Aug. 15, 2019

HARRISBURG - Speaker of the House Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) issued the following statement on the passing of Bruce Hanson, director of research for the House Republican Caucus:

“We are deeply saddened by the sudden passing of our close friend and colleague Bruce Hanson on Saturday, Aug. 10.

“Bruce served the House Republican Caucus for the past 26 years. In 2012, he took on an important leadership role when he was promoted to director of the House Republican Research Department. In this role he mentored many of our young staff members and was often sought out for his wise counsel.

“We personally asked Bruce to be the director of research for the caucus given his leadership capabilities. He was charged with managing a significant department that supports our Caucus’ public policy agenda and responds to our constituents’ concerns across the state. Bruce executed his duties in outstanding fashion: at our direction, he set high expectations for staff members. Bruce was professional, disciplined, tough but empathetic, encouraging, fair and loyal. He led by example and hands-on guidance. Bruce and his team served the citizens of Pennsylvania in a truly exemplary manner. 

“Bruce started his career on the research staff in 1993. In 1998, he became executive director of the House Labor Relations Committee. In this capacity, and even after taking charge of the Research Department, Bruce was integral to enacting reforms to Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation and building code statutes.  His understanding of these complex areas of the law was second to none.  His positive relationships with members on both sides of the aisle and common sense yet principled approach to public policy were key to guiding many legislators’ proposals in these areas into law. 

“Bruce was a veteran of the United States Navy. He served in the Navy from 1984-92 as a naval flight officer, being honorably discharged as a lieutenant. He was proud but humble about his service to our country.  Bruce was a graduate of Penn State University, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1983. He received his master’s degree in public administration from Shippensburg University in 1993.

“We extend our deepest sympathy, support and prayers to Bruce’s family – his sisters Ellen, Elizabeth and Cindy; his brother, Ronald; and his companion, Sarah Miller. We will formally celebrate Bruce’s life on the House floor on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019.”

Representative Mike Turzai
Speaker of the House 
28th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives