Margaret Gibbons of The Intelligencer writes:
State lawmakers Monday returned to Harrisburg to take up a full agenda that includes the adoption of a new state budget.
But Democrat Madeleine Dean, elected last week to represent the 153rd State House District, is still in the starting gate.
Dean, 52, of Abington, will not be sworn into office until May 8. She is filling the unexpired term of Josh Shapiro, the former state representative who stepped down in January prior to being sworn in as county commissioner.
“I can’t wait to get started,” said Dean, who defeated Republican lawyer Nick Mattiacci in a special election April 24. The district includes parts of Abington and Upper Dublin.
The results of that election, in which Dean beat Mattiacci, 5,206 votes (56.49 percent) to 4,009 votes (43.51 percent), must be officially certified before Dean can take her seat.
Dean is not sitting on the sidelines while waiting for the swearing in.
She’s in touch with the district office to make sure constituents are being served during the transition.
Dean intends to keep the district office at 1175 Old York Road, Abington, and with the same phone number, 215-517-6800.
The state House kept the office opened and staffed even after Shapiro left.
“I want to be prepared and am looking forward to learning more,” she said, explaining she is studying issues that will come before the state House before its summer recess.
While acknowledging she’ll be the “new kid on the block,” Dean said she will seek to have her voice heard on restoring more funds in the state budget for education and the environment while also seeking more funds for infrastructure improvements.
Dean said she’s using this week to wrap up her teaching responsibilities at LaSalle University where she is an associate professor. She then will take a leave of absence from that post while she serves in the state House.
Shapiro’s unexpired term ends at the end of the year.
Dean and Mattiacci will face off again in the November general election.
That election is for a full two-year term.
Read the full article here.