Harrisburg, Pa. – Tuesday, Jan. 5, known as ‘First Tuesday,’ was the swearing-in ceremony in the Pennsylvania House chamber. First Tuesday marked the beginning of the 205th legislative session.
Local elected officials include:
State Sen. Gene Yaw (R-23)
Sen. Yaw was sworn into his fourth term in the state Senate, representing Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna (parts), and Union counties.
“I want to thank the voters of the 23rd Senatorial District for again placing trust in me to represent their interests in Harrisburg,” Sen. Yaw said. “There are many serious challenges facing our great state in the new legislative session and they will take dedicated commitment to address. I will continue to be faithful to that mission. We need to work together, within our own party and across party lines, to address these challenges. Together, we can continue to make our state a better place to live, work and raise our families.”
Rep. Joe Hamm (R-Lycoming/Union)
Rep. Hamm took the oath of office for his first term in the House of Representatives to advocate for the residents of the 84th Legislative District.
The 84th Legislative District consists of the Union County townships of White Deer and Gregg, as well as the following portions of Lycoming County: the townships of Anthony, Bastress, Brady, Brown, Cascade, Cogan House, Cummings, Eldred, Fairfield, Franklin, Gamble, Hepburn, Jackson, Jordan, Lewis, Limestone, Lycoming, McHenry, McIntyre, McNett, Mifflin, Mill Creek, Moreland, Muncy, Muncy Creek, Nippenose, Penn, Piatt, Pine, Plunketts Creek, Porter, Shrewsbury, Upper Fairfield, Washington, Watson and Wolf; and the boroughs of Hughesville, Jersey Shore, Montoursville, Muncy, Picture Rocks and Salladasburg.
“I am deeply honored to be elected to represent the great people of Lycoming and Union counties and to be able to take your voice to Harrisburg,” said Hamm. “During the upcoming session, I am committed to fighting for fiscal responsibility, the reduction of government spending, improving business and job opportunities, and supporting Pennsylvania’s agriculture industry.”
Prior to his election to the House of Representatives, Hamm was the manager of Jersey Shore Borough. He also served as supervisor and board chairman of Hepburn Township, a member of the Tiadaghton Valley Regional Police Commission and chairman of the Lycoming County Republican Committee.
Hamm has opened two district offices in the 84th Legislative District. They are located at 274 Broad St. in Montoursville and at Tiadaghton Valley Mall, Room 105, 701 Allegheny St., Box 4 in Jersey Shore. The Montoursville office will be open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with a closure from 12:30-1:30 p.m. for lunch and can be reached by calling 570-546-2084 or 570-327-2084. The Jersey Shore office will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays with identical hours and can be reached by calling 570-398-4476.
Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland/Snyder)
Rep. Schlegel Culver said she will continue look out for the needs of the people and the local communities in the 108th district and engage with groups and agencies on issues of importance to them. Culver has worked hard to address issues impacting the area by working together with others to combat the opioid epidemic, recover from flooding, enhance school safety, improve the quality of early childhood education and many other important issues.
“I believe communication with the people I represent is critical for me to be the best advocate for the 108th legislative district and I am thankful they trust me to continue working for them,” said Culver.
Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna)
Rep. Pickett took the oath of office to begin her 11th term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives during a ceremony at the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
Pickett represents the 110th Legislative District, which includes part of Bradford County consisting of the townships of Albany, Asylum, Athens, Burlington, Franklin, Herrick, Leroy, Litchfield, Monroe, North Towanda, Orwell, Overton, Pike, Rome, Sheshequin, Standing Stone, Stevens, Terry, Towanda, Tuscarora, Ulster, Warren, Wilmot, Windham, Wyalusing and Wysox and the boroughs of Athens, Burlington, Leraysville, Monroe, New Albany, Rome, Sayre, South Waverly, Towanda and Wyalusing; all of Sullivan County and part of Susquehanna County consisting of the townships of Apolacon, Auburn, Dimock, Lathrop, Middletown, Rush and Springville and the boroughs of Friendsville, Hop Bottom and Little Meadows.
Pickett also announced that she has been reappointed to serve a fifth term as chair of the House Insurance Committee, which works to ensure that the state’s insurance laws are fairly protecting consumers.
“As we begin a new legislative session, one of our top priorities is to continue the work that is already underway to guarantee the integrity of future elections in Pennsylvania. Our review of the 2020 election is expected to result in changes that will lead to renewed trust in the election process, which many voters currently do not have,” said Pickett. “We will continue our work to return economic prosperity to families and business owners who have struggled to survive the pandemic, and also ensure that our schools can provide the highest quality of education to students.”
To officially kick off the 205th Session of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Reps. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford/Sullivan/Susquehanna) and Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter) took the oath of office Tuesday. Pickett began serving the 110th District in 2001, while Owlett took his first oath of office in 2018.
Rep. Clint Owlett (R-Tioga/Bradford/Potter)
Rep. Owlett took the oath of office as state representative in the 68th Legislative District for the third time.
“Swearing-in day at the state Capitol is typically a day of celebration and optimism about the opportunities for change ahead,” Owlett said. “But there is a far greater sense of urgency in the air today, as there are very serious issues that need our immediate attention.
“Thanks to the irresponsible and constitutionally questionable actions of our governor, the secretary of the Commonwealth and the state supreme court, our citizens have lost faith that their votes are being counted fairly and their voices are being heard in our elections,” Owlett said. “Ensuring the integrity of our elections and returning that sense of trust that is the foundation of our government is by far my top priority in the new session.”
On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, and Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt addressed the election during a press conference.
Related reading: Congressional GOP efforts to overturn the results are disgraceful: Gov. Wolf
Wolf said, “Republican members of the Pennsylvania Congressional delegation plan to object to the counting of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes by claiming the election was compromised, and that our electoral votes are suspect,” said Gov. Wolf. “This is an outrageous lie, and they are undermining our democracy by recklessly repeating that lie to deceive the American people.”
Owlett stressed he has full confidence in how local election officials in the 68th District and many other communities handled the election; the concerns are primarily with how state officials caused so much chaos and confusion leading up to Election Day.
State Rep. Scott Conklin (D-Centre)
Rep. Conklin took the oath of office, beginning his eighth term representing the 77th Legislative District.
State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre
“I am honored to again serve the great communities throughout Centre County and look forward to working with my colleagues to advance smart and sensible priorities,” said Conklin. “The most immediate concern is working together to help our residents who continue to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, I will continue to work to support policies and initiatives to protect and preserve our state’s wonderful natural resources.”
Conklin was also chosen to serve an additional term as Democratic chair of the House Gaming Committee.
Meanwhile, the new session of the Pennsylvania Senate got off to a chaotic start Tuesday, with Republicans refusing to seat state Sen. Jim Brewster of McKeesport, a Democratic senator whose election victory has been certified by state officials.
Related reading: GOP senators remove Lt. Gov. Fetterman from running first day of new session