Steve grew up in New York, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor of Science from Penn State University in Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, and his Juris Doctor from the Dickinson School of Law. He became shareholder in a law firm, later founded his own solo practice, and is now Of Counsel with Irwin & McKnight, P.C., in Carlisle, Pa., where he resides. He was an instructor and lecturer at Messiah College, teaching courses in economics, business law and personal finance, and has served as a faculty member for Pennsylvania Bar Institute continuing legal education programs.
In 2010, Steve was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, where he served four two-year terms. In 2018, he entered a competitive race for the U.S. Congress, finishing a strong third among eight candidates in the Republican primary.
As a state representative, Steve’s mission was to cut the size and scope of government, reduce the burden of taxes and unnecessary regulation, defend constitutional liberties and, by doing those things, unleash the power of free enterprise to create jobs and prosperity. For his work advancing economic freedom in Pennsylvania, he was recognized as a Legislative Torch Bearer by Americans for Prosperity and as a Guardian of Small Business by the National Federation of Independent Business. Steve was awarded a 90 percent lifetime rating by the American Conservative Union.
During his legislative service, Steve was appointed by the Speaker of the House as the chamber’s majority trustee of the Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, which manages over $50 billion in public assets. He was also appointed as a Deputy Whip and a Deputy Chair of the House Majority Policy Committee, and as a member of the House standing committees on Finance, Judiciary, Labor and Industry, Environmental Resources and Energy, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and Urban Affairs.
Steve is a frequent media guest and speaker. He is author of The Believer’s Guide to Legal Issues (Living Ink Books, 2008) and co-author of They’ve Crossed the Line: A Patriot’s Guide to Religious Freedom (God & Country Press, 2013).
Throughout his life, Steve has challenged himself with the question, “Is my work making a positive difference?” As part of the team at the Commonwealth Foundation, his answer is a resounding “YES.”
Despite their youthful appearance, Steve and his wife have three grown children, one daughter-in-law, and four grandsons. In 2017, City & State Pennsylvania named Steve as one of its Fifty Over 50 Most Distinguished Citizens.
Scholarship bill is a lifeline for kids
Originally published at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Pennsylvania has become a battleground for educational freedom and choice. Parents from diverse perspectives are showing up at school board meetings, filing lawsuits,…
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The tax holiday is a bait-and-switch as a fiscal crisis looms
Originally published at The Patriot-News Just as inflation reached a 40-year high, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine deepens the high food and gas price shock to U.S. consumers—to Pennsylvanians.
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Exposing the truth about education funding
Originally posted at LancasterOnline Does more money improve student performance in our public schools? This question is at the heart of many policy debates in Harrisburg and is central…
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Reforms would reduce corruption and restore workers’ rights
Originally published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review In Harrisburg, lawmakers are building momentum for a series of reforms that will empower public sector workers and defend taxpayers. The House Labor…
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Op-Ed: We can keep Pennsylvania beautiful without making it poor
The secret is Pennsylvania’s abundant natural gas deposit, the second largest in the world, which produces power with drastically less pollution and just half the carbon emissions of coal.
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Op-Ed: Schools shouldn’t be political battlegrounds. Let’s make peace through educational choice
School choice policies allow some of the funding used to educate a child to follow that child to the family’s school of choice.
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Op-Ed: Pennsylvanians deserve maximum wages, not harmful minimum wage mandates
Instead of making workers dependent upon politics for a raise, the government should clear the path for our local economies to grow. This approach to prosperity is real and long-lasting—and…
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Op-Ed: More school choice means fewer lotteries
SB 1 also includes an important provision to increase the availability of charter schools. Pennsylvania law currently places school districts in charge of charter school authorization. Unsurprisingly, districts often reject…
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Op-Ed: Pennsylvania voters can help restore transparency
The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee recently held hearings to scrutinize the Wolf administration’s pandemic mismanagement and transparency failures throughout the crisis.
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Op-Ed: Checks and balances needed even during crises
Here in Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolf has too often imposed drastic restrictions without public accountability and transparency. As it stands, the commonwealth ranks among the nation’s most restrictive states —…
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Op-Ed: Pennsylvania budget process should aid the cause of taxpayers and transparency
The Commonwealth Foundation estimates that lawmakers could transfer $345 million from shadow reserves to help meet the current budget deficit, without even affecting current spending commitments. This transfer represents less…
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