Ward Announces Lifeline Scholarship Program


HARRISBURG – Sen. Judy Ward (R-30) announced today she will soon introduce legislation to establish the Lifeline Scholarship Program to give students a pathway out of failing public schools.

“All children deserve a quality education regardless of their zip code,” said Ward. “With the reality that the new legislative session will require bi-partisan cooperation to advance changes, it is extremely encouraging that Governor-elect Shapiro has also voiced support for Lifeline Scholarships to give more children the opportunity to attend a school that better meets their needs and helps them to succeed.”

Under this legislation, parents with children in grades 1-12 who reside within the attendance area of a district school in the bottom of performance metrics based on state testing would be eligible to receive a scholarship.  Lifeline Scholarships can only be used for qualified education expenses associated with the new education instruction.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature and with Governor-elect Shapiro, to help all children achieve success by giving them the ability to be in the best academic environment possible,” Ward said.


CONTACT: Nathan Akers

Bartolotta Appointed to Role Containing Health Care Costs

Senator Camera Bartolotta - News Release

HARRISBURG – To address rapidly growing health care costs, Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46) was appointed to the Health Care Cost Containment Council, an independent state agency.

The council’s goal is to help contain costs by stimulating competition in the health care market. This can be achieved by giving providers information they can use to identify opportunities and contain costs that improve the quality of care they deliver. It also gives comparative information about the most efficient and effective health care providers to individual consumers and group purchasers of health services.

“I am honored to help Pennsylvanians make informed decisions about their health care and work to keep costs from rising – especially because prices for so many basic necessities continue to strain household budgets across the state,” Bartolotta said. “People are being forced to make hard decisions about what they can afford, and they need help.”

Another important function of the council is to collect inpatient hospital discharge and ambulatory/outpatient procedure records from hospitals and freestanding surgery centers. After verification, the council shares the data with the public through free reports.

Today, the council released its 2021 Hospital Performance Report, which provides information about hospital-specific mortality and readmission ratings, as well as the volume of cases and hospital charges for patients discharged from Pennsylvania’s acute care hospitals.

It also assessed the performance of Pennsylvania hospitals for 13 common medical conditions. Notably, eight conditions showed higher inpatient mortality rates from 2016 to 2021. None of the conditions showed a statistically significant decrease in inpatient mortality rates. Seven conditions showed decreases in 30-day readmission rates with one condition showing an increase.


CONTACT: Katrina Hanna, 717-787-1463

Aument Announces Staff for the Majority Whip’s Office

Senator Ryan P. Aument - News Release

(HARRISBURG) – In preparation for the upcoming 2023-24 legislative session, Sen. Ryan Aument (R-36) has announced Senate staff for the Majority Whip’s office today.

“I am confident in the ability of the team we’ve assembled to work on behalf of Pennsylvanians and make our Commonwealth a more attractive place to live, work, and raise a family,” said Aument. “Their skillsets and experience uniquely position each of them to effectively serve residents of northern Lancaster County and meaningfully contribute to Senate Republican Caucus initiatives. I am eager to work collaboratively with our entire leadership team to advance an opportunity agenda in Pennsylvania this next session.”

Sen. Aument’s Harrisburg staff will be located in his Capitol Office in 20 East Wing. District staff serving constituents in northern Lancaster County are centrally located within the 36th Senatorial District in Lititz.

Harrisburg/Capitol Office Staff                                                     

Ryan Boop – Chief of Staff and Counsel
Stephanie Buchanan – Legislative Director
Stephanie Applegate – Communications Director
Logan Hoover – Legislative Assistant
Jane Pensyl – Executive Assistant/Harrisburg Scheduler

36th District Staff

Rebecca Sollenberger – District Director
Angel Pagan – Field Representative
Tina Thompson – Director of Constituent Services


CONTACT: Stephanie Applegate

Senator John Gordner Announces Resignation from Senate

On November 30, 2022, I will have served 30 years in the Pennsylvania State House and State Senate.  It has been an honor of a lifetime to serve the citizens of the 109th Legislative District and the 27th Senatorial District.

After being reelected in November 2020, my plan was to serve until the end of my term in November 2024 and retire.  However, I have been presented with a unique opportunity that, after much family discussion and consideration, I have decided to accept.

I will be resigning as a state Senator on November 30, 2022 and accepting a new position in the coming week.  The new position will allow me to take full advantage of my 30-year legislative experience in the House and Senate, as well as my 35 years of being an attorney.

Once again, I want to thank the residents of Columbia, Dauphin, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland and Snyder Counties that have supported me over the past 30 years.

During the vacancy, the district offices in Bloomsburg, Mount Carmel and Shamokin Dam will remain fully operational.

For comment, Senator Gordner will be available at 717-787-8928.

Baker Joins Senate Republican Leadership Team

(HARRISBURG) – As part of the new Senate Republican Caucus leadership team for the 2023-24 legislative session, today, Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) was appointed by Interim Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-39) to serve as the Senate Majority Caucus Administrator.

In the position of Senate Majority Caucus Administrator, Baker will have a greater role in shaping and advocating solutions and reforms. She will take the place of Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46), who will serve as Caucus Secretary for the upcoming session.

“I am honored to be appointed to serve as a member of the Senate Republican Leadership team for the 2023-24 session,” Baker said. “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.  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.”

With the start of the new legislative session in January, Senator Baker will begin serving her fifth term representing the 20th Senatorial District, which includes substantial parts of Luzerne and Wayne counties and all of Pike, Susquehanna, and Wyoming counties.


MEDIA CONTACT: Kate Flessner kflessner@pasen.gov 717-787-7428 

Senate Republicans Elect Leadership Team for New Legislative Session

HARRISBURG — Senate Republicans today elected their leadership team for the 2023-24 legislative session.

Sen. Kim Ward (R-39) has been elected to serve as interim Senate President Pro Tempore from Dec. 1 until Jan. 2. On Tuesday, Jan. 3, the Senate will vote for a President Pro Tempore to serve for the new two-year legislative session. She becomes the first woman to hold the position, the third-highest post in Pennsylvania government. She previously served as Senate Majority Leader.

The President Pro Tempore is responsible for appointing the chairpersons and members of the 22 standing committees of the Senate and serves as an ex-officio member of all committees. She presides over the Senate floor when the Lieutenant Governor is unavailable and fills the position of Lieutenant Governor if the office becomes vacant. The office also refers bills and resolutions to the appropriate Senate committees for consideration.

Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41) will serve as Senate Majority Leader. His duties include overseeing the legislative agenda, developing policies and strategies for the Senate Republican Caucus, and playing a key role in floor debates. He also has a major role in negotiating issues with the Administration and House of Representatives and in coordinating action on the Senate floor. Pittman previously chaired the Senate Urban Affairs and Housing Committee.

“To all members of the Senate, Democrat and Republican, I look forward to working with you to chart a path forward that requires us to selflessly work together advocating for all Pennsylvanians and their families by putting the principles and respect for this institution and our Commonwealth above all,” Ward said. “Together we have done big things for Pennsylvania, and they should be acknowledged in the bipartisan manner in which they were achieved. It is proof we can be diverse and unified at the same time and a kind reminder of the work we must continue to do on behalf of our Commonwealth its citizens.”

“To serve as the majority leader of the Senate Republican Caucus in the upcoming session will be a great honor,” Pittman said. “I am flattered to have the support of my colleagues and am committed to advancing a positive, pro-growth agenda for the citizens of this entire Commonwealth. The constituents of the 41st Senatorial District who have elected me to represent them as their senator will always be my top priority and focus, and I will use my voice to represent them and their interests.”

Sen. Ryan Aument (R-36) was elected Majority Whip. The duties include acting as assistant floor leader, working to gain support for legislation and ensuring that Republican policies and strategies are maintained through the cooperative efforts of the majority caucus.

Sen. Scott Martin (R-13) will chair the Senate Appropriations Committee. The committee reviews all legislation for its fiscal impact and plays a crucial role in negotiating and developing the state budget. Each year, the panel holds a series of public hearings with leaders of state departments and agencies to study the governor’s budget proposal and ensure taxpayer dollars are being utilized properly.

Sen. Kristin Phillips-Hill (R-28) will serve as Majority Caucus Chair for the 2023-24 legislative session. The chair presides over Republican caucus meetings to discuss bills and amendments and to develop caucus strategy.

Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46) was elected Senate Majority Caucus Secretary to oversee all executive nominations submitted to the Senate for confirmation. She will coordinate the review of the background and experience of nominees and ensure that proper documentation is submitted.


CONTACTS:  Erica Clayton Wright  (Sen. Ward)

                         Jeremy Dias (Sen. Pittman)