Tuesday, January 4, 2011

GOP Has 22 Seat Edge in PA House

Nine weeks after Election Day, Republicans have officially taken control of the State House.
After 112 Republicans and 90 Democrats took the oath of office, the chamber unanimously elected Republican Sam Smith of Jefferson County as Speaker.
Smith said he came to the House for the first time in 1963, to watch his father get sworn in.
He was a 7-year-old, and armed with a hand buzzer he had gotten for Christmas.

"The family came to town and I announced to my mom and dad that, when I met the Governor that day I was going to shake his hand with that. My mother took that away from me shortly after that. "

Smith’s father, Snuffy Smith, handed him the Speaker’s gavel.

The new Republican majority will work toward a range of reforms aimed at shrinking the size of government. New Majority Leader Mike Turzai says the GOP will keep the taxpayers in mind, as they vote on bills over the next two years.

"They’re the ones who are paying the taxes. And we are fiscal stewards of their hard-earned money. We don’t get to spend it on festivals anymore. We don’t get to do that. We’ve got to be conscious exactly of where we’re spending their money, and making sure we’re spending it in the appropriate places."

They’ll also try to sell off state-owned liquor stores and pass tort reform measures in the coming months.

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