The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

January 2, 2013

3 area lawmakers assume committee chairmanships

JOHNSTOWN — Longtime state Rep. Gary Haluska, D-Patton, has been appointed chairman of the House Game & Fisheries Committee, a two-year term that will expire at the end of 2014.

Haluska and other elected state lawmakers were sworn into office Tuesday during ceremonies in Harrisburg.

State Sens. John Wozniak, D-Westmont, and Richard Kasunic, D-Dunbar, hold chairmanships in that chamber.

Wozniak was reappointed as Democratic chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. Kasunic, whose district includes all or parts of Somerset, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties, was sworn in as Democratic chairman of the Senate Game & Fisheries Committee.

Others from Cambria and Somerset counties taking the oath of office were state Reps. Bryan Barbin, D-Johnstown; Frank Burns, D-East Taylor Township; and Carl Walker Metzger, R-Berlin.

The Game & Fisheries Committee in both chambers provides oversight and develops legislative initiatives needed by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission.

Haluska thanked the voters of the 73rd Legislative District for returning him to office and voted to work in all capacities for the residents of Cambria County.

As Democratic chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Wozniak will have a key role in helping to find increased revenue to fund repairs to aging highways and thousands of deficient bridges statewide.

After being sworn into office for his fifth consecutive term in the Senate, Wozniak vowed to work toward improvements in the state’s transportation system.

“There will be significant costs with aggressive action on transportation infrastructure,” he said. “But there will also be significant opportunity.”

With job growth stagnant across the state, Wozniak said, the economy will see a significant boost with improvements to highways and bridges.

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