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Senator Elder Vogel Jr.

Senator Elder Vogel Jr. has represented the citizens of the 47th Senatorial District, which includes parts of Beaver, Butler and Lawrence counties, since 2009.

Senator Vogel is Chairman of the Agriculture & Rural Affairs Committee. He is Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Banking & Insurance, Environmental Resources & Energy, Transportation, and Majority Policy committees.

Over the years, Senator Vogel has introduced several measures that have been signed into law. Among them:

  • Criminalizing the possession or sales of concentrated bath salts and synthetic marijuana.
  • Eliminating the statutory requirements for costly low Reid Vapor Pressure “Summer Gas” gasoline in seven southwestern Pennsylvania counties.
  • Extending the life of the First Industries Program, an initiative that focuses on saving and creating jobs in the Tourism and Agriculture sectors.
  • Eliminating the ability of the Department of Agriculture to cite non-profit community groups such as volunteer fire companies, churches, and school booster clubs for selling non-hazardous home-baked food at fundraisers.
  • Giving school districts and school bus contractors the option to choose the most appropriate school buses based on their needs.

Senator Vogel is the prime sponsor of legislation to expand telemedicine in Pennsylvania to reduce costs and improve the level of care provided to patients, especially those living in areas currently underserved by “bricks and mortar” medical facilities. He has introduced the legislation each session since 2016. His Senate Bill 857, which addressed the issue, was approved by the General Assembly during the 2019-20 Session, but was vetoed by the Governor in April 2020.

Recognizing the importance of agriculture in our region and statewide, Senator Vogel led the effort to enact Farming First legislation to support current farmers and ensure our agricultural heritage is handed down to future generations.

In addition, Senator Vogel has authored legislation to reduce the size and the costs of the General Assembly. Under this proposal, the Legislature would be reduced from 50 to 45 senatorial districts and from 203 to 153 representative districts.

He has also championed efforts to protect and bolster Pennsylvania’s horse racing industry and provide needed updates to the state Race Horse Industry Reform Act

Senator Vogel’s efforts to promote economic development and job creation also included his sponsorship of Senate Bill 1563, a bill providing a tax credit for the Shell cracker plant in Beaver County which became law through the 2012 Tax Code revisions.

He has also introduced measures to alleviate the burden on motorists by exempting light passenger vehicles ten years old or newer and alternative fuel vehicles from vehicle emissions inspections and eliminating outdated gasoline requirements making gasoline cheaper for western Pennsylvania motorists.

Senator Vogel serves on the Board of Directors for the Lawrence County Community Action Partnership; and is a member of the Beaver County Chamber of Commerce, the Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce and the Butler County Chamber of Commerce, the National Rifle Association, the Beaver-Lawrence Farm Bureau, the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, and the Big Knob Antique Tractor and Equipment Association.

He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Pennsylvania Veterinary Medical Association, the Future Farmers of America Honorary Degree, the Distinguished Service Award by Penn AG Industries and named a Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business for his work in the legislature. He has also received the PA Health Care Association Better Life Award, PA HIMSS Chapters Legislative Award, PA Housing Alliance Outstanding Legislator Award and PA Rural Health Legislator of the Year Award.

For many years, Senator Vogel served as president of the Beaver-Lawrence Farm Bureau, and until his election served as a New Sewickley Township Supervisor.

Senator Vogel and his wife Sue operate a family farm in New Sewickley Township which was established in the late 1800s.