In his ninth term as a state legislator serving Chester and Delaware counties, Rep. Stephen E. Barrar has earned a reputation as a dedicated public servant whose foremost concern is the advancement of the 160th District and improving the quality of life for the families of Pennsylvania.
Desiring to keep his close connection with his community, Steve has maintained an accessible and responsive district office, which was endorsed by the Delaware County Daily Times for its effectiveness in assisting citizens. His highest priority is serving exclusively as a full-time representative and getting results for the citizens of the 160th District.
A champion of those who risk their lives to preserve our way of life and protect our communities, Steve advocates for policies to aid community first responders, veterans and active duty and reserve military personnel. Having served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War, Steve understands the sacrifice and reward that comes with taking the ultimate risk to safeguard our communities and our country.
His close ties with the veterans and first responders of his district led to his appointment as majority chairman of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. Steve has vowed to use this post to improve the everyday lives of veterans and to assist the Commonwealth’s struggling volunteer emergency service providers.
Along with his efforts to aid veterans, military personnel and first responders, Steve also has gained a reputation as an outspoken opponent of government corruption, taking on unethical judges, individuals and groups allegedly involved in voter intimidation, and organizations that use state money for political purposes. He gained statewide recognition for his outspoken opposition to the questionable activities of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and ultimately helped bring about the demise of the organization.
Among his many legislative victories, Steve is proudest of helping to gain passage of legislation to reauthorize, expand and increase funding for Pennsylvania’s grant program that aids fire companies and ambulance organizations. He was also instrumental in fighting for Pennsylvania’s new Voter ID law. Steve was the original author of the Voter ID bill several sessions ago when it was vetoed by Pennsylvania’s former governor. He is also proud of his efforts to see Pennsylvania’s veterans preference laws better enforced now that state law requires one of the three members of the Pennsylvania Civil Service Commission to be a veteran. Finally, his House Bill 728, which will help increase safety at self-service fueling stations, was signed into law as Act 144 of 2012.
His legislative priorities for the 2013-14 session include:
- Advancing legislation to require health insurance companies to directly reimburse ambulance organizations.
- Allowing all veterans to attend Pennsylvania institutions of higher learning at the resident tuition rate.
- Privatizing Pennsylvania’s liquor stores.
- Reforming public education funding.
- Leveling the playing field for medical providers and pharmacies, which are often subjected to retroactive review and other unfair terms by insurance companies.
- Protecting the identities of 9-1-1 emergency telephone callers.
- Establishing uniform standards for towing vehicles in an emergency situation.
Prior to his election to the state House, Steve served as an Upper Chichester Township commissioner from 1992 to 1996, and was board president from 1994 to 1996. During this time, he also was busy running the business he purchased in 1984, Twin Oaks Garden Mart. He ran this retail garden center until 1997, when he closed the business to dedicate himself to public service as a full-time state legislator.
His experience as a small business owner has given him a unique insight into how state government can assist employers in bringing on additional workers, which will help to turn our economy around. Economic recovery and job growth remain at the forefront of Steve’s legislative agenda.
Steve is a graduate of Interboro High School. He is an active member of his community and is involved in several local groups, including the Chichester Business Association, Chadds Ford Business Association, Aston Business Association, Bethel VFW Post and the Concord Lodge No. 625. He also has been named an honorary member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart for his support of disabled veterans.
Steve has received honors from many groups and associations, and his awards include:
- 2012 Legislator of the Year award by the Ambulance Association of Pennsylvania.
- 2011 Legislator of the Year award by The Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.
- The President’s Award for Public Service from the Burn Foundation.
- Recognition of Appreciation from the Delaware County Community College.
- Legislator of the Year from the Pennsylvania Transportation Management
- Association for his effort to promote cycling to work and bicycle safety.
- Four-time recipient of the American Enterprise Award from the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce.
- The Legion of Honor from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains.
- A Humanitarian Award from the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Association.
- The Kay F. Thompson Outstanding Legislator Award from the Pennsylvania Dental Association.
- The William Wikoff Smith Award from the Philadelphia Ship Preservation Guild.
Steve and his wife, Elena, have two daughters, Stephanie Toth and Elizabeth Barnett. He is the proud grandfather of Ethan, Caden and Ainsley.
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