Senator Brown E-Newsletter

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Harrisburg Legislative Update

This week, the Senate approved budget implementation language that will drive out critical funding to schools and present a more streamlined approach to school safety.

House Bill 301 allocates funding for several critical priorities that were included in the 2023-24 state budget, including:

  • $100 million for K-12 mental health programs.
  • An additional $150 million for education tax credits to provide scholarships to students through the existing Education Improvement Tax Credit and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit programs.
  • $295 million for Ready-to-Learn Block Grants.
  • More than $261 million for community colleges.
  • More than $76 million in special education funding for intermediate units.
  • $10 million to create a new Educator Pipeline Support Grant Program to provide grants to student teachers.
  • $46.5 million in reimbursements to school entities that participate in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs.
  • More than $70 million in state aid to public libraries.
  • $14.5 million in funding for career and technical schools.
  • $7 million to assist distressed schools.

The bill would also ensure greater collaboration in keeping children safe in the classroom by consolidating school safety programs and operations under the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), which currently manages the highly successful School Safety and Security Grant Program created by Senate Republicans in 2018.

Learn more about other ways the bill helps students and schools here.

Tax Revenues and PIT Collections Above Monthly Estimate

Each month, the Senate Appropriations Committee prepares an update about the state’s financial health. The most recent report shows that General Fund tax revenues were $118.6 million, or 3.9%, above the monthly estimate. However, total General Fund revenue collections for the first four months of the fiscal year are still below estimate by $47.5 million.

Personal Income Tax collections exceeded October’s estimate by $35.6 million, or 2.8%, but remain below estimate for the fiscal year by $77 million, or 1.5%.

The full update, including the monthly revenue report, is available here.

Veterans Appreciation Month

The month of November is Veterans Appreciation Month. Each newsletter, we will highlight some of the amazing heroes within the 40th District. We are forever in debt to the service and sacrifices of our veterans – please remind yourselves of this regularly, and always thank those around you who have served.

This week, please join me in acknowledging Mr. Richard H. Bush Jr. (pictured top left) a constituent from East Stroudsburg. Richard is the father-in-law of Kristine from my office. Richard served in the Army Airborne in Vietnam from 1963-1966.

The other three photos are a father and his two sons – Joe (father) and his sons, Dave and Mike.

Pictured bottom left is Joe Marra – a combat veteran who lives in East Stroudsburg. He served for over 30 years in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Joe responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center after 9/11 and was a large part of the relief efforts at Ground Zero in New York City. Joe retired from service as a Sergeant Major.

Pictured bottom right is Mike Marra. Mike joined the Army in the aftermath of the tragic events of 9/11. Mike is a combat veteran who has served in Afghanistan and is still serving today after over 20 years. He has earned the title of Master Sergeant.

Pictured top right is Dave Marra, a constituent from Stroudsburg who graduated high school from Pocono Mountain School District. Dave served in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for over 14 years in the 56th Stryker Brigade as an Armor Officer. Recently, he was confirmed for a promotion to become a Major!

Celebrating 29 Years of Marriage

A public shout-out to my wonderful husband, Joe. This week, we celebrated 29 years of marriage. We met in the 3rd grade, and he has been my best friend ever since. I love you, Joe!

Out and About Listening to You

TOP LEFT: Spent time with the Pleasant Valley FBLA and spoke on Free Enterprise, the governments’ role in business, and more. What an impressive group of young students!

TOP RIGHT: Always a beautiful Veterans Day Ceremony in Barrett Township at High Acres Park – I was so pleased to attend to honor area Veterans.

BOTTOM: Last weekend, I attended McKinley’s 9th Birthday Party at the East Stroudsburg VFW – but it wasn’t a party for her, she wanted to celebrate Veterans… so she threw them a party! What a patriotic and sweet young girl – beyond her years in displaying maturity and recognition for our Veterans.


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