recognize the effort and coordination required.

The creation of the ADRD Division and Advisory Committee will enhance coordination and improve Pennsylvania’s ability to secure federal funding and implement effective policies for those affected by Alzheimer’s and related disorders. We must break down bureaucratic barriers and foster collaboration across government agencies. This is more than just policy – it is a commitment to protect our loved ones and ensure Pennsylvania leads the way in Alzheimer’s care and support.

Currently, 280,000 seniors in Pennsylvania live with Alzheimer’s, a number expected to rise to 320,000 by 2025. In 2020, the state spent nearly $3.7 billion on Medicaid costs for Alzheimer’s care, with projections indicating more than a 10% increase in the coming years. Pennsylvania families cover 70% of the total lifetime cost of caring for someone with dementia, including out-of-pocket health expenses and the substantial value of unpaid care. In 2022, more than 404,000 unpaid caregivers in Pennsylvania provided care worth more than $10.7 billion.

Senate Bill 840 is about ensuring that our loved ones receive the best possible care, support, and guidance. By streamlining our efforts and fostering collaboration, we can make a real difference in the lives of those affected by ADRD.

Now, the bill moves to the House of Representatives for consideration.

State Budget Update

State budget negotiations are ongoing in Harrisburg, and we are encouraged by the dialogue between the Senate, House, and governor. While it appears clear at this point that we will not have a full budget agreement which could be implemented by June 30, we are hopeful to reach a consensus very soon and avoid any negative impacts on the people of Pennsylvania. The Senate will return to session on Monday, July 1, at 3 p.m. I will continue to advocate for a state budget that is effective and responsible for Pennsylvania taxpayers.

Learn more about the process of enacting the 2024-25 state budget and watch the Senate in session here.

Senate Votes to Stand with Israel

The Senate approved legislation that would prohibit the PA Treasury’s Office, the State Employees’ Retirement System, the Public School Employees’ Retirement System and the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System from boycotting or divesting from Israel. The measure also would cut off state tax dollars from going to higher education institutions that boycott or divest from Israel.

Senate Bill 1260 sends a message that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania stands with its top ally in the Middle East – Israel. On Oct. 7, 2023, more than 1,000 Israelis, mostly civilians, were murdered by Hamas terrorists. U.S. college campuses experienced volatile antisemitic protests that called for the complete destruction of Israel. Jewish students were required to shelter in place in their dorm rooms out of fear for their lives. Protesters were successful in getting some colleges to consider divesting from Israel, as well as companies that do business with the Israeli government.

In the wake of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks, Pennsylvania’s Treasurer Stacy Garrity, who supports the legislation, invested an additional $20 million in Israel bonds, bringing the Treasury’s total investment in Israel to more than $56 million.

Serving as the Senate Chaplain

At the start of each Senate session, we begin with a prayer. This week, I had the honor of serving as the guest chaplain and leading this opening prayer. Opening with prayer allows us to set a reflective tone, build unity, and seek wisdom for the decisions ahead. This longstanding tradition reminds us of our collective purpose to serve for the greater good.

Milestones in the District

While in Harrisburg all this week, my staff celebrated significant milestones of many constituents throughout the district. Extending my sincere gratitude to all these individuals on their meaningful contributions and success within our community.

TOP LEFT: Congratulations to Peggy Horwath on her retirement of 25 years as Executive Director of the Monroe County Transit Authority.

TOP RIGHT: My heartfelt congratulations to Christian Santos in achieving the rank of Eagle Scout! Wishing you continued success and fulfillment in the years ahead.

BOTTOM LEFT: My heartfelt congratulations to Andrew Huntsberger in achieving the rank of Eagle Scout! Wishing you continued success and fulfillment in the years ahead.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Happy 100th birthday to Elizabeth Lamm, a resident of Elmhurst Township. Born in Scranton on June 24th, 1924, she is blessed with two children, three grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.


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