HARRISBURG – State Sen. Joe Scarnati (R-25) has been sworn in as President Pro Tempore of the Pennsylvania Senate for 2014. This is the eighth time Senate colleagues have elected Scarnati to the third-highest constitutional office in the Commonwealth.
The Honorable Justice Thomas G. Saylor administered the Oath of Office. Following being sworn-in as President Pro Tempore, Scarnati offered remarks on major legislative issues that lie ahead for the Senate in 2014. Scarnati explained that one of the largest tasks this year will be to complete Pennsylvania’s budget.
“I have confidence that the Senate will be a leader in ensuring our state budget is balanced in a responsible manner, while working hard to find a solution that will allow us to increase funding for our public schools, institutions of higher education and programs that help the elderly and our most needy citizens,” Scarnati stated.
“The choices we make will be many, but the largest cost impacting our budget in the coming years will be that of pensions – an issue that must be addressed by this body,” Scarnati continued. “Pennsylvania residents have spoken and have clearly shown that they expect us to move our state pension system in line with that of the private sector.”
Scarnati noted that focusing on economic growth and job creation remains a paramount issue for the Senate. “Pennsylvania taxpayers in poll after poll point to jobs and the economy as their major concern facing our state,” Scarnati said. “Over the past several years we have worked hard to provide a climate in our state that allows job creators to flourish, however there is still much more that can be done.”
“In 2014 it is my pledge to continue to work with my Senate colleagues to make decisions that will strengthen our communities, provide for family sustaining jobs and ensure Pennsylvania will remain a strong commonwealth for future generations.”
Scarnati is currently serving his fourth term in the Senate. He was born and raised in Brockway, Jefferson County, and represents the 25th Senatorial District, which includes Cameron, Elk, Jefferson, McKean, Potter, Tioga and portions of Clearfield and Clinton counties.