Senator Kim Ward currently serves as the Senate Majority Leader for the Senate of Pennsylvania. She is the first woman in the history of the Pennsylvania Legislature to serve as 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 & 2016, and most recently in 2020. During the 2019-2020 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 2002-2007 where she was Chairwoman of the Board for the final three years.
Senator Ward’s legislative accomplishments include laws 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 re-authorizing the emergency services grant program. She led the effort to enact legislation reforming Pennsylvania’s child abuse laws and providing greater protections for children against abuse. Her Ready to Succeed legislation created one of the most successful higher education grant programs that helps middle-income families. Senator Ward 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.
Most recently, Senator Ward has had several of bills she introduced to address the COVID-19 pandemic pass the General Assembly. Signed into law was her legislation requiring the Pennsylvania Department of Health to share the location of COVID-19 positive cases with emergency responders so they can better protect themselves and their communities. Senator Ward’s amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution, prohibiting the Governor from extending an emergency declaration beyond 21 days without legislative approval, received the first of two legislative approvals needed before it can be placed on the ballot at the next election. The amendment, if approved by voters, will restore equity among of the three branches of state government – executive, legislative and judicial – during times of emergency.
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 and three beautiful grandchildren, Josie Jane, Thomas and Roman.