Barrar, Comitta sworn in for new terms

State Reps. Stephen E. Barrar and Carolyn Comitta took the oath of office Tuesday to begin their next terms in the state legislature. Barrar is beginning his 12th term representing the people of the 160th in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Comitta is entering her second term.

Barrar will continue as the majority chairman for the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, which oversees legislation dealing with veterans’ issues, disaster relief, homeland security, fire and emergency services matters, and the readiness of the Pennsylvania National Guard.

“Serving in this leadership position for the last eight years has been an honor, and I am eager to continue this important work for our military and first responders. Without dedicating both attention and action to the challenges facing these important groups, we risk sacrificing the safety they provide to all Pennsylvanians,” Barrar said

In the upcoming session, Barrar is eager to cultivate relationships by working with his colleagues in the House and the Senate, as well as with the administration’s state agencies which his committee oversees. He also has a number of goals for the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee:

  • Finalize into law legislation that modernizes the Title 35 Emergency Management Code.
  • Address the funding, personnel and training needs of Pennsylvania’s fire and EMS organizations through the implementation of Senate Resolution 6 initiatives.
  • Create or enhance programs for our veterans and their families.
  • Update archaic provisions regarding our National Guard when they serve on state active duty and enhance the National Guard College Tuition Assistance Program.
  • Establish a program to address the post-traumatic needs of our emergency responders.
  • Secure funding for Pennsylvania’s National Guard Youth Challenge Program.

Comitta, representing Pennsylvania’s 156thLegislative District which includes West Chester, is a former educator, councilwoman and mayor of West Chester. She said she seeks to focus on issues including commonsense gun safety reform, community revitalization and development, education and the environment. She also said she’s committed to working in bipartisan coalitions to achieve successes that benefit everybody.

“I’ve dedicated my life to public service: first as a teacher, then as a council member, a mayor, now as state representative,” Comitta said. “I have found the most important thing a public servant can do is bring people together to improve our community.”

Comitta served on several committees her first term, including Environmental Resources & Energy and Aging & Older Adult Services, and was appointed to the Pennsylvania Joint Legislative Air & Water Pollution Control & Conservation Committee. She also was appointed by Gov. Tom Wolf to the Pennsylvania Commission for Women.


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