Local legislators begin new terms

HARRISBURG—Local lawmakers attended a swearing in ceremony Tuesday in Harrisburg, taking the oath of office to continue to serve their constituents.

Rep. John Hershey

Rep. John Hershey (R-Mifflin/Juniata/Franklin) begins his second legislative term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Hershey’s goals for the term include supporting legislation that helps the agriculture community, rural families and small business owners. He also plans to continue opposing any new gun control efforts and standing up for the unborn.

Newly appointed to the Appropriations Committee, Hershey also wants to ensure state spending remains at its current levels or decreases, as taxpayers across the state are facing hardships.

“The 2021-22 Legislative Session is going to be an important one because of the economic damage wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and Gov. Tom Wolf’s orders that shuttered businesses when they could least afford it,” Hershey said. “We are focused on Pennsylvania’s recovery and making sure we steward taxpayer dollars responsibly.”

State Rep. Rob Kauffman

Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) renewed his pledge to serve the people of the 89th Legislative District in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives when he took the oath of office.

“It continues to be an honor to serve my friends and neighbors in this capacity,” Kauffman said. “Franklin County is my home and where I choose to raise my family, which is why I care so deeply about the people, organizations and businesses that have also put down roots there. We have a lot of work ahead of us to address the pandemic, election reform, the state budget and many more issues, and I look forward to getting started as we begin the 2021-22 Legislative Session.”

Following the swearing-in ceremony, Speaker of the House Bryan Cutler announced his appointment of Kauffman to serve as chairman of the House Judiciary Committee for a second term.

The House Judiciary Committee deals with issues pertaining to criminal justice reform, firearms, family law, law enforcement, sex offenses, judicial reforms, animal cruelty, crime victims, juvenile justice and more.

“We accomplished a great deal through the Judiciary Committee last session, and I plan on continuing to build on that track record during the 2021-22 session,” said Kauffman. “I look forward to examining the many bills that will be introduced and sent to the committee for review in the coming weeks.”

State Sen. Doug Mastriano

Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-33) began serving his second term in the Pennsylvania Senate, representing residents of Adams, Franklin, Cumberland and York counties.

The retired military colonel took the oath of office joined by his wife Rebecca, son Josiah and friends during the swearing-in ceremony at the state capitol.

As he begins a new four-year term, Mastriano is once again declining the taxpayer-funded pension and benefits associated with the position.

“The past year has taught us that we are all in this fight together,” said Mastriano, who has led recent efforts focusing on the irregularities associated with the presidential election in Pennsylvania.

Also over the past 10 months, Mastriano has combatted the what he says is the governor’s flawed, inconsistent and – in some cases – unconstitutional edicts.

“Everyone knows that they can count on me to fight for them,” Mastriano said. “We need to restore common sense, transparency and accountability in our state government. Pennsylvanians want limited government – not a bloated bureaucracy, where officials are unaccountable.”

Since taking office in June of 2019, Mastriano has battled for the unborn, championed the Second Amendment and fought for taxpayers.

He chaired the Senate Intergovernmental Operations Committee, which passed eight bills during the 2019-2020 legislative session, aimed at reducing the regulatory burden faced by businesses, and eliminating bureaucratic red tape.

Mastriano introduced 28 bills in 2019-2020, of which eight advanced from the relevant Senate committee. Six bills received unanimous votes by the Senate, and subsequently, four measures received affirmative votes from the relevant House of Representatives committee.

Three bills were signed into law: legislation streamlining the veterans designation process for a state drivers license; the Move Over law protecting first responders; and Veterans Court legislation that was developed in partnership with Sen. Mike Regan (R-31).

Two bills were amended into state law: the re-authorization of a Fire & EMS grant program; and a bill clarifying that borough electric companies are exempt from the Gross Receipts Tax.

Rep. Dan Moul

Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams) has begun his eighth term as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

“I am grateful to have the confidence and support of the citizens of the 91st Legislative District and to have the privilege of serving them for another term,” Moul said. “We are facing some very troubling times with the pandemic and the disruptions and financial hardships it has caused for many of Pennsylvania citizens.

“In the new term I will continue to strive to keep businesses open, residents working and kids in school. This is shaping up to be a very difficult budget year,” he said. “I will also do everything I can to address the needs of our most vulnerable citizens while continuing my work to strengthen our economy.”

Moul is expected to receive his committee assignments for the new term later this week.

Rep. Paul Schemel (pictured)

Rep. Paul Schemel (R-Franklin) took the oath of office Tuesday to begin his fourth term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

For the 2021-22 Legislative Session, Schemel’s priorities include ensuring state spending does not outpace the rate of inflation, ensuring the accuracy and accountability of our elections, improving the Legislature’s transparency to taxpayers, and supporting municipal government and school leaders as they make decisions impacting our communities.

“Pennsylvania faces significant challenges related to the impact of COVID-19 and Gov. Wolf’s corresponding business shutdown orders. As we look forward to a gradual return to normalcy in 2021, we need to look critically at decisions made over the last year so that we never repeat the mistakes and lost opportunities of 2020,” Schemel said.