Harkins takes oath to begin sixth term

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Patrick Harkins, D-Erie, was sworn in today to a sixth term in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.  

The swearing-in ceremony in the House chamber marked the beginning of the 201st 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. 23.

Harkins will renew his push for legislation to provide Occupational Safety and Health Administration job safety protection to public workers. The need for this legislation was inspired by Jake Schwab, a mechanic with the Erie Metropolitan Transit Authority, who lost his life due to a workplace incident in 2014.

"I will keep up the fight to protect our public employees while they are on the job," Harkins said. "It is unbelievable to me that public employees have less protection than private employees.

"I will also continue to work with state Representatives Flo Fabrizio, Ryan Bizzarro and Curt Sonney to provide the necessary funding for the Erie School District. We have had extensive discussions with House Republican leadership and have communicated with the governor about the dire situation facing our students."

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.