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2013-2014 House and Senate Committee Chairs Named

House and Senate leadership this week announced the Chairs of Committees for the 2013-14 Session of the General Assembly.

Among key energy-related Committees, significant changes will take place in the Senate and House Environmental Resources & Energy Committee leadership.  Three of the four chairs from last session had either retired or been elected to a new position.  The Environmental Resources and Energy Committees focus on bills, policies and issues dealing with energy resources and development, including regulations, conservation, strategic reserves and standards; public lands and their renewable resources; surface mining, coal, oil, and gas, and mineral leasing; air and water resources.

Senator Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) is the new chair of the Senate Committee.  Sen. John Yudichak (D-Luzerne) remains the Democratic chair. Yaw said. “As incoming Chairman, I look forward to continuing the great work and momentum initiated by my predecessor, Senator Mary Jo White. We will continue working to strengthen our laws and regulations to further protect Pennsylvania’s rivers, forests and streams for future generations. We will also work to improve our air and water quality, and promote the sustainable and safe use of our natural resources in order to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources. Equally, we will ensure that current laws are strictly enforced.”

In the House, two new chairmen were appointed.  Rep. Ron Miller (R-York) is the new chairman, and Greg Vitali (D-Delaware) becomes the Democratic chair.  Miller said “I’m looking forward to leading this committee into the upcoming session.” He spent 25 years serving as safety, health and environmental manager for Adhesives Research in Glen Rock. Miller is also chairman of the Pennsylvania delegation to the Chesapeake Bay Commission.

Rep. Robert Godshall (R-Montgomery) remains the majority chairman of the House Consumer Affairs Committee, and Rep. Peter Daley (D-Washington) has been named the new Democratic chair.  In the Senate, Sen. Robert “Tommy” Tomlinson (R-Bucks) and Sen. Lisa Boscola (D-Northampton) remain their caucuses respective chairs of the Consumer Affairs and Professional Licensure Committee.  The Consumer Affairs Committee has oversight on a number of Pennsylvania industries, including gas, electric and water utilities; telecommunications and cable industries; Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards,and the Public Utility Commission.

There are no changes among the House and Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee leadership.  In the House, Reps. John Maher (R-Allegheny) and Joseph Petrarca (D-Westmoreland) maintain their chairmanships. On the Senate side, Sen. Edler Vogel (R-Beaver) and Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks) remain in their posts.

Full committee member listings are expected to become available in mid-January. The House returns on January 14, followed by the Senate on January 22.