Another tragedy strikes the General Assembly. It is, again, with great sadness that we report that PA State Senator Dave Arnold (R-Lebanon) died this past Sunday after a battle with brain cancer. He was 49 and leaves behind a wife and daughter. The shocking news comes on the heals of Rep. Mike Reese’s unexpected death just a few weeks ago.

Arnold represented the 48th Senatorial District which covers all of Lebanon County and a portion of Dauphin County in central Pennsylvania. He was recently elected to a four-year term this past November. He previously served for 14 years as the Lebanon County District Attorney and was elected to serve as the president of the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association from 2016 to 2017.

A special election will now be set in the months ahead to determine who will fill the seat and fill out the remainder of Arnold’s term.

APC extends its deepest sympathies to his wife, daughter, family and friends of Senator Arnold.

PA State row officers take the oath of office. This past Tuesday was inauguration day for the three statewide row officers—two of which were newly elected this past November. Each will serve a four-year term.

Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Treasurer Stacy Garrity and Auditor General Tim DeFoor were all sworn in Tuesday in separate ceremonies.

Garrity is a Republican businesswoman and 30-year Army veteran and ousted incumbent Joe Torsella to become the new State Treasurer. Shapiro is a Democrat and was re-elected to a second term as State Attorney General. DeFoor, a Republican and former Dauphin County Treasurer, will become the new State Auditor General. DeFoor makes history as the first African American to be elected to a statewide row office in Pennsylvania. DeFoor takes the post from outgoing Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who left to make an unsuccessful bid for a US Congressional seat.

Congratulations to all the new state officials taking office this past week.

Inauguration week calm at state capitol building. The FBI issued a warning to all statehouses this week to be vigilant for potential extremist activity in the lead up to the Jan. 20 inauguration. The PA Capitol Police responded with increased visibility and heavily armed patrols on the Capitol grounds. Thankfully, the week progressed without any incidents or problems in the City of Harrisburg and at the Capitol building.

Schedule ahead. The state House and Senate return on Monday for three days of scheduled session. We don’t expect to see a lot of legislative activity, but some of the initial agenda items possibly include election integrity/reform, COVID response, judicial redistricting, and gubernatorial disaster powers.