State Sen. Michael O'Pake (D., Berks), the longest serving member of the General Assembly, has died.
O'Pake, 70, whose career in the state legislature spanned five decades, was pronounced dead at Reading Hospital and Medical Center of complications from heart surgery this morning, according to a statement released by Senate Democratic leaders.
“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," said Senate Minority leader Jay Costa (D., Allegheny.)
As the first chairman of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, O'Pake helped draft the protective services law for children and was an advocate for juvenile justice reform and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). He also served in a Democratic leadership post as Senate Minority Whip.
O'Pake was elected to the state Senate in 1972 after two terms in the state House of Representatives.
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Commonwealth Confidential: State Sen. Michael O'Pake (D., Berks), the longest serving member of the General Assembly, has died. O'Pake's career in the state legislature spanned five decades. He was 70.