FILE - PA Gene Yaw 1-8-2020

Pennsylvania state Sen. Gene Yaw speaks Jan. 8, 2020, during a hearing of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee in Harrisburg.

Loyalsock Township - State Senator Gene Yaw (R-23) has announced his intention to run for re-election to the Pennsylvania state Senate in 2020, pledging to continue working on behalf of the residents of Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna, and Union counties.

“I was elected to protect and promote the interests that are important to the people of our region,” Sen. Yaw said.  “I travel to every part of my district keeping an ear to the ground and understanding the issues that matter most to residents.” 

Senator Yaw is in support of preserving the natural gas Impact Fee, which, he says brings tens of millions of dollars to our counties and municipalities annually. 

Yaw was also a supporter and advocate for legislation and funding to make schools safer.  

As a member of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Senator Yaw was a sponsor of bills, which became part of those signed into law as the 2019 ‘Farming First Package,’ designed to ensure that Pennsylvania agriculture remains competitive and profitable. 

Yaw says he has been a strong advocate for residents living in rural Pennsylvania and presently serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a bipartisan, bicameral legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the General Assembly.

Through the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Senator Yaw has worked cooperatively with Democrats to combat the state’s heroin and opioid epidemic. Efforts include the prescription drug monitoring program, limiting opioid prescriptions to minors, targeting drug dealers, supporting Medication Assisted Treatment, and improving access to health services. 

According to Yaw's office, Senator Yaw led the request to solicit the Attorney General’s help in dealing with post-production costs across leased property in the Northern Tier.  He was also the prime sponsor of the PIPE Program, which is designed to increase the availability and accessibility of locally produced natural gas to area businesses, public buildings, hospitals and residences. 

Yaw has authored several environmental bills in the state legislature to ensure clean water in our streams and waterways. He sits on a number of Boards and Commissions, including as Chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body that advises the legislative branch of state government to identify critical environmental needs, evaluate public concerns, and ensure state and Federal actions to sustain the living resources of the Chesapeake Bay.

Senator Yaw serves as Chairman of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Government Operations. He is also a member of the Judiciary, Law and Justice, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Banking and Insurance, and the Senate Majority Policy Committee.

He is a member of the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee, a member of the Environmental Quality Board, a member of the Pennsylvania Aggregate Advisory Board, and a member of the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.

An active state Senator, Gene Yaw has been successful in securing state funding for local projects and initiatives within the 23rd District that include downtown and streetscape improvements, parks and recreation, sewer and water, transportation infrastructure, healthcare and senior housing. He has also supported the appointments of local residents to state boards and commissions, including the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Fish and Boat Commission, the Milk Marketing Board, Bloomsburg University, Lock Haven University, and Mansfield University. 

Awards and recognition

In 2015, Yaw was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health for his work to address the growing heroin epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth. Senator Yaw is also the recipient of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Award for his voting record in support of small businesses in the state.

In recent years, he has been the recipient of: 

  • Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award from the Susquehanna Council, Boy Scouts of America
  • Lycoming College Alumni of the Year Award
  • CAPPA Community Partner Award
  • Central Pennsylvania State of Israel Bonds Israel Unity Award
  • Pennsylvania Winery Association Industry Supporter Award
  • Pennsylvania College of Technology Centennial Leadership Award
  • Pennsylvania Water Environment Association Public Official of the Year Award  

He has also received recognition from Lycoming College and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for his work to promote clean water and the hellbender as the official ‘State Amphibian,” as well as from the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park Association for his work to ensure that the national heritage of our local men and women who have served in our armed forces will be remembered.

Prior to running for the Senate, Yaw served as Lycoming County solicitor for 17 years and was named County Solicitor of the Year in 2004. He has also served as general counsel to the Pennsylvania College of Technology for more than 20 years and now serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of that institution.

Yaw is a graduate of Montoursville High School, attended Bucknell University, and earned degrees from Lycoming College and the American University School of Law in Washington, D.C.

Senator Yaw is a United States Army veteran. He is a Life Member of the VFW and a Life Member of the NRA. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Ducks Unlimited, and the Nittany Lion Club.

A Lycoming County resident, Yaw is married to Ann S. Pepperman, Esq. He has two children, Scott and Mackenzie, and two grandchildren, Samantha and Sydney.

Related reading: Joe Hamm announces run to replace Garth Everett in State House 

Congressman Fred Keller announces reelection bid 

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.