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Sen. Costa Comments on the Death of State Senator Michael A. O’Pake

Sen. Costa Comments on the Death of State Senator Michael A. O’Pake
 
HARRISBURG – December 27, 2010 – Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) today issued the following statement concerning the death earlier today of state Sen. Michael A. O’Pake (D-Berks).
 
“Senator O’Pake committed his life to public service and making life better for all the citizens of Pennsylvania and his beloved Berks County.  Senator O’Pake was a fighter for those in need.  From seniors who needed help in paying for life-saving prescription drugs to children that benefitted from his work in creating the state’s children’s health insurance program, Senator O’Pake was a leader who made a difference. 
 
“Senator O’Pake’s was the first chair of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, wrote the protective services law for children and fought tirelessly for juvenile justice reform.  He also was a leader in trying to make college more affordable for Pennsylvania students. 
 
“Mike was a friend and colleague who could be counted on for kind words and sage advice in the most trying circumstances.  He worked across the aisle and built bridges trying to find solutions that help all Pennsylvanians.”
 
Sen. O’Pake died this morning in the Reading Hospital and Medical Center from complications resulting from heart surgery.
 
He was the longest-serving member of the General Assembly and served the state Senate Democrats as Minority Whip.  He was elected to the state Senate in 1972 after two terms in the state House of Representatives.
 
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