Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Schuylkill County Legislators Sworn in on Tuesday

Senator Argall with his wife, Beth, and children A.J.
and Elise at his office in the state Capitol on Tuesday, January 3, 2017.
On Tuesday, the legislators that serve Schuylkill County were sworn in for new terms.

Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) was sworn-in for his third term to the Senate of Pennsylvania to represent the 29th Senatorial District today during a ceremony at the state Capitol.

Argall, who was first elected to the Senate after winning a special election in March of 2009, will continue representing Schuylkill and parts of northern and western Berks counties in the Pennsylvania state Senate.

Argall says his top priority for the new two-year session is tackling school property tax elimination with a broad bipartisan coalition in the legislature.

“This continues to be the issue I hear about on a daily basis,” Argall said. “When we started six years ago, we had roughly a quarter of the Senate supporting the measure. Today, I am more optimistic than ever that the Senate can pass a bill that would eliminate this school property tax. Our current school property tax system is quite frankly rotten at the core.”

Senator Argall will serve in a leadership post for the 2017-18 legislative session as Chairman of the Senate Majority Policy Committee, which is tasked with developing legislation on a broad range of issues in the Senate.

Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Dauphin) took the oath of office and was officially sworn in on Tuesday for his fourth term serving the people of the 125th District, which spans portions of Schuylkill and Dauphin counties. He was joined by his wife, Amie, at the ceremony.

Rep. Jerry Knowles, who represents the 124th District, which spans portions of Berks, Carbon and Schuylkill counties, took the oath of office for his fifth term. At the ceremony, which took place in the House Chamber, Knowles’s grandson, Patrick, held the Bible as he took the oath.

Rep. Neal P. Goodman was sworn in for an eighth term to represent the 123rd Legislative District during a ceremony.

“It is an honor to have the residents of the 123rd District put their faith and trust in me again to serve as their state representative,” Goodman said. “Our state continues to face many serious challenges, and I am ready to do my part to take on these challenges to move the commonwealth and Schuylkill County forward.”

Goodman is the highest-ranking Democrat from Schuylkill County to serve in the state House, and will again hold a leadership position. He was re-elected to the position of Democratic Caucus administrator in November by his peers.

Goodman is the first House Democrat from Schuylkill County to hold a leadership position in the caucus since his uncle, James Goodman, served as chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee from 1977 to 1980.

Goodman said his legislative priorities are job creation and economic development, eliminating property taxes, improving the quality of life in Schuylkill County, helping veterans and preserving the environment.

Rep. Tobash with his wife after swearing in

Rep. Knowles during the swearing in ceremony