HARRISBURG As the 2012 session year is under way in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill) will be a new member on an important standing committee.

Knowles has been assigned to the House Transportation Committee and currently has a seat on the House Gaming Oversight, State Government, Local Government and Commerce committees.

"I'm pleased to have been appointed to the House Transportation Committee by the House Committee on Committees," said Knowles. "Everyone is well aware of the crisis that we are facing with failing and crumbling roads and bridges across the state. I look forward to working on this major problem with members of this all important committee in our efforts to make a safer and more efficient infrastructure for the traveling public."

Knowles is eager to get to work as a member of the House Transportation Committee, as he believes the unacceptable condition of the state's infrastructure creates problems for more than just motorists.

"Looking at the bigger picture, businesses moving into the area don't want to exist near highways that are in rough condition," said Knowles. "They are likely to take their business elsewhere, and the current condition of our roads and bridges across the state is hindering us from good economic development. Simply put, if we want a stronger economy, we need stronger infrastructure."

"I am pleased to have Jerry Knowles serving on the Transportation Committee," said House Transportation Committee Majority Chairman Rep. Rick Geist (R-Blair). "Jerry brings a valued perspective to the committee, as he has shown his commitment to improving Pennsylvania's infrastructure through legislation he sponsored last fall."

The Transportation Committee handles legislation pertaining to general Vehicle Code and regulations, which includes driver licensing and training, vehicle registration, and rules of the road to name a few. The committee also handles all other transportation issues, such as mass transit, rail, PennDOT, and highway issues.

"We face considerable challenges this session, and already we have an aggressive and active agenda ahead of us," Knowles said. "I look forward to working with these committees in making our state a great place to live, work and raise our families."