In this Update:
Vaccination Clinic Huge Success
Thank you to all who came out to my COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic last Thursday! Lehigh Valley Health Network provided free Pfizer shots to dozens of families in the Center City Allentown neighborhood.
Mega Allentown was on site providing great music and giving out free concert tickets to those who received the shot. The Salvation Army, Lehigh Valley gave away 400+ backpacks during their Back-to-School giveaway!
The COVID-19 Vaccine continues to be our best weapon against the virus, especially as case numbers and hospitalizations begin to rise again.
Thank you to all who helped make this event a great success
Senator Browne Hosts Successful Telephone Town Hall
More than 4,400 constituents joined me last Tuesday for a special State Budget Telephone Town Hall event!
I was joined by Matt Knittel, Director of the Independent Fiscal Office, and Robin Wiessman, Executive Director and CEO of the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, to give an overview of Pennsylvania’s financial situation and the decisions we made in passing the 2021-22 state budget.
Telephone Town Halls are a great way to engage and participate in a traditional town hall format from the comfort of your own home. Thank you to all of the constituents who tuned in and asked questions.
If you missed the call, you can watch the re-run here!
Legislative Review: Supporting Veterans
Pennsylvania is home to nearly 800,000 veterans in addition to active members of the military. Supporting these men and women, and their families, is a top priority. The Senate passed several bills this year to assist Pennsylvanians who served our nation.
Act 31 of 2021 extends employment protections to Pennsylvania citizens who are members of another state’s National Guard.
Act 55 of 2021 increases the maximum donation amounts to the Veterans’ Trust Fund from $3 to $5 when applying for or renewing a driver’s license, ID card or vehicle registration and from $6 to $10 when applying for a two-year vehicle registration.
Act 63 of 2021 adds a member of the State Veterans Commission to the Pennsylvania Long-Term Care Council.
Senate Bill 248 designates March 6 as Persian Gulf War Veterans Day and October 7 as Global War on Terrorism Veterans Day.
Senate Bill 486 provides members of the Pennsylvania National Guard and reserve components of the U.S. Armed Forces who serve on active duty, as well as their spouses, preference for placement into job training programs for one year after discharge.
You can find a full list of bills of note passed by the Senate in 2021 here.
Public Hearing on Child Protective Services Law Revisions
Proposed changes to a state law aimed at protecting children from abuse was the topic of a Senate hearing this week.
The Senate Aging and Youth Committee took testimony on revisions to Pennsylvania’s child protective services law proposed by the state Department of Human Services. Among the changes would be the removal of time frames for the expungement of state records on child abuse cases.
Currently, state law requires that unfounded child protective services reports and invalid general protective services reports be expunged from the state database after one year and that validated general protective services reports be expunged after 10 years or until the youngest child in the report turns 23. The change is aimed at aiding efforts to identify children at risk of future abuse.
You can watch the hearing and read testimony here.
Education Financial Assistance Available to Eligible Children of Veterans
The Educational Gratuity Program provides financial assistance for those attending post-high school education or training at an approved institution in the Commonwealth.
The program supports children of honorably discharged veterans who have 100% service-connected disabilities and served during a period of war or armed conflict, or children of veterans who die or died in service during a period of war or armed conflict. All applicants must have a financial need.
Payments will not exceed $500 per term or semester per qualified child to each approved educational institution over a total of eight terms or semesters. More information on the program and how to apply can be found here.
Game Commission Offering Learn to Hunt Webinars
The series kicks off Aug. 19 with a “Squirrel Hunting 101” webinar at 7 p.m. Additional live webinars will be on Sept. 9 and Sept. 21, also beginning at 7 p.m. The series continues into October with a “Pheasant Hunting 101” webinar at 7 p.m. on Oct. 7 and again on Oct. 26.
The webinars will be about an hour long and hosted by Game Commission staff. Each webinar will include a live Q&A session at the end. Advanced registration to view the webinars live is required at the Learn to Hunt page.
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