Biography

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Senator Kim Ward currently serves as the interim Senate Pro Tempore. She is the first woman in the history of the Pennsylvania Legislature to serve as Senate Pro Tempore and Senate Majority Leader in either the Pennsylvania House or Senate. 

In 2008, Senator Ward won the Pennsylvania 39th Senatorial District seat and was the first woman ever elected to that seat. She was re-elected in 2012 and 2016, and most recently in 2020. During the 2019-20 legislative session, she was appointed to the Majority Caucus Administrator position in the Senate. Prior to her election to the Senate, she served as a Westmoreland County Commissioner in 2008, and on the Hempfield Township Board of Supervisors from 2002-07, where she was Chairwoman of the Board.

In her role as Senate Majority Leader and representing the 39th district in Westmoreland, the foundation of every decision by Senator Ward is based on what is good for Pennsylvanians and our Commonwealth.

Reaching across the aisle, Senator Ward has worked in a bipartisan manner to help lead the General Assembly through the COVID-19 pandemic and put measures in place to position the Commonwealth to transition out of crisis and on to a path of prosperity.

Maintaining the balance of government responsibility, to prevent government overreach, was critical during the pandemic, and Senator Ward led efforts to ensure the people’s voice was not lost by advancing a constitutional amendment giving the people a say through the introduction of Senate Bill 2, which instituted the largest transfer of executive power since President Herbert Hoover. Under her leadership, Senator Ward was also able to advance legislation that set best practices in the areas of regulatory reform including hospital funding – making some health care and business waivers permanent – while ensuring fiscal solvency with the state budget and replenishing our state rainy day fund in the last two budget cycles.

As part of an overall strategy to move beyond the economic challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Senator Ward also worked in a bipartisan manner to ensure that Pennsylvania could recover more quickly from an economic perspective by focusing on unleashing our energy potential, positioning small- and medium-sized businesses to thrive and large corporations to stay, grow, invest, and relocate to our state all to create good paying jobs for Pennsylvania workers.

Delivering on that promise, Senator Ward advanced efforts to reduce the Corporate Net Income Tax (CNIT) for Pennsylvania, taking it from one of the highest in the nation to phasing it down to one of the most competitive rates among states. She also helped to provide more certainty for businesses through regulatory reform and make tax code adjustments for small- medium-sized businesses.

In addition to her work as Majority Leader, Senator Ward’s legislative accomplishments include passing laws reducing spending on state-subsidized methadone treatment transportation; implementing the federal E-Verify program to ensure workers on publicly funded construction projects are legally permitted to work; and re-authorizing the emergency services grant program. A champion for the welfare of children and youth, Senator Ward also led efforts to enact legislation reforming Pennsylvania’s child abuse laws and providing greater protections for children against abuse. Most recently, Senator Ward championed legislation to expand Megan’s Law to include the sex trafficking of minors to the sex offender registry, offering one more resource to reduce such heinous acts. Her Ready to Succeed legislation created one of the most successful higher education grant programs that helps middle-class families. Senator Ward also helped to extend benefits to the families of campus police officers who die in the line of duty, championed efforts to ensure continued access to quality eye care for patients and added more crime victim representation within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), so policy and funding priorities for crime victim assistance are being decided by a more diverse representation of Pennsylvanians affected by crime.

She is a member of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Hempfield Township, the Italian Sons and Daughters of America and the NRA. Senator Kim Ward is a native southwestern Pennsylvania resident who grew up in Meadowlands, Washington County. She attended The Community College of Allegheny County Respiratory Therapy program, the University of Pittsburgh, and Middle Tennessee State University.

Before entering politics, Kim worked as a Board-Certified Respiratory Therapist at Allegheny General Hospital, Vanderbilt University Hospital, and Hershey Medical Center.

She and her husband, Dr. Thomas Ward, have three sons: Tom, Michael, and Matthew. They also have six beautiful “grand angels,” Josie Jane, Thomas, George, Roman, Kennedy, and Noah.