State Rep. Harry Readshaw, D-Allegheny, has been appointed by House Democratic Leader Frank Dermody to represent the caucus as a member of the recently established Military Community Protection Commission.
According to Mr. Readshaw, this commission was established to examine the commonwealth's military bases and the role they play in the local economy. The commission also will advocate at the federal, state and local levels for the enhancement of military communities, organizations and defense-related regions throughout the state.
"As a veteran of our armed forces, I have a deep appreciation for the invaluable role that military communities play in increasing the quality of life in a region," Rep. Readshaw said. "Even beyond the obvious provisions of both skilled and unskilled labor, military installations continue to serve as critical components to national security and early response efforts."
Mr. Readshaw acknowledged that Gov. Tom Corbett issued the executive order establishing this commission in the wake of major cuts to defense spending nationally, which have resulted in losses of thousands of jobs at military bases.
"With the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq drawing to a close, we know that tough budgetary decisions have to be made in efforts to reduce spending, but I am of the opinion that the continued support of military installations will reap benefits far beyond what we spend," he said.
"This new commission will assist with the expansion of the economic development opportunities and defense related industry regions across the state," he added.
In addition to Rep. Readshaw, other members of the commission include: Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, Sen. John Blake, Sen. Richard Alloway and Rep. Scott Perry.