Statement on the Retirement of the Speaker of the House of Representatives

February 11, 2014

Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati (R-25) issued the following statement regarding the retirement of Speaker Sam Smith:

Speaker Sam Smith has been an exceptional public servant, working tirelessly to provide extraordinary leadership and strong guidance for our Commonwealth for the past 27 years.  I consider it a great privilege to have had the opportunity to work with Speaker Smith for over a decade.

Speaker Smith has offered solid direction for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, while spearheading numerous significant legislative accomplishments.  Most recently we saw an example of his exemplary leadership with his resolve to facilitate the passage of Pennsylvania’s transportation funding infrastructure investment plan -– putting the safety of Pennsylvania citizens above politics.

Chief among his other legislative accomplishments has been his push for educational initiatives.  Sam Smith was certainly the “Father” of the educational block grants.  The block grants have been a funding source which allow public schools flexibility and accountability, and have been embraced by Pennsylvania’s current and previous governor.

The 66th House District he represents and which we share a portion of, has truly seen the positive impacts of Speaker Smith’s immense presence in the legislature.  He has prided himself on being accessible to all individuals and has been an unwavering voice for the hard working residents of rural Pennsylvania.  During numerous recent events we have both attended in the district, it has been staunchly apparent to me that Speaker Smith continues to garner an overwhelming amount of respect from area residents. I am confident that even after his retirement, Sam will continue to be active in our local community and shared home county of Jefferson.

While we are no longer roommates, I am honored to call Sam a friend and will deeply miss his presence in Harrisburg.

CONTACT: Drew Crompton dcrompton@pasen.gov  (717) 787-7084

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