John Lawrence was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2010 to serve the people of the 13th Legislative District. A lifelong resident of southern Chester County, John is committed to bringing a common sense, reform-minded approach towards governing. The son of a small businessman and grandson of a dairy farmer, John grew up with a firsthand view of the challenges faced by the owners of local, family-run businesses.  

John has been outspoken in the need for government reform, authoring legislation to consolidate redundant government services, eliminate government waste, and require legislators to submit for drug testing. Leading by example, John declines a state pension, state car, per diems, and other “perks” awarded to legislators.

A strong voice for fiscal responsibility, John chaired the Speaker’s Debt Commission to review outstanding Commonwealth debt with an eye towards reforming Pennsylvania’s bond issuance procedures and reducing overall state liabilities.  John’s work on this commission resulted in the unanimous passage of Act 43 of 2019 to reform how Pennsylvania issues debt, paying down principal faster and saving taxpayer dollars by significantly reducing the amount spent on interest.  John also drafted legislation increasing oversight of “lease-backed” debt, a practice by which over $700 million in state-backed debt has been issued without approval of the General Assembly.

After learning that longstanding Pennsylvania law compelled victims of domestic violence to pay alimony pendente lite to their abusive spouse during divorce proceedings, John authored Act 102 of 2018.  Enacted with broad bipartisan support, this critical legislation eliminated the possibility of domestic violence victims being required to financially support their convicted abuser, a situation that previously occurred on a regular basis in courtrooms across the state. John’s legislation put an end to this unbelievable and cruel practice.

John’s relentless advocacy for Pennsylvania’s agricultural community has earned him respect on both sides of the aisle. He has introduced and moved bipartisan legislation to support Pennsylvania’s struggling dairy farmers, and to combat the invasive spotted lanternfly. Additionally, he has been involved in efforts to support the equine industry, provide critical funding to the New Bolton Center, and address the threat posed by the phorid fly to southern Chester County’s residents and mushroom farmers.

A former trustee of Lincoln University, John is a strong supporter of K-12 education and Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher learning. He has consistently voted to increase state financial support for Avon Grove, Oxford, and Octorara school districts. 

John believes parents should be in charge of their children’s education, not the government.  He authored and moved bipartisan legislation giving parents the ability to opt-out of the Keystone Exams for their children and has consistently supported expanded efforts on school choice and the Education Improvement Tax Credit program.  John is a consistent voice in the Capitol on the need to properly fund the state teacher’s pension system, PSERS, which is presently underfunded due to poor decisions made by the General Assembly in the early 2000’s.

John has been actively involved in efforts to prevent the sale of Chester Water Authority, introducing multiple bills, amendments, and even filing a friend-of-the-court brief in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  He has repeatedly questioned state officials at the Department of Community and Economic Development about their involvement in the proposed sale and worked with elected officials on both sides of the aisle to preserve the Octoraro Reservior and keep CWA independent.

This session, John serves on four committees in the House – Appropriations, Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Professional Licensure, and Rules.  He has authored dozens of amendments, including efforts to ensure individuals are informed of their right to legal counsel when being questioned by government bureaucrats, provide disabled veterans with constitutionally mandated property tax relief, and increase state pensions paid to veterans blinded in their service to our nation. John has also authored amendments to address the shortage of nurses, and reward police officers serving in challenging areas.

Prior to his election to the state House, John worked in the private sector as an account officer for J.P. Morgan Chase. He is a graduate of Penn State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business. He is currently pursuing a juris doctor through the Syracuse University JDinteractive program.

John is active in a number of local organizations. A member and Sunday school teacher at Sycamore Hill Church in Hockessin, Delaware, he resides in West Grove with his wife, Rebecca, and their two daughters.

The 13th Legislative District is based in southwestern Chester County and includes East Nottingham, Elk, Franklin, Highland, Londonderry, London Britain, London Grove, Lower Oxford, New London, Penn, Upper Oxford, West Fallowfield, and West Nottingham townships, and the boroughs of Oxford and West Grove.