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Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC) today awarded Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) with the first-ever “Be Someone for Kids” award in recognition of his hard work over the years to improve public policies and increase state investments that benefit the commonwealth’s children.

“During his legislative career, Sen. Browne has shown a strong concern for the well-being of Pennsylvania’s children, as well as a keen understanding of how public policy can impact their lives,” PPC President and CEO Joan Benso said.

“Pat Browne has played a critical role in some key victories for kids, helping to enact public policies and spur state investments that have helped countless kids - from newborns to toddlers to teens - and improved not just the lives of our children, but the quality of life in our commonwealth,” Benso added.

During his tenure in the General Assembly, Sen. Browne has consistently supported increased funding for education, including investments in early childhood, basic education and special education. Among his notable work for kids:

  • He has been a long-time advocate for early learning programs, beginning with The Ounce of Prevention Act in 1999, which established Pennsylvania’s first home-visitation law to support at-risk families and their newborn children.
  • As a member of Senate leadership, he has been a vocal budget negotiator to speak up for early learning investments.
  • Sen. Browne helped establish and co-chairs the Early Childhood Education Caucus, a bipartisan and bicameral caucus with more than 120 members created to support high-quality early childhood care and education programs.
  • He helped write the law that created the Basic Education Funding Commission and currently co-chairs the commission, which is examining the commonwealth’s public school funding system.
  • He led efforts to enact a law that created the Special Education Funding Commission, which he also co-chaired. Some of the commission’s recommendations for a new funding formula were signed into law as part of the 2013-14 Fiscal Code, and this new formula was used to distribute the first increase in special education funding since 2008-09.

The “Be Someone for Kids” award was given to Sen. Browne by Benso and PPC Board Chairman Bob Cicco during a ceremony at the state Capitol. The event was attended by many of the senator’s legislative colleagues and prominent names from the Lehigh Valley, including Jane Ervin, the CEO and president of the Allentown-based Community Services for Children and a PPC board member.

PPC launched the “Be Someone for Kids” award this year as a way to honor those who have made extraordinary efforts to help Pennsylvania’s nearly 2.8 million children.



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