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Senator Pat Browne
Appropriations Committee Chairman
16th Senatorial District
In this Edition of the E-News:
- Senior Information Fair
- Basic Education Funding Commission Recommendations
- Applications for Fire/EMS Grants Available
- Changes to Notary Public Applications
- The Browne Report on Trout Stocking & the Trout Nursery
Senator Browne to Hold Senior Information Fair
I will be holding my annual Senior Information Fair at Country
Meadows of Allentown in Building 4 on Thursday, October 1, 2015 from 10 a.m. to
This FREE event will spotlight the variety of programs and
services offered to seniors by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and numerous
local organizations. The Fair, which is open to the public, will include light
refreshments, door prizes and health screenings. A limited number of free flu
shots will be provided by Lehigh Valley Health Network. The Pennsylvania Mobile
Veterans’ Outreach Van will be on site to answer questions pertaining to senior
It is my hope, through this information fair, that seniors and
their families will have a better understanding of some of the excellent
resources available to them through state and local governments and community
organizations. I thank Country Meadows for once again allowing us to hold this
senior fair at their wonderful facility. I also want to thank all of the
organizations and government agencies that will be participating at the senior
information fair and sharing the services and information they can provide to
seniors and their families.
Country Meadows of Allentown is located at 410 Krocks Road, Allentown, PA
For more information, please contact Doris Stearns in my Northern Lehigh
County office at 610-769-5566 or visit my website at
Basic Education Funding Commission’s Report & Recommendations
The Basic Education Funding Commission recently recommended that the General
Assembly adopt a new formula for distributing state funding for basic education
to Pennsylvania’s 500 school districts.
The Commission – which was co-chaired by myself and Representative Mike Vereb
– undertook an extensive and comprehensive study of a number of factors before
arriving ultimately at a consensus on a new formula that will benefit school
districts, parents and children.
The Commission determined that allocation of basic education funding needs to
allow for accountability, transparency and predictability. The main objective of
the new funding formula is to fairly distribute state resources according to
various student and school district factors.
The new formula takes into account several student-based factors, including:
Student count, which is the average of the most recent three years of Average
Daily Membership (ADM), poverty, English language learners and charter school
enrollment. The formula assigned weights to each category to help determine the
degree to which each factor drives up the cost of educating a student.
The formula also includes three school district-based factors which reflect
community differences throughout the 500 Pennsylvania school districts. The
three factors are:
- Sparsity Size Adjustment: Which adjusts for student counts in small
rural school districts.
- Median Household Income Index: Which measures a school district’s median
household income compared to the statewide median household income.
- Tax Effort Capacity Index: Recognizes a school district’s ability to
generate local tax-related revenue compared to the statewide median.
The 15-member Commission, created through Act 51 of 2014, held 15 hearings
over 11 months and heard from more than 110 individuals including
superintendents, school board presidents, business leaders, nonprofit
organizations and parents. It also engaged the Independent Fiscal Office (IFO)
to develop and record the results of a survey sent to a representative sample of
school districts across Pennsylvania to determine their costs for various
factors to be used as a guide in developing the new formula. The IFO surveyed
125 public schools, with 97 of them returning the survey providing valuable
information that assisted the Commission in determining weights for the
Commission’s recommended student factors, such as English Language Learners and
children in poverty.
While the Commission came to a unanimous conclusion and recommendation on the
formula needed to provide a fair distribution of state education dollars, the
recommendations of the commission will not go into effect without legislation
approved by the General Assembly and signed by the Governor.
For more information on the report recommended by the Commission, visit the
Basic Education Funding Commission’s website at
basiceducationfundingcommission.pasenategop.com or my website at
Applications Now Accepted For Fire/EMS Grant Program
Applications for the 2015-16 Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Services Grant
Program (FCVASGP) are now available, according to Senate Appropriations
Committee Chairman Pat Browne (R-Lehigh).
All fire companies, volunteer ambulance services and volunteer rescue squads
are eligible for grant funding. The grants may be used for construction or
renovation of a unit’s station, the purchase or repair of equipment, training or
Applications will be accepted through October 22, 2015.
The maximum grant amount is $15,000 for fire companies and $10,000 for
volunteer ambulance services. A total of $30 million will be awarded through the
More information and the online application for these grants are available
2015-16 Fire Company, Volunteer Ambulance Service Grant Program or by
visiting the Pennsylvania Fire Commission’s website at
Local fire departments and emergency medical services (EMS) may also contact
Matt Szuchyt in Senator Browne’s Allentown Office at 610-821-8468 for more
information or to check on an application’s status.
Changes to Notary Public Applications
As of January 5, 2015, individuals applying to become a notary public or to
renew their application will no longer need the endorsement of the state Senator
who represents the district in which that applicant resides or is employed –
including applicants who reside out of state, but work in the Commonwealth.
In an effort to streamline the application and renewal process, while also
eliminating paperwork and saving taxpayer dollars, applicants may apply to
become a notary public or renew their notary commission through the state’s
Online Notary Public Application System. The Online Notary Public Application
System will require the same information currently required as part of the paper
application. Please note, if you are unable to enter or upload all the required
information in one session, your online application data will not be saved. It
is important that an applicant has all of the information and documentation
listed on the Department of State’s website -
https://www.notaryreg.pa.gov/Pages/Home.aspx - before using the Online
Notary Public Application System.
LI’L-LE-HI TROUT NURSERY, TROUT STOCKING WITH THE
FISH & BOAT COMMISSION FEATURED ON
“THE BROWNE REPORT”
Pennsylvania has a rich heritage of trout fishing as a recreational activity
throughout the summer months. On this edition of “The Browne Report,” we learn
more about that history and get a closer look at the operation of a fish
nursery, along with the process for successfully stocking trout in different
The first part of the show provides a behind-the-scenes look at the Li’l-Le-Hi
Trout Nursery in Allentown as Mike Walck, a volunteer at the nursery, provides a
tour of the facility and some history into raising trout and fishing in
After leaving the fish nursery, we join Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Waterways Conservation Officer Lee Creyer, along with a group of volunteers, as
they make their way up and down the Jordan Creek stocking more than 3,000 trout.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission stocks 10 streams in Lehigh County
with over 40,000-50,000 rainbow, brook and brown trout.
The Browne Report can be seen locally on Blue Ridge Communications,
Channel 13; RCN, Channel 4; and, Service Electric Cable, Channel 50. Check your
local listings for times the show will air.
The show is also available on my website at
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2015 © Senate of Pennsylvania