On January 17th, Josh Shapiro was sworn in as the 48th Governor of Pennsylvania by Judge Debra Todd, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. During his inaugural address Shapiro took time to recognize his wife and new First Lady, Lori, as well as his 4 children, Sophia, Jonah, Max and Reuben. Shapiro was joined by Lieutenant Governor, Austin Davis, the Commonwealth’s first African American to hold this position.
Along with the Shapiro and Davis families, the stage included several guests, who the new Governor referenced to highlight several topics during his speech. These include the fight against the opioid crisis, investing in job training and apprentice programs, leveling the playing field for small businesses, changes to allow family businesses to be passed on to the next generation, retaining access to abortion services, combatting gun violence, addressing mental health struggles for students, and an overall goal to reject extremism.
“Now is the time to join together behind the unifying strength of three simple truths that have sustained our nation over the past two-and-a-half centuries – that above all else, beyond any momentary political differences – we value our freedom, we cherish our democracy, and we love this country,” stated Governor Shapiro.
Leading up to the inauguration, Shapiro has named most of his cabinet and senior staff (list below). Several people named by Gov. Shapiro have also served under Governor Wolf since Shapiro's election is one of the first instances in Pennsylvania’s history that the Governor’s office has transitioned within the same political party.
The Governor must now focus on several items, namely preparing a state budget proposal which newly elected Governors are allowed to present the first week of March instead of February. This is where many of the broad themes the Governor highlighted in his address will be likely de detailed further.