We at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center are thrilled by the vote to elect Representative Joanna McClinton to be Pennsylvania’s speaker of the House of Representatives. Rep. McClinton is not only a dynamic leader but has been a long-time supporter of many of the policies we have put forward. She is also one of the first leaders in the House of Representatives to have endorsed the agenda of our advocacy campaign, We The People–PA. The election of the first Black woman speaker of the House is also a breakthrough moment that, we hope, is another sign of our state’s commitment to overcoming its legacy of white supremacy.
We also want to acknowledge the important role Representative Mark Rozzi has played as speaker. His skillful leadership in his first term made this moment possible and led to the passage last week of bills containing a proposed statute and a constitutional amendment that will open a two-year window for survivors of sexual abuse to sue for justice. We also applaud his determination to adopt rules for the House of Representatives that allow for strong party leadership while being fair to all members, including those in the minority.