Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Schuylkill) today announced he will serve on the State Government, Local Government, Gaming Oversight, and Commerce committees in the 2011-12 session.

Knowles said the years he served as a borough councilman and mayor of Tamaqua enable him to bring personal experience to the work of the Local Government Committee, which reviews bills dealing with the municipal codes by which local governments operate.

"Having served as a local government official for a number of years, I can offer a perspective that will be a valuable asset to the Local Government Committee," said Knowles. "The best government is the government that is closest to the people. That will be my guiding principle as a member of this committee."

Knowles also is pleased to be serving on the State Government Committee which reviews legislation related to: the Election Code and the Pennsylvania Voter Registration Act; the State Employees' Retirement Code, which governs funding and benefits of the State Employees' Retirement System; the Public Official and Employee Ethics Act; the Lobbying Disclosure Act; the Sunshine Act, and the Human Relations Act, among others.

"In his inauguration address, Governor Tom Corbett said there needs to be substantial legislative reform," said Knowles. "I agree, and as a member of the State Government Committee, I look forward to reviewing legislation to finally make those reforms a reality."

Knowles said he also is pleased to be serving on the Gaming Oversight Committee, which oversees Pennsylvania's growing casino industry.

"Casino gaming is relatively new to Pennsylvania," Knowles said. "The industry is going to require close scrutiny by the Legislature to ensure that it operates in the best interests of the people of the Commonwealth."

Knowles also will serve on the Commerce Committee, which is responsible for oversight of economic development and banking issues throughout the Commonwealth.

"Pennsylvania and the nation are still struggling through a difficult economic situation," Knowles said. "I am looking forward to working with my colleagues on this committee to develop policies that will help rehabilitate our economy and get Pennsylvanians working again."