On Friday, Oct. 5, Mark Schweiker was sworn in as Pennsylvania’s 44th governor. He will finish out the rest of Tom Ridge’s term.
Schweiker is 48-years-old. He was born in Levittown, Bucks County. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Bloomsburg University and his master’s degree from Rider University. Before becoming lieutenant governor, he served as a Middletown township supervisor from 1980-87 and as a Bucks County commissioner from 1988-94.
As lieutenant governor, Schweiker’s duties included presiding over the state Senate, chairing the state’s Board of Pardons and looking over several state initiatives and programs. One of these programs is the Pennsylvania Weed and Seed initiative, which aims to “weed” out crime by combined efforts of local and state police and then rebuilding, or “seeding,” the community.
During the Ridge administration, Ridge and Schweiker helped to launch the PRIME initiative. PRIME, which stands for privatize, retain, innovate, modify and eliminate, is a program that aims to make Pennsylvania more “consumer-oriented,” by using technology. For example, drivers license and registrations renewals are available online through PENNDOT. PRIME has saved Pennsylvanians over $650 million, according to the Pennsylvania website.