Senator Pat Browne, R-16th District, was elected today (November 12) by his colleagues to serve as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee for the 2015-16 Legislative Session that will begin in January.
“I am truly honored by my colleagues’ support and look forward to serving as chairman of this important committee,” Senator Browne said. “I am committed to working with my colleagues to ensure that state expenditures are made in a fiscally responsible manner.”
The Appropriations Committee reviews all legislation for its fiscal impact and plays a crucial role in developing the state budget each year. Senator Browne served in a leadership role for Senate Republicans as Majority Caucus Whip for the 2011-12 and 2013-14 Legislative Sessions. Prior to that, he chaired the Senate Finance Committee, the panel with the primary role of reviewing legislation affecting Pennsylvania’s tax codes.
“With the uncertainties of the state economy and a level of anxiety present in the business community, Pennsylvania must remain fiscally conservative,” Senator Browne said. “We have a basic responsibility to ensure that state spending is practical and prudent. We should be focused on making Pennsylvania more competitive and more attractive for economic development.”
Senator Browne is Chairman of the Early Childhood Education Caucus and serves as a board member of the Public Employee Retirement Commission, the Public School Employees’ Retirement System board, and the Pennsylvania Minority Business Development Authority. Senator Browne served as Co-chairman of the Special Education Funding Commission and serves as Co-chairman of the Basic Education Funding Commission. He is also a Co-founder and Co-chairman of the Legislative Arts and Culture Caucus.
Senator Browne was first elected to the Senate following a special election in April of 2005 and re-elected in 2006, 2010 and 2014. Prior to joining the Senate, Senator Browne represented the 131st District for 10 years as a member of the state House of Representatives.
He is the author of numerous state laws and drafted key portions of Act 120 of 2010 which fundamentally reformed Pennsylvania’s public pension systems and created an independent office to monitor state spending and the budget process. Senator Browne was instrumental in developing the Pennsylvania Web Accountability and Transparency (PennWATCH) Act, which expanded the public’s access to state spending records by creating and maintaining a searchable, database-driven budget website.
Senator Browne holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from Temple University. Prior to his legislative service, he was employed with the accounting firms of Coopers & Lybrand and Price Waterhouse as a tax manager and senior tax associate, respectively. In addition to being a CPA, he is also a member of the Pennsylvania Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Born and raised in Allentown, Senator Browne attended Allentown Central Catholic High School. He resides in Allentown with his wife, Heather, and son, Alex.
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