Senate Republicans today elected their leadership team for the 2011-12 legislative session. Senator Joe Scarnati (R-25) has been nominated once again to serve as President Pro Tempore. The full Senate will vote on Scarnati’s nomination when it reconvenes on January 4. As President Pro Tempore, he will be responsible for appointing the chairpersons and members of the standing committees of the Senate. He will also play a significant role in negotiations with the Administration and House of Representatives.
A native of Brockway in Jefferson County, Scarnati was elected to the State Senate in 2000. A graduate of the Pennsylvania State University at DuBois, the Senator was a third-generation small business owner and served in local government.
“I am honored and humbled by the support of my colleagues in electing me President Pro Tempore of the Senate to a third term,” Scarnati said. “Working with the basic premise of less taxes and less regulation, promoted by the Senate Republican Caucus, has given the Commonwealth a solid foundation moving forward.”
Senator Dominic Pileggi (R-9) has been elected to his third term as Senate Majority Leader. His duties will include overseeing the legislative agenda, developing policies and strategies for the Senate Republican Caucus, and playing a key role in floor debates. He will also play a major role in negotiating issues with the Administration and House of Representatives and in supervising action on the Senate floor.
Senator Pileggi was first elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in 2002, and he was chosen by the caucus to serve as Majority Leader in November 2006. Prior to his election to the Senate, he served as Mayor of the City of Chester, and as a Chester City Councilman.
“The new legislative session brings with it historic challenges — and historic opportunities,” said Senator Pileggi. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate, the House of Representatives, and Governor-elect Corbett to implement policies which will strengthen our Commonwealth.”
Leadership of the Senate Appropriations Committee, one of the most important of the standing committees, will remain with Senator Jake Corman (R-34). The committee reviews all legislation for its fiscal impact and plays a crucial role in developing the state budget.
“I am honored that my colleagues have once again elected me to serve as the Majority Appropriations Chairman,” said Senator Corman. “We face challenging economic times in the future. I remain committed to holding the line on spending and seeking long-term solutions to the fiscal issues impacting the Commonwealth.”
Senator Pat Browne (R-16) will serve his first term as Majority Whip. His duties include acting as assistant floor leader, working to gain support for legislation and assuring that Republican policies and strategies are maintained through the cooperative efforts of the majority caucus.
“I sincerely appreciate the support of my colleagues and look forward to working alongside the Majority Leader and the rest of the leadership team to promote a legislative agenda that supports Pennsylvania’s working families and promotes real economic development and job creation,” said Senator Browne. “I am proud of the accomplishments and successes that Senate Republicans achieved standing together over the past eight years. We can build from that foundation. We should work with a renewed spirit of cooperation with the new House majority and Governor-elect Corbett to direct the Commonwealth’s efforts and resources toward enhancing the quality of life for all Pennsylvanians now and into the future.”
Senator Mike Waugh (R-28) will serve as Majority Caucus Chairman for the 2011-2012 legislative session. As chairman, he will preside over Republican Caucus meetings to discuss bills and amendments and to develop caucus strategy.
“A new year always brings renewed hope, and this upcoming session is no different,” said Senator Waugh. “I am looking forward to a productive and successful transitional year with Governor-elect Corbett and the new House leadership team. Together, I am hopeful we can have a session with a much more positive outcome than in recent years.”
As the Senate Majority Caucus Secretary, Senator Bob Robbins (R-50) will oversee all executive nominations submitted to the Senate for confirmation. He will coordinate the review of the background and experience of nominees and ensure that proper documentation is submitted.
“Earlier this month Pennsylvania voters sent a clear message to their elected officials at all levels of government,” Senator Robbins said. “We need to rein in spending and make our Commonwealth an easier place to run a business, raise a family and find a job.”
The Caucus Administrator, who will be responsible for scheduling activities before the caucus and the Chairman of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, which supports the members of the Senate Republican Caucus through research and development of ideas and initiatives, will be appointed by Senator Scarnati at a later date.
Pennsylvania voters retained the 30-20 Republican majority in the state Senate.