Senator Brown E-Newsletter

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Happy Labor Day!

I hope you have a great holiday weekend and relaxing Labor Day.

I’m working with my colleagues to improve opportunities for workers and the families they support. Too many Pennsylvania citizens are fleeing the state for better jobs in other parts of the country.

To reverse this troubling trend, the budget bill passed by the Senate and signed into law continues to improve our tax structure to create jobs, prioritize workforce development and support career and technical education. I’ll keep you updated on our efforts throughout the year.

Senate Approves Critical Budget Implementation Bills

The Senate advanced two bills to implement key parts of the 2023-24 budget and drive out funding to schools, hospitals, EMS providers, higher education, libraries and more.

The fiscal code bills take an important step to further finalize portions of the state budget which require implementation language. The critical support authorized by the legislation cannot be finalized until the House of Representatives also returns to session.

House Bill 1300 reauthorizes assessments and payments to hospitals, boosts reimbursement rates for EMS providers, and reauthorizes judicial fees that courts rely on for funding. These budget items are important and time sensitive.

In addition, the bill directs funding to many bipartisan budget items related to education, including:

  1. Providing for a two-year tuition freeze for PASSHE schools.
  2. Allocating more than $260 million for community colleges.
  3. Distributing more than $70 million in state aid for libraries.
  4. Allocating more than $76 million for special education funding for Intermediate Units.
  5. Reimbursing schools for providing free breakfasts for all students ($46.5 million).
  6. Transferring more than $8.5 million to maintain current PHEAA grant levels.
  7. Distributing $11 million in grants for non-public school safety initiatives.

Committee Advances Bill to Move Up 2024 Primary Election

Bipartisan legislation to give Pennsylvanians greater say in the 2024 presidential election by moving up the primary election date was approved by a Senate committee this week. The bill advances to the full Senate for consideration.

The Senate State Government Committee passed Senate Bill 224 to move up the primary election by five weeks to March 19, 2024. This change will likely place the Pennsylvania primary election on the same day as Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.

In many presidential elections, the outcome is largely decided before Pennsylvania voters have a chance to cast a ballot. Moving up the spring election date gives voters in the fifth-largest state a better chance of weighing in on the presidential primary.

State Police Remove College Credit Requirement for Cadets

Pennsylvania State Police are removing the college credit requirement for residents who want to serve as state troopers.

The previous educational requirement of 60 college credits has been in place since the 1990s. Under the change, cadet applicants must possess a high school diploma or GED certificate and a valid driver’s license from any state. Cadets also undergo 28 weeks of comprehensive training.

The number of state police applicants has dropped significantly in recent years. Waiving the college degree requirement on a trial basis for this next period of cadet applications is aimed at helping the PSP attract and retain talent. The change will be re-evaluated pending the results of multiple application cycles.

The 2023-24 state budget includes funding for four new state police cadet classes to train 384 new troopers. For information on becoming a Pennsylvania State Police trooper, visit

Around the 40th District

LEFT: Our community is full of incredibly generous people. Please join me in thanking Jason, owner of Satori Cuts on Main Street in Stroudsburg, who hosted a “Back to School” event last weekend. To ensure all students can look and feel their best returning to school – Jason and his crew spent their afternoon providing haircuts for free. Amazing kindness and so humble. Thank you, Jason and his team, for giving back to our community.

TOP RIGHT: Don’t miss the Greene-Dreher Sterling Fair! Doug from my Northern District Office and Tony from Senator Lisa Baker’s office attended the opening ceremony this week. The fair is until Sept. 3rd – enjoy vendors, games, music, rides, agricultural exhibits, great food and more.

BOTTOM RIGHT: Kristine from my office met with Samantha Holbert from the Community Foundation of Monroe County to address community needs for the residents of Monroe County. A Community Foundation is a public charity that builds charitable funds through large and small contributions to provide grants and distribute funds to nonprofits. For more information, please visit their website here


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