This is the ninth time Senate colleagues have elected Senator Scarnati to the third-highest constitutional office in the Commonwealth. The Honorable Justice Thomas G. Saylor administered the Oath of Office.
Following being sworn-in as President Pro Tempore, Senator Scarnati offered remarks on issues impacting the Commonwealth.
“This year brings with it significant change and transitions across parts of the Legislative, Judicial and Executive branches of our government,” Scarnati said. “We will be confronted with a budget this year that will be just as challenging as the past few years. As we approach ways to balance the fiscal needs of our Commonwealth, we must ensure our schools have the tools that they need to provide outstanding educational opportunities and safe learning environments for our children.”
“Moving the State Pension System more in line with that of the private sector is one of the most significant means we have to gain more revenue, for needs like education,” Scarnati stated. “Pension Reform will be Senate Bill 1, and a top priority this session.”
Scarnati explained that it will be important to continue many policies put in place over the past several years, which are helping to reduce unemployment rates and create good family sustaining jobs across Pennsylvania.
“Our policy of fiscal restraint and smart investments is showing clear dividends with the release of employment figures for past months,” Scarnati said. “In January of 2011, Pennsylvania's unemployment rate was 8.2%. Four years later, Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate stands at 5.1 % - the Commonwealth's lowest rate in more than six years.”
“Supporting innovative and emerging industries has clearly played a key role in reducing unemployment rates. The Marcellus Shale Industry is one industry that has been a significant part of providing for greater economic growth throughout our state,” Scarnati continued.
“In the new legislative session we must continue to enact policies and pass legislation that will improve the job market and focus on the principles that are fueling Pennsylvania’s clear economic resurgence.”
To hear Scarnati's brief comments go to Senator Scarnati.com.