Rep. Melissa Shusterman's Biography
State Representative Melissa L. Shusterman is an advocate for common sense policies that prioritize people before politics. First elected to represent Pennsylvania's 157th district in 2018, she quickly established herself as an asset to House leadership, first as Minority Deputy Whip and currently as Deputy Vice Chair of the Policy Committee. Melissa also serves as Chair of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Family Law and is a member of the Transportation, Health, Rules, and State Government Committees.
During her three terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, her legislative focus has been on protecting women's reproductive rights and access to healthcare, promoting government transparency and accountability, advocating for education equity, improving environmental sustainability, pushing for gun control reform, and promoting the humane treatment of animals.
At the close of 2023, Melissa saw her first piece of legislation enacted into law. She co-sponsored a bill to expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (HB1259), which was then folded into the 2023-2024 state budget codes. Her bill to end taxpayer funding of crisis pregnancy centers (HB1118) was also acted upon by the Shapiro administration when the state contract with Real Alternatives was not renewed in December 2023. As a result, these state funds will now be directed to organizations that provide accessible healthcare to women across the Commonwealth.
Proving to be a prolific and impactful member of the General Assembly, Melissa authored 42 pieces of legislation and co-authored 29 bills in the 2023-2024 session alone. Of these bills, her Family Law Arbitration bill (HB917) received a unanimous House vote (201-0) and is now awaiting a vote in the Senate. In addition, two other bills that she co-authored passed out of the House with bipartisan backing: a Second Stage Loan bill (HB922) supporting economic development and an Abortion Protections bill (HB1786). In the near future, Melissa will continue to introduce legislation to safeguard our communities, improve working conditions, protect women's rights, and curb gun violence.
Dedicated to working with colleagues from across the aisle, Melissa is a member of numerous caucuses, including the bicameral, bipartisan Animal Protection Caucus, which she founded in 2018. She is also a Co-Chair of the Taiwan Caucus, and a member of the Women's Health and the Black Maternal Health Caucuses.
Throughout her career, Melissa has collaborated with local officials to secure millions of dollars for infrastructure projects to make her district safer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly. Complimenting her legislative efforts in Harrisburg, Melissa's extraordinary office staff have served thousands of constituents, addressing any concern, no matter how big or small.
Before her election to the General Assembly, Melissa was a small business owner and media producer. She is a graduate of Conestoga High School, Lafayette College with a BA in History/Russian Studies, and Chinese Literature (minor), and American University with a MA in Film and Video. She currently resides in Schuylkill Township with her husband Hans. They have one son, Paris.