Unanimously elected for a third term as the Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives by his House colleagues, Rep. Mike Turzai is now in his tenth House term, originally winning a special election in 2001 for a vacant seat in the 28th Legislative District. Mike represents communities in Marshall Township, Bradford Woods, Pine Township and McCandless Township in Allegheny County.

Speaker Turzai prides himself on focusing on family values, commitment, putting forth full effort and going the extra mile – helping to set an example for those around him.
Growing up in Western Pennsylvania, Mike has always had a passion for the importance of family sustaining jobs. His grandparents moved to Allegheny County from Ireland and Hungary to work in the steel industry. However, in the 1970s and 80s when Mike was a young man, the industry collapsed, forcing many people out of work, and the unemployment rate in the district reached 19 percent. With his mother serving as an unemployment compensation interviewer, Mike understood the struggles faced by affected families and wanted to help make a positive difference for them. One of his top priorities involves fostering private sector job growth and creating new opportunities for employees and employers.
Over the past decade, Mike has leveraged the opportunities created by the emerging natural gas industry in Pennsylvania to lead efforts to create Marcellus Works, an innovative program designed to secure Pennsylvania’s future and create thousands of new jobs. Based on economic impact studies, the Marcellus Shale industry is expected to create approximately 215,000 jobs by the year 2020. This figure is in addition to the tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs that have already been created across the state.
Working to move Pennsylvania into the 21st century and bring better opportunities for all Pennsylvanians, Speaker Turzai’s accomplishments include privatizing wines sales and making the entire wine and spirit system more convenient for consumers. Turzai is the leading advocate of creating enhanced educational opportunities for parents and students, fighting needless tax increases and promoting measures to entice private sector job creation while strengthening government efficiencies.

Understanding government should not manage a business, let alone sell alcohol, Turzai has led the effort to reform the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) system and shut down the state stores. His hard work led to the historic passage and signing of Act 39 of 2016, the Adult Beverage Convenience and Wine Privatization Act. Now, for the first time since before Prohibition, Pennsylvania consumers can purchase bottled wine online and from grocery stores, restaurants and hotels.

A relentless champion for expanding parental choice and helping children receive a top-quality education in a safe environment, Mike led efforts to team up with Pennsylvania’s business community to develop and implement both the Educational Improvement Tax Credit (EITC) and Opportunity Scholarship Tax Credit (OSTC) programs. Those allow children once trapped in the Commonwealth’s most underperforming public schools to attend schools that better meet their educational needs.

Speaker Turzai spearheaded legislation to provide career and technical education students with greater flexibility in fulfilling their graduation requirements. House Bill 2381 would allow students who participate in a vocational education program (either in a vocational-technical school or in a school district) to demonstrate proficiency on exams developed by the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI) in place of demonstrating proficiency on a Keystone Exam.

As a result of his leadership, Mike was named Republican Policy Chairman in 2007-08, Caucus Whip (a party manager who secures support for legislative initiatives) in 2009-10, and was twice elected by his peers to serve as Majority Leader for the House Republican Caucus. He was the floor leader from 2011 to 2014.

During the 2011-12 Legislative Session, he was instrumental in passing the Fair Share Act, an important lawsuit abuse reform measure. During that session and the 2013-14 session, Mike also led efforts to provide real business tax relief and advocated for fair and balanced workers’ compensation and unemployment compensation systems.

Born in Sewickley and raised in Moon Township, Mike developed his tenacity and strong work ethic from his parents and family. After graduating from Our Lady of Sacred Heart High School in 1977, Mike earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame before earning his Juris Doctor from Duke University in 1987.

Mike; his wife, Lidia; and their three sons, Andrew, Stephen and Matthew, live in Marshall Township, Allegheny County, and are involved in many community activities.