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Tobash Appointed to Four House Committees

Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Berks) has been appointed by Speaker of the House Sam Smith (R-Jefferson) to four state House committees for the 2011-12 Legislative Session. 

The first-term lawmaker will serve on the Insurance, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Commerce, and Urban Affairs committees. 

“I am very pleased with my committee appointments and look forward to getting to work on the issues facing our Commonwealth,” Tobash said. “Before any bill comes to the House floor, it has been reviewed and refined at the committee level. This is where the real legwork is done in the legislative process.” 

Having been involved in his family insurance business all his life, Tobash brings to the House Insurance Committee a wealth of firsthand knowledge and experience. 

“This is a natural fit for me given my background. In addition to general oversight of the industry, I expect we will take up some legislation addressing the cost and accessibility of health insurance in the Commonwealth,” Tobash said. “This is a significant concern for people living without benefits, and for employers who are struggling to meet the rising costs of providing health care coverage for their employees.” 

Given the significant role that farming plays in the local economy, Tobash is equally pleased with his appointment to the House Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. 

“Agriculture has a great heritage in our area and across the Commonwealth – it is the state’s top industry,” he said. “But running a farm or other type of agricultural operation is increasingly challenging, and we as lawmakers need to ensure government is not standing in the way of this important industry.” 

As a member of the Commerce Committee, Tobash will have the opportunity to work on policies that will make the state a better, more competitive place to do business, thereby helping to create new jobs for the Commonwealth’s citizens. 

“Unemployment has always been a concern in our area,” Tobash said. “Government cannot create jobs, but we can make it easier for the private sector to do it.” 

Finally, Tobash will serve on the Urban Affairs Committee, which the lawmaker says handles issues for cities of all shapes and sizes, not just the state’s urban centers in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. 

“Affordable housing, code enforcement, infrastructure improvements and economic development are issues all of our state’s cities, including Pottsville, are facing,” Tobash said. “Addressing these issues not only benefits people living in the city centers, but in the areas surrounding them as well.” 

The state House committees held organization meetings in Harrisburg on Wednesday. Dozens of bills will be referred to those committees for consideration in the next few days.  

State Representative Mike Tobash
125th District, Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Contact: Patricia Hippler

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