Pa. lawmakers promise to ‘support, obey, and defend’ constitutions

     Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are sworn in Tuesday at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are sworn in Tuesday at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

    Pennsylvania House members and half the state Senate took their oaths of office Tuesday and elected their top leaders for each chamber.

    “Do you solemnly swear that you will support, obey, and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this commonwealth, and that you will discharge the duties of your office with fidelity?” said Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Judith Olson, who administered the oath to House members. “If so, say I do.”

    As newly elected Rep. Cris Dush, R-Jefferson, prepared his desk on the House floor for the first time, he called the experience “humbling.”

    “It’s a tremendous responsibility for 62,000 people who are relying on you to make sure the state does them no harm, and that we do things to help improve their lives and livelihoods,” said Dush.

    House and Senate leaders vowed to take a bipartisan approach, even with the GOP’s gains in both chambers. Republicans control the House 119 seats to 84. They hold the Senate 30 seats to 20.

    Gov.-elect Tom Wolf will be sworn in to office Jan. 20.

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