Senator Kim Ward Elected PA Senate Majority Leader, First Woman to Hold Post in Senate or House

HARRISBURG – Pennsylvania Senate Republicans today elected Senator Kim Ward (R-39) Senate Majority Leader, making her the first woman in state history to hold the Majority Leader post in the Senate or House of Representatives.

Majority Leader is the second-highest ranked post in the Senate. Duties include overseeing the legislative agenda, developing policies and strategies for the Senate Republican Caucus, chairing the Senate Rules and Executive Nominations Committee and playing a key role in floor debates. As Majority Leader, Senator Ward will also have a major role in negotiating budgets and other issues with the Administration and House of Representatives and in supervising action on the Senate floor.

“I am humbled and honored by the trust placed in me by my Senate colleagues,” Senator Ward said. “We are at a pivotal point in Pennsylvania history, in which a public health crisis and the economic fallout have created widespread uncertainty about our future. Senate Republicans are committed to easing that anxiety and showing the path forward, and I am eager to help lead that effort.”

Prior to being elected Majority Leader, Senator Ward served as Majority Caucus Administrator and as the first female chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.

As a legislator, Senator Ward has introduced and had legislation signed into law reducing spending on state subsidized methadone treatment transportation, implementing the federal E-Verify program to ensure workers on publicly funded construction projects were legally permitted to work, and reauthorizing the emergency services grant program. In addition, she led the successful effort to reform Pennsylvania’s child abuse laws in order to provide greater protections for children against abuse. Her Ready to Succeed college grant program legislation for middle-income families was signed into law in 2015, becoming one of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency’s most successful grant programs.

Senator Ward was elected to the Pennsylvania 39th Senatorial District seat in 2008, the first woman ever elected to that seat. Prior to her election to the Senate, she served as a Westmoreland County Commissioner and a Hempfield Township Supervisor, where she was Chairwoman of the Board for the final three years.  Before entering public service, Senator Ward worked as a Board Certified Respiratory Therapist at Allegheny General Hospital, Vanderbilt University Hospital and Hershey Medical Center.

 

CONTACT: Caitrin Wilson cwilson@pasen.gov