During a ceremony at the state Capitol Tuesday, Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill) was sworn into his first full term as state representative from the 124th Legislative district.

"I was honored the residents of this district elected me to fill the seat left vacant by the election of Sen. Dave Argall (R-29) in 2009," said Knowles. "I appreciate the trust they have shown in me by electing me to a full term. I look forward to serving them in Harrisburg and here at home."

Knowles, a Tamaqua native, noted that with House Republicans in the majority in the new session, he has several legislative initiatives he plans to introduce. Knowles said he will introduce legislation to provide property tax relief for Pennsylvania's senior citizens.

He also will offer a bill to provide tax credits for private employers who allow employees who are volunteer emergency responders to leave work for training or to respond to an emergency call. In addition, Knowles will introduce a bill to allow local control over river dredging.

Knowles said his district office, located at 237 West Broad St. in Tamaqua, phone (570) 668-1240, and his Harrisburg office are available to help answer residents' questions and concerns about state government.

A part-time member of Knowles' staff also will work at least two days a week in the office of Rep. Mike Tobash (R-Schuylkill/Berks) at 988 E. Main St. in Schuylkill Haven to provide constituent services to residents in that area of the 124th district.

"My staff and I are here to help in any way we can," Knowles said. "Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can ever be of service."

Knowles also encouraged residents to visit his website, RepKnowles.com. There, they will find information about the latest legislative developments in Harrisburg, state programs, and the latest happenings in the 124th District.