Rep. Mike Turzai
28th Legislative District, House Majority Leader
Mike Turzai hit the ground running as soon as he was elected state representative for the 28th District, representing communities in the North Hills of Allegheny County, in 2001. He quickly emerged as a commonsense, principled leader promoting fiscal responsibility, economic competitiveness through private sector job creation, and professional integrity.
He has twice been elected by his peers to serve as majority leader for the House Republican Caucus. As majority leader, Mike plans the House voting calendar and promotes the legislative agenda of his caucus. He leads discussion and debate on major issues and presents the caucus position on the House floor.
Mike has focused his efforts on standing up for hard-working families and making Pennsylvania more competitive for businesses -- the job creators. He has pushed hard to control government spending so we can reduce taxes.
During the 2011-12 legislative session, he was instrumental in passing the Fair Share Act, an important lawsuit abuse reform measure that is vital to attracting new business to the Commonwealth and helping job creators expand their operations.
During the same session, Mike led efforts to modernize the state’s unemployment compensation system, including requiring an active job search to continue receiving benefits.
Mike continues to spearhead efforts to improve the state’s jobs environment by lowering the high cost of doing business in Pennsylvania. In May, the House passed business tax reform to lower the nation’s highest Corporate Net Income Tax. In February, the House passed his legislation to reform the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project (RACP) program, a much maligned state borrowing program. In October, the House passed House Bill 493
unanimously, reducing the debt limit (for the first time ever) on the RACP by $600 – bringing the ceiling down to $3.45 billion. During the tenure of the previous administration, the RACP debt ceiling increased five separate times to $4.05 billion. The House not only reduced the debt ceiling, but also provided openness through a requirement for public comment, transparency and accountability through clear standards for approval.
In June, the House passed, for the third straight year, an affordable, sustainable and responsible state budget. The new budget contained no new taxes while it increased spending by only 2.3 percent. Basic education funding reached a record high of $10 billion total state dollars invested in K-12 education.
Most notable though, he is and has been, the leading advocate for privatizing the state-owned wine and spirit monopoly in Pennsylvania, including the wholesale and retail sale operations of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. His efforts, leading to the historic vote in the state House on March 21, 2013, began four years ago while Minority Whip. Mike began to build the case to break the PLCB monopoly. From the inherent conflict of interest (boosting sales while regulating and enforcing the laws), to government’s total ineptitude to manage a business, Mike built the case and presented evidence. Every newspaper endorsed his plan to privatize – something unprecedented in this state. Despite the efforts of long-entrenched interests, Mike succeeded in the House to pass House Bill 790
, privatization of wine and spirits in Pennsylvania – a first since Governor Pinchot enacted the state store system in 1934.
Mike and his wife, Lidia, and their three sons, Andrew, Stephen and Matthew, live in Marshall Township and are involved in many community activities.
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