Biography 
Matt Baker is currently serving his 11th term in the House of Representatives, representing all of Tioga County and western Bradford County. He brings more than 32 years of knowledge and experience of public service and state government with him as a state representative.

Prior to his election in 1992, he served as a district legislative aide for 12 years and was responsible for handling local constituent services. He also was an elected Republican committeeman in Wellsboro for many years. Previously, he worked in a Wellsboro law firm for 12 years where he specialized in serving people with disabilities.

In the House, Baker currently serves as majority chairman of the House Health Committee and is also a member of the Human Services Committee and Rules Committee. He is also a member of the Rural Caucus, the Tax Reform Caucus, the 2nd Amendment Caucus and the Firefighters and Emergency Services Caucus. In addition, he has served as Speaker Pro Tempore of the House of Representatives when the speaker cannot preside over the House during a voting session.

Baker also serves on the Board of Governors of the State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the Capitol Preservation Committee and the Marcellus Institute Resource Council for the Marcellus Institute at Mansfield University.

With the continued expansion of the natural gas industry, Baker authored the Pipeline Safety Act and was a lead debater and supporter in the House for passage of Act 13 of 2012, which authorized an impact fee and implemented regulatory changes on the natural gas industry. He also supported passage of Act 147 of 2012, which allowed extraction of minerals found in or beneath state-owned or PASSHE land to benefit the 14 state universities; supported legislation to create Keystone Opportunity Zones to provide job creators with tax cuts, credits and exemptions to spur job growth; and supported the Resource Manufacturing Tax Credit to revive Pennsylvania manufacturing.

Baker also helped create the new Yellow Dot Program and the Emergency Contact Information Program in Pennsylvania, which are two voluntary initiatives designed to help provide emergency responders with the information they need to more quickly and safely administer medical help to injured motorists.

During his tenure, he has been honored with the following: The Public Health Excellence Award by the Pennsylvania Public Health Association in 2002; the 2003 Friend of Family Medicine by the PA Academy of Family Physicians; the Ernestine Williams Advocacy Award by the Pennsylvania Public Policy Coalition in 2005; the Friend of Penn State Legislator of the Year Award in 2009; the Pennsylvania Podiatric Medical Society Award in 2009; the Outstanding Legislator of the Year Award by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Central PA Chapter, in 2010; the Rural Health Legislator of the Year Award by the Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health Leadership in 1998 and 2012: the Defender of Liberty Award by the American Conservative Union in 2012 and 2013; the 2013 Friend of County Government Award from the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania; the 2013 PA Orthopaedic Society’s Legislator of the Year Award; and the 2014 Pennsylvania Academy of Family Physicians Legislator of the Year Award. In addition, Baker was named a Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business multiple times. He also was recognized by the House for having attained a 21-year record of perfect attendance at every House floor session since first becoming a state legislator.

Baker graduated from Cowanesque Valley High School, Westfield. He holds an associate degree from Corning Community College, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree as an honors scholar from Elmira College. He attended Mansfield University and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Public Service degree. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Wellsboro and the Wellsboro Rotary Club and has been very supportive of various nonprofit charitable organizations.

Baker currently resides in Wellsboro, Tioga County, with his wife, Brenda.

The following are some of the many laws Baker has authored during his tenure at the state Capitol:
    • Act 129 of 2013 increases the Volunteer Loan Assistance Program by doubling loan amounts for volunteer fire and EMS departments.
    • Act 97 of 2013 creates the Child Identity Theft Law in Pennsylvania and increases grading of crime offense committed against those under the age of 18.
    • Act 104 of 2012 creates the Higher Education Modernization Act, which allows all 14 state-owned universities to offer applied doctorate degrees and defines and clarifies relations with affiliated entities for the sole purpose of benefitting Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education schools that would permit employees to raise funds.
    • Act 55 of 2012 allows for conveyance of Laurel Health System property, formerly known as the Blossburg State Hospital.
    • Act 122 of 2011 holds abortion facilities to the same personnel and equipment requirements, quality assurance procedures, and fire and safety standards as freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities.
    • Act 127 of 2011 deals with safety related to transporting natural gas; it provides for gas and hazardous liquids pipelines and for powers and duties of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, and imposes civil penalties.
    • Act 112 of 2011 changes the name of the law to the Pennsylvania Caregiver Support Act, addresses approved out-of-pocket expenses incurred by caregivers, allows reimbursement of non-relative caregivers and adult family members, and makes other changes.
    • Act 117 of 2011 transfers jurisdiction of Old Possessions Road in Ward Township, Tioga County, from the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources back to the township.
    • Act 107 of 2010 brings state law into compliance with the Federal “Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act” to limit sales of products used in the production of meth.
    • Act 42 of 2009 requires judges to sentence persons convicted of identity theft to make restitution for all reasonable expenses incurred by the victim or on the victim’s behalf relating to investigating the theft, bringing or defending civil or criminal actions related to the theft, or taking other efforts to correct the victim’s credit record or negative credit reports related to the theft.
    • Act 64 of 2006 permits Pennsylvania corporations to file a continuation statement allowing financing statements filed with the Department of State prior to July 1, 2001, (if the filing of a continuation statement occurs before the original financing statement ceases to be effective after Dec. 30, 2005, or six months before the financing statement expires) to remain as a legally effective documenting. Under this legislation, a continuation statement is filed timely if the filling occurs before the time the financing statement would expire after June 30, 2006, but not before Dec. 30, 2005.
    • Act 166 of 2004 allows auto accident investigators to file summary charges up to a year after an accident, thereby giving law enforcement officials the necessary time needed to complete their investigation of the most difficult incidents – ones that cause serious bodily injury or death and frequently involve multiple vehicles.
    • Act 219 of 2002 statutorily authorizes crime victims to contact the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole and its hearing examiners via videotape and conference call.
    • Act 62 of 2002, known as Pennsylvania’s Identity Theft Act, makes it a third-degree felony to commit a first offense of the crime of identity theft and provides a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. A third or subsequent offense raises the crime to a second-degree felony with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.
    • Act 23 of 1998 permits county commissioners to appropriate money from the county’s operating reserve fund to assist municipal corporations with any clean-up, maintenance, repair or improvements undertaken as a result of damage incurred or a dangerous condition resulting from a disaster emergency.
    • Act 62 of 1997, known as the “anti-cyber enticer act,” makes it a crime if a person knowingly contacts or communicates with a minor through the Internet for the purpose of engaging in any illegal sexual acts, open lewdness, prostitution, the peddling or making of obscene and other sexual materials and performances, or sexual abuse of children.
    • Act 53 of 1996 mandates that inmates of a state correctional institution who have medical insurance pay for their own medical needs through that insurance before state funds are used.
    • Act 129 of 1996 provides immunity from criminal and civil liability to those persons who donate wildlife to charitable organizations that receive and distribute wildlife.
    • Act 120 of 1996 provides legal means for the closure of adult-oriented establishments and imposes penalties for violation.
   
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Matthew E. Baker
 Pennsylvania House of Representatives

 Harrisburg Office:  Harrisburg, PA 17120 (717) 772-5371
 District Offices: 74 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901 (570) 724-1390

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