Harkins takes oath to begin fifth term


HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, was sworn in today to a fifth term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  

The swearing-in ceremony in the House chamber marked the beginning of the 197th legislative session. The state constitution mandates that the legislature convene at noon on the first Tuesday of January each year.

The state House is scheduled to return to voting session in Harrisburg on Jan. 20.

Harkins will continue to push legislation requiring school districts to offer kindergarten to all students of the appropriate age who reside in the district as well as to lower the mandatory age for school attendance to age 6.

Legislation introduced in the 2013-14 session was not approved by the House Education Committee and needs to be re-introduced for further consideration.

"Study after study shows the value of quality early education," Harkins said. "I will continue to fight for our youngest residents to ensure they receive the best education when it can provide the strongest boost for learning potential."

Harkins' constituent service office is located at 460 E. 26th St. in Erie and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The telephone number is (814) 459-1949. He can be contacted via e-mail at pharkins@pahouse.net or via his website at www.pahouse.com/harkins.

A wide variety of services are available at his office, including help with state Transportation Department paperwork, applications for and assistance with state programs such as the state's PACE/PACENET senior prescription-drug programs, and the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program, information on other state programs and services, and brochures and publications on a variety of topics important to local residents.