House Elects “Independent” as Speaker, Elects Leadership, Swears in 48 New Members and Republicans Appoint Committee Chairs
In a surprising development, the PA House of Representatives Elected Representative Mark Rozzi from Berks County as Speaker of the House. Rozzi is a Democrat but indicated he will serve in the roll as Independent and not Caucus with either Party. However, it is unclear if he will change his party affiliation. Rozzi was nominated by Jim Gregory, a Republican
member from Blair County, and received further Republican votes winning the position by 115-85. Rozzi obtained votes from all Democrat members plus 16 Republican votes, including all 7 of the Republican Caucus Leadership.
In November, Democrats won 102 out of 203 House seats to win the majority but were set back by 3 vacancies because of the October death of Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny) and resignations of Rep. Summer Lee and Austin Davis. Lee has been elected to the U.S. House from Pittsburgh, and Rep. Austin Davis (D-Allegheny) is set to be the state’s new Lieutenant Governor. The flip of the state House to Democrat majority will not be cemented until three special elections are held to fill these vacancies since all are expected to be safe Democrat seats.
Thus, Republicans did not concede the majority going into today’s first day of the new Session. Indeed, both Rep. Joanna McClinton (D-Philadelphia) and Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) conducted separate swear in ceremonies as House Majority Leader for the 2023-2024 session. They had also both scheduled the special elections for the three vacant seats, but the Courts upheld Rep. McClinton call for the special elections to be held on February 7th.
Amongst all this turmoil and uncertainty, the House Caucuses elected their new Leadership teams and swore in new members (2 from Delco) and the Republican Caucus has appointed committee Chairs. All listed below.
House Democratic Leadership:
House Republican Leadership:
New Democrat House Members:
Republican Caucus Appoints Chairs
o Commerce - Rep. Joe Emrick (R-Northampton).
o Finance - Rep. Keith Greiner (R-Lancaster) –
o Labor and Industry -Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Lehigh)
o Environmental Resources and Energy - Rep. Martin Causer (R-Cameron)
o Consumer Affairs - Rep. Jim Marshall (R-Beaver)
o Transportation - Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R-Centre)
o Tourism and Recreational Development - Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Armstrong)
o Insurance - Rep. Tina Pickett (R-Bradford)
o Human Services - Rep. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon)
o Health - Rep. Kathy Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest)
o Education -Rep. Jesse Topper (R-Bedford)
o Local Government - Rep. R. Lee James (R-Venango)
o Professional Licensure - Rep. Carl Walker Metzger (R-Somerset)
o Aging and Older Adult Services - Rep. Steve Mentzer (R-Lancaster)
o Agriculture and Rural Affairs - Rep. Dan Moul (R-Adams)
o Children and Youth- Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R-Northumberland)
o Ethics - Rep. Kate Klunk (R-York)
o Game and Fisheries - Rep. David Maloney (R-Berks)
o Gaming Oversight -Rep. Russ Diamond (R-Lebanon)
o Judiciary - Rep. Rob Kauffman (R-Franklin) –
o Liquor Control - Rep. Mindy Fee (R-Lancaster)
o Government Oversight - Rep. Aaron Kaufer (R-Luzerne)
o State Government - Rep. Brad Roae (R-Crawford/Erie)
o Urban Affairs - Rep. Rich Irvin (R-Franklin)
o Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness - Rep. Mark Gillen (R-Berks)