Pa. Senate Republicans add to leadership team

Ed Gruver//November 21, 2022

Pa. Senate Republicans add to leadership team

Ed Gruver//November 21, 2022

Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland County, on Friday appointed two new members to the Senate Republican Caucus leadership team for the 2023-24 legislative session. 

Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie County, will serve as the Chairman of the Senate Majority Policy Committee, and Sen. Lisa Baker, R-Luzerne/Pike/Susquehanna/Wayne/Wyoming counties, as the Senate Majority Caucus Administrator. 

Laughlin replaces Sen. Mario Scavello R-Monroe and Northampton counties, who retired at the end of 2021-22 legislative session. 

“This Policy Committee often serves as a staging ground where legislative ideas can be dissected, critiqued, and improved,” Laughlin said in a statement. “As chairman of this body, I look forward to vetting those ideas so that legislation approved by the Senate helps Pennsylvanians and ensures the prosperity of our commonwealth.” 

Laughlin added that he planned to be active across the state, “holding hearings and gathering input on policy issues important to both our caucus and the people of Pennsylvania.” 

According to the Pennsylvania Senate Republicans press release, the last known record of a senator from the 49th district in a Republican leadership role was 1907. It was then that Sen. Albert Everton Sisson was Senate President Pro Tempore from 1907-08. Sisson was known for his working to commemorate Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory at the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. Sisson helped secure state funding for finding, raising, and restoring the brig Niagara, which remains an Erie tourist attraction. 

“It’s very interesting to see the similarities between Sen. Sisson and myself,” said Laughlin. “From both being Republicans representing the 49th District in leadership, to serving as chair of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee and our affinity for the Flagship Niagara, which I have been working to secure funding to build a new replica.” 

Baker’s role as Senate Majority Caucus Administrator will see her help shape and advance solutions and reforms. She replaces Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Beaver/Washington/Greene counties, who will serve as Caucus Secretary for the upcoming session. 

“Being the sole member from the northeastern portion of our state, I will have the chance to be an even stronger voice for the communities that I am privileged to represent,” she stated. “I am excited about this new opportunity to help determine the General Assembly’s agenda and engage in bipartisan work to accomplish results for the people of Pennsylvania.” 

Baker will begin serving her fifth term representing the 20th Senatorial District on Jan. 3 when legislators are sworn into office.