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Good Afternoon!

This is the first of a series of e-mails that I will periodically send to keep you filled in on what is happening in Harrisburg. Having an on-going dialogue is important to me so that I can represent you in the Capitol. Through this and other means like my webpage and facebook page, I’ll keep you in the loop. You will always be able to reach me by visiting or calling my district and capitol offices, of course, as well as by electronic or regular mail. Since I have been able to keep the staff that worked for Senator O’Pake, you’ll be dealing with people you know. If you don’t want to receive these e-mails, you will always be able to remove yourself at anytime, easily, with the unsubscribe button below. If you want to sign up again, and if you know someone who would like to receive my e-mails, just let me know.

It has been a little more than a month since Berks County Judge Linda Ludgate swore me into the Pennsylvania Senate, and many people have asked what it has been like. It has been an exceptionally busy six weeks! Right after being sworn in on April 5, I literally assumed the desk in the Senate chamber from which Senator O'Pake represented this district. The chamber and the capitol are very busy on session days. Except for my drive to and from Harrisburg, events in the district when the Senate is not in session and on weekends and evenings, I actually don’t do much sitting.

I have quickly become engaged in legislative discussions and in my committee assignments as Democratic chair of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee, and as a member of the Aging and Youth, Local Government, Intergovernmental Operations and Public Health and Welfare committees. These will let me use my experiences and expertise very effectively. My Democratic and Republican colleagues have warmly welcomed me, and have been very helpful in understanding the ways of the Senate. Since I arrived in the midst of a period busy with many issues including next year’s budget, as you might expect the budget has occupied much of my time. I also have been working with other senators on their legislative proposals while preparing my own bills. I plan to file a bill shortly that would reduce the General Assembly’s size by more than a third to help cut the costs of state government.

The issues before me and the schedule it requires have been daunting. However, I am energized by the work ahead and I am really enjoying it. I am honored to serve as your Senator, and to work on issues important to the people and businesses of the 11th district. In future e-mails, I will write on particular issues that I think will interest you. Please contact me to share particular issues you are interested in learning more about.

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For Updates on this and other legislative initiatives, stay in touch with me on the Internet through my website or on Facebook.