Scott E. Hutchinson of Oil City, Venango County, was sworn into office today (January 1) as the State Senator representing the 21st Senatorial District in Northwestern Pennsylvania during a ceremony in the Senate Chamber of the State Capitol in Harrisburg.
Senator Hutchinson, a former State Representative, takes over the seat previously held by Senator Mary Jo White, who retired at the end of 2012. The 21st District includes all of Clarion, Forest and Venango counties and parts of Butler, Erie and Warren counties.
“I am humbled and honored to have been elected and sworn in as a state senator,” Senator Hutchinson said. “It’s a very happy day for me and for my family, but also an exciting and challenging time. I am looking forward to working closely with the people across the 21st District. It is a great day and a day for us to get ready to roll up our sleeves and get to work for the people of Pennsylvania.”
A key part of that work, Senator Hutchinson said, entails efforts to improve Pennsylvania’s economy and encourage job growth in the state.
“The big issues revolve around the economy, especially the job climate in Pennsylvania. People are hurting; our economy has been stagnant for awhile — in the 21st District, across the state and across our nation,” Senator Hutchinson said. “There is a lot of uncertainty out there. Many employers are stuck in neutral and are hesitant to hire people. We need to change that climate.”
The lackluster economy has also directly impacted state government and its ability to provide programs and services, he stressed.
“Pennsylvania’s economy has been stagnant and the revenues coming in have not been as strong as they should be. We have a lot of tough fiscal decisions to make,” Senator Hutchinson said. “We’ve had a couple of tough budgets in a row and unfortunately we are going to have to face it again. We have to live within our means and accept the fiscal reality facing state government.”
Senator Hutchinson said state government could improve the climate for business development and job growth by reviewing and addressing problems created by Pennsylvania’s business regulations.
“I am very much interested in financial issues based on my background and I will work to continue to improve the jobs climate in Pennsylvania,” Senator Hutchinson said. “I am looking at some ideas about altering the way regulations are enacted in Pennsylvania. It’s sort of a mundane thing, but in the end our regulatory climate is stifling to job creators.”
As part of that review, the state must consider the unintended consequences of some of the regulations that were imposed for the Marcellus industry and how they impacted Pennsylvania’s pre-existing small oil and gas producers, Senator Hutchinson said.
“The 21st Senatorial District has lots and lots of small, independent oil and gas producers. It’s a very different industry than the big Marcellus guys. They shouldn’t be subjected to some of the regulations,” Senator Hutchinson said. “They have hurt that industry and are putting jobs at risk. We are going to work very hard to help those folks out.”
Senator Hutchinson previously represented the 64th Legislative District in the state House of Representatives from 1992 to 2012. Prior to election to the House, he served as the Chief Deputy County Treasurer for Venango County from 1984 to 1992.
Born in Oil City, Venango County, Senator Hutchinson graduated from Oil City Area High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania in 1983. He has taken additional courses at the University of Pittsburgh at Titusville and Thiel College in Greenville. Senator Hutchinson is married to the former Mary Beth Radkowski. They have three children, Sophie, Anne Marie and Lucy.