New General Assembly Opens, Selects Leadership

Pennsylvania’s new General Assembly will reconvene Jan. 15, after lawmakers took the oath of office New Year’s Day under a state constitutional mandate that they meet on the first Tuesday of the year. Yesterday, the remaining committee leadership was announced.

“We pray for wisdom, humility, courage and compassion in all who lead our Commonwealth that they may work with integrity for the common good for this time and generations to come,” said LAMPa Director Tracey DePasquale.

In all, seven senators and 43 House members will be serving their first term in a legislature with smaller but sizeable Republican majorities in both chambers – 110 to 93 in the House and 29 to 21 in the Senate.

Republican Sen. Joe Scarnati of Jefferson County was re-elected as president pro tempore of the Senate, and Allegheny County Republican Rep. Mike Turzai retained his post as House speaker. Otherwise, in majority leadership, the most significant change is the naming of Rep. Bryan Cutler of Lancaster County as majority leader. He takes over from Rep. Dave Reed of Indiana County, who did not seek re-election to the House in hopes of winning a congressional seat that was later re-districted into one held by an incumbent.

New Lieutenant Gov. John Fetterman, who will be sworn in Jan. 15 with Gov. Tom Wolf, who won his second term, will preside over the Senate. Both are Democrats.  Gov. Wolf will present his budget Feb. 5.

On opening day, the House voted for rule changes that include shortening the time needed before a final vote on an amended bill from 24 to 12 hours and requiring that the Ethics Committee investigate sexual harassment allegations. In addition, the chamber created a House Government Oversight Committee that will have subpoena power and authority to take up matters on referral from the speaker or either floor leader.

The legislature will reconvene with one vacancy in the Senate and two in the House. Sen. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Allegheny, was sworn into Congress Jan. 3. In the House, Rep. Sid Michaels Kavulich, D-Lackawanna, died in October, and Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown, D-Philadelphia, resigned after sentencing in November for a bribery conviction.

House and Senate leaders for the new General Assembly are listed below.


 Republican Leadership: 

President Pro Tempore – Sen. Joe Scarnati, District 25

Majority Leader – Sen. Jake Corman, District 34

Majority Whip – Sen. John Gordner, District 27

Appropriations Chair – Sen. Pat Browne, District 16

Caucus Chair – Sen. Bob Mensch, District 24

Caucus Secretary – Sen. Richard Alloway, District 33


Democratic Leadership: 

Democratic Leader – Sen. Jay Costa, District 43, Allegheny County

Whip – Sen. Anthony Williams, District 8, Delaware and Philadelphia counties

Appropriations Chair – Sen. Vincent Hughes, District 7, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties

Caucus Chair – Sen. Wayne Fontana, District 42, Allegheny County

Caucus Secretary – Sen. Larry Farnese, District 1, Philadelphia County

Policy Chair – Sen. Lisa Boscola, District 18, Lehigh and Northampton counties

Caucus Administrator – Sen. John Blake, District 22, Lackawanna, Luzerne and Monroe counties


Senate Republican Standing Committee Chair Assignments:

  • Aging & Youth– Senator John DiSanto (R-15)
  • Agriculture & Rural Affairs– Senator Elder Vogel, Jr. (R-47)
  • Appropriations– Senator Pat Browne (R-16)
  • Banking & Insurance– Senator Don White (R-41)
  • Communications and Technology– Senator Mario Scavello (R-40)
  • Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure– Senator Robert Tomlinson (R-6)
  • Education – Senator Ryan Aument (R-36)
  • Environmental Resources & Energy– Senator Gene Yaw (R-23)
  • Finance – Senator Scott Hutchinson (R-21)
  • Game & Fisheries– Senator Dan Laughlin (R-49)
  • Health & Human Services – Senator Michele Brooks (R-50)
  • Intergovernmental Operations– Senator Judy Ward (R-30)
  • Judiciary – Senator Lisa Baker (R-20)
  • Labor & Industry– Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46)
  • Law & Justice– Senator Pat Stefano (R-32)
  • Local Government– Senator Scott Martin (R-13)
  • Rules & Executive Nominations – Senator Jake Corman (R-34)
  • State Government – Senator Mike Folmer (R-48)
  • Transportation – Senator Kim Ward (R-39)
  • Urban Affairs & Housing – Senator Tom Killion (R-9)
  • Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness – Senator Mike Regan (R-31) 

Senate Democratic Standing Committee Chair Assignments: 

  • Aging and Youth: Maria Collett
  • Agriculture & Rural Affairs: Judy Schwank
  • Appropriations: Vincent Hughes
  • Banking & Insurance: Sharif Street
  • Communications & Technology: Steve Santarsiero
  • Community, Economic, & Recreational Development: Larry Farnese
  • Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure: Lisa Boscola
  • Education: Andrew Dinniman
  • Environmental Resources & Energy: John Yudichak
  • Finance: John Blake
  • Games & Fisheries: James Brewster
  • Health & Human Services: Art Haywood
  • Intergovernmental Operations: Wayne Fontana
  • Judiciary: Daylin Leach
  • Labor & Industry: Christine Tartaglione
  • Law & Justice: James Brewster
  • Local Government: Tim Kearney
  • Rules & Executive Nominations: Jay Costa
  • State Government: Anthony Williams
  • Transportation: John Sabatina, Jr.
  • Urban Affairs & Housing: Katie Muth
  • Veteran’s Affairs & Emergency Preparedness: Lindsey Williams





Republican Leadership

Speaker – Rep. Mike Turzai, District 28, Allegheny County

Majority Leader – Rep. Bryan Cutler, District 100, Lancaster County

Whip – Rep. Kerry Benninghoff, District 171, Centre and Mifflin counties

Appropriations Chair – Rep. Stan Saylor, District 94, York County

Caucus Chair – Rep Marcy Toepel, District 147, Montgomery County

Policy Chair – Rep. Donna Oberlander, District 63, Armstrong, Clarion and Forest counties

Caucus Administrator – Rep. Kurt Masser, District 107, Columbia, Montour and Northumberland

Caucus Secretary – Rep. Mike Reese, District 59, Somerset and Westmoreland counties


Democratic Leadership:

Leader – Frank Dermody, District 33, Allegheny and Westmoreland counties

Whip – Rep. Jordan A. Harris, District 186, Philadelphia County

Caucus Chair – Rep. Joanna E. McClinton, District 191, Delaware and Philadelphia counties

Caucus Secretary – Rep. Rosita C. Youngblood, District 198, Philadelphia County

Caucus Administrator – Rep. Neal P.  Goodman, District 123, Schuylkill County

Policy Chair – Rep. Mike Sturla, District 96, Lancaster County

Appropriations Chair – Rep. Matthew Bradford, District 70, Montgomery County


House Republican Committee Leadership:

Aging and Older Adult Services: 
Rep. Thomas Murt, 152nd Legislative District, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.
Agriculture and Rural Affairs: 
Rep. Martin Causer, 67th Legislative District, Cameron, Potter and McKean counties.
Children and Youth: 
Rep. Karen Boback, 117th Legislative District, Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties.
Rep. Mark Keller, 86th Legislative District, Cumberland and Perry counties.
Consumer Affairs: 
Rep. Brian Ellis, 11th Legislative District, Butler County.
Rep. Curt Sonney, 4th Legislative District, Erie County.
Environmental Resources and Energy: 
Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, 12th Legislative District, Butler County.
Rep. Frank Farry, 142nd Legislative District, Bucks County.
Rep. Michael Peifer, 139th Legislative District, Pike and Wayne counties.
Game and Fisheries: 
Rep. Keith Gillespie, 47th Legislative District, York County.
Gaming Oversight: 
Rep. Jim Marshall, 14th Legislative District, Beaver and Butler counties.
Rep. Kathy Rapp, 65th Legislative District, Forest and Warren counties.
Human Services: 
Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, 18th Legislative District, Bucks County.
Rep. Tina Pickett, 110th Legislative District, Bradford, Sullivan and Susquehanna counties.
Rep. Rob Kauffman, 89th Legislative District, Franklin County.
Labor and Industry:
Rep. Jim Cox, 129th Legislative District, Berks and Lancaster counties.
Liquor Control: 
Rep. Jeff Pyle, 60th Legislative District, Armstrong, Butler and Indiana counties.
Local Government: 
Rep. Dan Moul, 91st Legislative District, Adams County.
Professional Licensure: 
Rep. Dave Hickernell, 98th Legislative District, Lancaster and Dauphin counties.
State Government: 
Rep. Garth Everett, 84th Legislative District, Lycoming and Union counties.
Tourism and Recreational Development: 
Rep. David Millard, 109th Legislative District, Columbia County.
Rep. Tim Hennessey, 26th Legislative District, Chester and Montgomery counties.
Urban Affairs: 
Rep. Sue Helm, 104th Legislative District, Dauphin and Lebanon counties.
Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness: 
Rep. Stephen E. Barrar, 160th Legislative District, Chester and Delaware counties.

House Democratic Committee Leadership

Aging and Older Adult Services: 
Rep. Steve Samuelson, 135th Legislative District, Northampton County.

Agriculture and Rural Affairs: 
Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski, 121st Legislative District, Luzerne County.

Children and Youth: 
Rep. Joseph Petrarca, 55th Legislative District, Westmoreland, Armstrong and Indiana counties.

Rep. John Galloway, 140th Legislative District, Bucks County.

Consumer Affairs: 
Rep. Rob Matzie, 16th Legislative District, Beaver and Allegheny counties.

Rep. James Roebuck, 188th Legislative District, Philadelphia County.

Environmental Resources and Energy: 
Rep. Greg Vitali, 166th Legislative District, Delaware and Montgomery counties.

Rep. Jake Wheatley, 19th Legislative District, Allegheny County.

Game and Fisheries: 
Rep. William Kortz, 38th Legislative District, Allegheny County.

Gaming Oversight: 
Rep. Scott Conklin, 77th Legislative District, Centre County.

Rep. Dan Frankel, 23rd Legislative District, Allegheny County.

Human Services: 
Rep. Angel Cruz, 180th Legislative District, Philadelphia County.

Rep. Tony DeLuca, 32nd Legislative District, Allegheny County.

Rep. Tim Briggs, 149th Legislative District, Montgomery County.

Labor and Industry: 
Rep. Patrick Harkins, 1st Legislative District, Erie County.

Liquor Control: 
Rep. Dan Deasy, 27th Legislative District, Allegheny County.

Local Government: 
Rep. Bob Freeman, 136th Legislative District, Northampton County.

Professional Licensure: 
Rep. Harry Readshaw, 36th Legislative District, Allegheny County.

State Government: 
Rep. Kevin Boyle, 172nd Legislative District, Philadelphia and Montgomery counties.

Tourism and Recreational Development: 
Rep. Mark Longietti, 7th Legislative District, Mercer County.

Rep. Mike Carroll, 118th Legislative District, Luzerne and Lackawanna counties.

Urban Affairs: 
Rep. Thomas Caltagirone, 127th Legislative District, Berks County.

Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness: 
Rep. Christopher Sainato, 9th Legislative District, Lawrence County.



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