First-term Bucks County Rep. Kristin Marcell (R-Richboro) hit the ground running.
Marcell, a former Council Rock School Board member, is the sponsor of two bills that Gov. Josh Shapiro already signed into law: one that requires the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) to engage in a public awareness campaign to educate the public about the dangers of human use of xylazine or “tranq,” and the other with Rep. K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bensalem), is the porch pirate bill that Sen. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) sponsored in the Senate, to make mail and package thefts a felony.
In one year, Marcell has sponsored 107 bills and 36 resolutions. She is the prime sponsor of 11 bills. Recently, with other Republican representatives, Marcell sponsored a package of bills to combat antisemitism. Her bill requires curriculum transparency for schools that teach about the Holocaust and genocide.
“It’s always a challenge in a closely divided House,” said Marcell. “But I was able to unite a bipartisan group of legislators to successfully call for one member to resign for sexual harassment and I was able to get legislation to toughen the penalties against porch pirates made into law. It proves we can still accomplish important things if we find consensus, even while staying true to our principles.”
In Chester County, Republican Eric Roe, a former state representative, was elected as a minority member to the county Board of Commissioners, replacing outgoing Commissioner Michelle Kichline in January.
“We live in the best county in America,” said Roe. “Let’s keep it that way for our children and grandchildren. As our county commissioner, I will strive to make our residents even prouder to live here. My goal is to make Chester County the most family-friendly and business-friendly county in the nation one day. We can achieve that by protecting our local economy and preserving our beautiful landscapes.”
“I’m not opposed to business and industry,” said Roe. “I just want it to be in the right places.”
Roe will reach across party lines to get things done. With a three-person board, “you only need one other person to agree with you,” he said.
Roe is also a fiscal conservative.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re living within our means,” he said. “Just in the last four years the county budget ballooned by over $200 million.” Much of that money is one-time payment, federal dollars. “I want to make sure we’re spending our money wisely (so) we’re not spending one-time funds on recurring projects.”
In Delaware County, Newtown Township Supervisors Chairman Leonard Altieri, served on the Marple-Newtown School Board before voters elected him as supervisor in 2019. At 30 he is the youngest person ever elected to be a Newtown supervisor. Altieri was 23 when he was appointed to the school board, then elected to that position at 24.
DVJournal asked Altieri, a lawyer, what he’s done as a supervisor so far, and he immediately said, “Expanding walkability.” The township received a $650,000 state grant through former Rep. Chris Quinn (R-Newtown) for installing sidewalks.
“And we’re putting them in strategic areas in the township to connect different neighborhoods along busy roadways,” said Altieri. Sidewalks are also part of the new town center “that’s happening along West Chester Pike,” he said. “We required the installation of sidewalks there. Again, there were never sidewalks along West Chester Pike.”
“We also have strong fiscal management,” said Altieri. “We received an AAA bond rating from Moody’s, which we never had before. We are one of only two municipalities in the county (with) Radnor being the other one and only a handful in the state with an AAA bond rating. We’ve been very careful with our budget and have strong financial planning. There’s not a lot of people who can say that from a municipality perspective.”
Newtown has the lowest tax rate of any Delaware County municipality with a full-time police department.
And the police department has been recognized and received the “highly coveted and extremely rare Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation certification along with certification from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies.”
Altieri, who grew up in Newtown, said they are also big on sustainable development. The previous board approved several new housing developments, and the current supervisors are making sure the developers live up to their commitments, he said.
They also use environmentally friendly practices with copiers and township vehicles, he said.
Altieri said on the school board and now a supervisor, his “number one priority” remains communication with his constituents. He uses a Facebook page, Instagram and emails to keep in touch.
Montgomery County Rep. Donna Scheuren (R-Harleysville) is a former businesswoman who served on the Souderton Area School Board before she was elected to the House in 2022.
“Serving the people of the 147th has been the honor of my life,” said Scheuren. “My legislative duties have allowed me to meet so many great residents, business owners, and non-profit organizations across the district, as well as the local leaders of our schools, churches, police, fire and emergency services housed within our townships and boroughs. All of them have great needs and wants or ideas to help keep their businesses or community’s strong, and advocating for all of it as their voice in Harrisburg is truly a privilege. There is much more to do and hopefully my first year in office is the start of many more to come.”
Scheuren secured funding to build a new bridge on Bergey’s Mill Road in Lower Salford, which was out for 12 years, causing slower emergency response times.
“I was also proud to stand with my fellow legislators to propose a package of bills that promote transparency in government related settlements,” said Scheuren. “My legislation would amend the PennWATCH Act to include information on each settlement paid to an individual, or to an employee of a commonwealth agency, as a result of an action taken by an employee of a commonwealth agency.
“With no risk of personal or private information being shared on any victims, my legislation would provide an easier way to monitor how taxpayers’ dollars are being spent, as well as greater transparency on taxpayer funded expenditures and investments,” she said.
Scheuren said, “Along with my Republican colleagues, we also successfully fought for $150 million in Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) funding to be included in the final budget, after Democrats took it out at the last second just before a vote before Thanksgiving. I am fighting for education at every level of the process. Whether its funding win-win programs like EITC helping local businesses and schools simultaneously, or new funding for our technical career centers, or my legislation that would help to fix the school bus driver shortage by providing an income tax-credit to new bus drivers, I’m driving common sense legislation through the chamber.”
Scheuren hopes to make Pennsylvania more business friendly.
“With the governor’s announcement to appeal the court’s verdict that enrolling Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is unconstitutional – knowing full well that enrollment in RGGI will send utility bills for all PA residents through the roof – to the unnecessary attacks and potential mandates on our vital energy resources throughout the state, or to getting our labor force back to work to boost state revenues, there is great need to address all these issues.”
“I am once again ready to take on the challenge of making Pennsylvania a better place for all,” said Scheuren.