Pennsylvania State Senator Don White was elected in 2000 to his first term representing the 41st Senatorial District, which currently includes Armstrong and Indiana counties as well as parts of Butler and Westmoreland counties.
Senator White serves as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking & Insurance. He is a member of five other Senate committees: Environmental Resources & Energy; Labor & Industry, Law & Justice; Rules & Executive Nominations; and State Government. He is also a member of the PENNVEST Board of Directors, an independent authority that provides loans and grants for water, sewer and storm waste projects across Pennsylvania.
Among his legislative accomplishments, Senator White was the prime sponsor of a law that revamped Pennsylvania’s insurance solvency laws that minimized increases in workers compensation premium costs, helping small businesses and preserving jobs. As the Chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, Senator White has actively worked to promote competition in the medical insurance marketplace and to improve access and affordability of health care coverage for consumers.
In October 2012, Governor Corbett signed into law Senate Bill 367, legislation introduced by Senator White allowing the leasing of property owned by the state and the State System of Higher Education (SSHE) for mining or removal of valuable coal, oil, natural gas, coal bed methane, limestone and mineral resources.
Senator White recognizes the economic importance of energy generation through coal, oil and Marcellus Shale gas extraction to the Commonwealth and the family-sustaining jobs those industries provide locally and throughout Pennsylvania. He has strongly opposed efforts by Harrisburg and Washington D.C. to impose job-killing regulations and increased tax levies on those industries.
In 2014, Governor Corbett signed into law legislation drafted by Senator White that gave local school districts the option to contract for police service as a way to improve safety in classrooms and reduce response times in the event of an emergency. Act 122 gives public and non-public school districts in communities where police services are furnished solely by the Pennsylvania State Police the option to contract with municipal police from nearby jurisdictions to provide security as well as school resource officers in their schools.
He was the Prime Sponsor of Act 105 of 2006 which provides tuition credits to spouses and children of Pennsylvania National Guard members who die while on active military duty. The legislation also requires the Commonwealth to cover all, or a portion of, the life insurance premiums for Pennsylvania National Guard members called to active duty to serve in a combat zone as well as those killed in the line of duty on or after September 11, 2001. Senator White also introduced Act 83 of 2005 which extends the coverage that full-time students called to active military duty can receive under their parents’ medical insurance plans. He was the prime sponsor of a law requiring incoming college freshmen who reside on campus be vaccinated against meningitis.
As a lifelong resident of the district, Senator White recognizes the issues most important to the families he represents. Senator White is committed to promoting economic development and improving local roads, highways and bridges throughout his district. Senator White has been instrumental in securing millions of dollars in funding for water, sewer and other infrastructure improvements for municipalities across the district.
He understands the need to limit the tax burden placed on homeowners and employers as well as the necessity to improve Pennsylvania’s education system to give students the best opportunity to be competitive in the high-tech, global workplace of the 21st Century. He backs initiatives such as the EITC program, which enables businesses to support public and private schools.
Born in Kittanning, Senator White has lived in Indiana most of his life and is a 1968 graduate of Indiana Area High School. He attended Juniata College from 1968 to 1972. Senator White enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1972 and served in Germany until receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1975.
He is married to Sarah “Anne” Broderick. Their daughter, Abby, is an Associate Surgeon, Instructor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School.
Senator White has received numerous awards and honors for his legislative and community service including:
• 2014 “Friend of the Food Industry” award from the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association.
• National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Guardian of Small Business award for outstanding voting records on behalf of PA’s small-business owners in the 2013-14 session.
• 2012 President’s Medal of Distinction from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
• Induction into the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs Hall of Fame in 2007 for his efforts on behalf of veterans and their family and members of the PA National Guard.
• 2008 Distinguished Citizen Award, Indiana BPOE.
• 2005 Good Citizen Award from William Penn Council, Boy Scouts of America.
Senator White is a member of the National Rifle Association and the Farm Bureaus of Armstrong and Indiana Counties. He is also a member of the AlleKiskiStrong and Indiana County chambers of commerce. Anne White is the past President of the Board of Directors of the Alice Paul House (a shelter for victims of domestic violence), Treasurer of the Indiana Area Meals on Wheels and currently serves as a director on the Indiana Regional Medical Center Board. The Whites are members of Christ Episcopal Church in Indiana.