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Gov.-Elect Shapiro Nominates Former State Sen. Pat Browne to Be Secretary of Revenue | WDIY Local News

Former State Sen. Pat Browne speaks at the Lehigh County Government Center in 2020.
Sarit Laschinsky
Former State Sen. Pat Browne speaks at the Lehigh County Government Center in 2020.

Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro has tapped a former Lehigh Valley state legislator to lead the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. WDIY’s Sarit Laschinsky has more.

Shapiro announced Thursday that he has nominated former Republican State Sen. Pat Browne to be his Secretary of Revenue.

An Allentown native, Browne worked in the Pennsylvania legislature for 28 years, including for 18 years in the state Senate representing the 16th District.

He also served for eight years as chair of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, which reviews all legislation for its fiscal impact and helps develop the state budget.

He was narrowly defeated in the 2022 Republican primary by Jarrett Coleman, who then won his race for the district.

In his announcement, Shapiro, a Democrat, pointed to Browne’s creation of the 130-acre Neighborhood Improvement Zone in 2009, which he said, “helped revitalize and expand the tax base of the then financially struggling city of Allentown.”

The governor-elect also said the NIZ has drawn in over $1 billion in new Development investment and more than $13 million in annual school property tax revenue.

In a statement issued by Shapiro’s transition team, Browne said he will work to ensure the department runs programs fairly and efficiently, and that they will be “responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars” while advancing Shapiro’s vision for the state.

Browne’s nomination was commended by Lehigh Valley State Reps. Michael Schlossberg, Peter Schweyer and Josh Siegel – all Democrats.

In a joint statement, the three lawmakers, who represent parts of Allentown, recognized Browne’s professional and legislative experience, and praised him for working across the aisle to push for increased investments in early learning, community schools, and economic revitalization.

They also said Shapiro understands he needs to work with both Republicans and Democrats, and that Browne’s selection, “shows a commitment to doing the difficult and important work we all were elected to do.”

(Original air-date: 1/12/23)

Sarit "Siri" Laschinsky was WDIY's News and Public Affairs Director until 2023.
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