Petrarca reappointed chairman of House Judiciary Committee

HARRISBURG, Jan. 23 – State Rep. Joseph Petrarca, D-Westmoreland/Armstrong/Indiana, has been reappointed Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee for the 2017-18 legislative session.

"I am pleased to continue as chairman of this important committee," Petrarca said. "As chairman, my priorities remain the advancement of legislation that will protect Pennsylvania residents and communities, and address issues regarding the judicial and criminal justice systems.

"As one of the busiest committees in the House, the Judiciary Committee has hundreds of pieces of legislation referred to it each session."

The committee reviews all legislation relating to aspects of the civil and criminal court systems, law enforcement and corrections. The committee also oversees the state police, Attorney General's Office, Department of Corrections, State Ethics Commission, Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency, Pennsylvania Commission on Sentencing and the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission, among others.

The committee also is responsible for evaluating prison staffing and inmate populations and housing conditions.

Petrarca said that as chairman, he will continue advocating for seniors, children and victims of crime, as well as law enforcement, to help make Pennsylvania a safer and better place to live, work and raise a family.

Prior to becoming chairman of the Judiciary Committee in 2015, Petrarca was Democratic chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. He also is a member of the Pennsylvania Organ Donation Advisory Board and a member of the Center for Organ Recovery and Education Board of Directors.

Petrarca represents the 55th Legislative District, which covers Saltsburg in Indiana County, Leechburg, Apollo and Parks Township in Armstrong County, and Latrobe, Avonmore, Derry, East Vandergrift, Hyde Park, New Alexandria, Oklahoma, Vandergrift, West Leechburg, Youngstown, and Bell, Derry, Loyalhanna, Unity (part) and Washington townships in Westmoreland County.

Petrarca has three offices within the district where constituents can get help with any state-related problem or concern: the Latrobe office at 901 Jefferson St.; the Vandergrift office at 239 Longfellow St. and the Derry office at 620 N. Chestnut St.