WILLIAMSPORT — State Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, has announced his intention to run for re-election in this year's elections and represent the residents of Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, Susquehanna and Union counties.
“I was elected to protect and promote the interests that are important to the people of our region,” Yaw said. “I travel to every part of my district keeping an ear to the ground and understanding the issues that matter most to residents.”
Yaw said he has fought to preserve the natural gas impact fee, which brings millions of dollars to Valley counties and municipalities each year. He was a supporter and advocate for legislation and funding to make schools safer. As a member of the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee, Yaw was a sponsor of bills, which became part of those signed into law as the 2019 ‘Farming First Package,’ designed to ensure that Pennsylvania agriculture remains competitive and profitable.
Yaw also noted that he has been an advocate for residents living in rural Pennsylvania and presently serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a bipartisan legislative agency that serves as a resource for rural policy within the General Assembly. Through the Center, he has worked cooperatively with Democrats to combat the state’s heroin and opioid epidemic by being at the forefront of the prescription drug monitoring program; limiting opioid prescriptions to minors; targeting drug dealers; supporting Medication Assisted Treatment; and improving access to health services to save lives.
Yaw also led the request to solicit the state attorney general’s help in dealing with post-production costs across leased property in the Northern Tier. He was also the prime sponsor of the PIPE Program, which is designed to increase the availability and accessibility of locally-produced natural gas to area businesses, public buildings, hospitals and residences.
Yaw said he has authored several bills in the state legislature to ensure clean water in streams and waterways. He serves on on a number of boards and commissions, including as chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, a tri-state legislative body that advises the legislative branch of state government to identify critical environmental needs; evaluate public concerns; and ensure state and federal actions to sustain the living resources of the Chesapeake Bay.
Yaw also serves as chairman of the Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, vice-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Infrastructure and Government Operations. He is also a member of the Judiciary, Law and Justice, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Banking and Insurance, and the Senate Majority Policy committees.
He is a member of the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee; a member of the Environmental Quality Board; a member of the Pennsylvania Aggregate Advisory Board; and a member of the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority.
Yaw also said he has been successful in securing state funding for local projects and initiatives within the 23rd District that include downtown and streetscape improvements, parks and recreation, sewer and water, transportation infrastructure, health care and senior housing. He has also supported the appointments of local residents to state boards and commissions, including the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the Fish and Boat Commission, the Milk Marketing Board, Bloomsburg University, Lock Haven University and Mansfield University.
In 2015, Yaw was named “Legislator of the Year” by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health for his work to address the growing heroin epidemic. He also was the recipient of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Award for his voting record in support of small businesses in the state.
In recent years, he has been the recipient of the Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award from the Susquehanna Council, Boy Scouts of America; the Lycoming College Alumni of the Year Award; the CAPPA Community Partner Award; the Central Pennsylvania State of Israel Bonds Israel Unity Award; the Pennsylvania Winery Association Industry Supporter Award; the Pennsylvania College of Technology Centennial Leadership Award; and the Pennsylvania Water Environment Association Public Official of the Year Award.
He has also received recognition from Lycoming College and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for his work to promote clean water and the hellbender as the official state amphibian as well as from the Bradford County Veterans Memorial Park Association for his work to ensure that the national heritage of local men and women who have served in the armed forces will be remembered.
Prior to running for the Senate, Yaw served as Lycoming County solicitor for 17 years and was named County Solicitor of the Year in 2004. He has also served as general counsel to the Pennsylvania College of Technology for more than 20 years and now serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of that institution.
He is a graduate of Montoursville High School, attended Bucknell University, and earned degrees from Lycoming College and the American University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
He is a United States Army veteran, a lifetime member of the VFW and a lifetime member of the NRA. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, Ducks Unlimited and the Nittany Lion Club.
Yaw, a Lycoming County resident, is married to Ann S. Pepperman, Esq. He has two children, Scott and Mackenzie, and two grandchildren, Samantha and Sydney.