HARRISBURG – Rep. Tarah Toohil (R-Luzerne) today took the oath of office to begin the 2021-2022 Legislative Session during a ceremony at the state Capitol in Harrisburg.
Toohil dedicated her swearing-in to her mother, who passed away in October. Barbara Kay Toohil fostered 42 children and cared deeply about at-risk youth. Coincidentally, today is also her birthday.
“While my mother cannot be with me at swearing-in this year, I will fight to carry on her legacy by pushing for greater child protection laws in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Toohil. “My mother was also a recipient of a living kidney donation, which gave her many more years of life. I am introducing legislation dealing with organ donation that I hope will move soon in the House. I urge willing living donors to research the great need for liver and kidney donations in their communities. Much can be achieved through community coordination and efforts to secure living organ donors.”
Republicans currently hold the majority in the House of Representatives with 113 seats, which includes the vacancy created by the untimely death of Rep. Mike Reese (R-Westmoreland/Somerset) on Saturday. Fourteen new Republican House members were sworn in today. Members also re-elected Rep. Bryan Cutler (R-Lancaster) as Speaker of the House.
“I am somberly grateful on this day to take the oath of office,” Toohil added. “In a sudden tragedy, we have lost our colleague, House Majority Caucus Chairman Mike Reese. The flag at the Capitol is flying at half-staff in his honor, reminding us to reflect on the massive amount of work at hand and the urgency needed to move legislative changes. Tomorrow is certainly not a guarantee.”
To limit the number of persons in the House chamber, the oath of office was administered four times to four separate groups of members to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Members and guests were also required to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines.
Toohil represents the 116th Legislative District in Luzerne County consisting of the city of Hazleton and the townships of Black Creek, Butler, Conyngham, Dorrance, Hazle ( District 01), Hollenback, Huntington, Nescopeck, Salem, Sugarloaf and Union, and the boroughs of Conyngham, Nescopeck, New Columbus and Shickshinny.
Representative Tarah Toohil
116th Legislative District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives