Matt E. Baker
|Matthew E. Baker|
|Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
from the 68th district
January 5, 1993
|Preceded by||Edgar A. Carlson|
January 24, 1957 |
Buffalo, New York
|Spouse(s)||Brenda K. Baker|
|Alma mater||Corning Community College
Matthew E. "Matt" Baker is a Republican member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for the 68th District and was elected in 1992. For the 2009-10 legislative session, Baker has been appointed Republican Chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee.
Prior to his election to the House, Baker served as a district legislative aide for 13 years. He worked in a Wellsboro law firm for twelve years where he specialized in serving people with disabilities. He helped them Obtain Social Security and disability benefits before federal administrative law judges.
Baker has seen many of his bills become law, including Act 22 of 2012, known as Pennsylvania’s Identity Theft Act, which makes it a felony of the third degree to commit a first offense of the crime of identity theft and provides a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. A third or subsequent offense raises the crime to a felony of the second degree with a maximum penalty of 17 years in prison and a $125,000 fine. Act 166 of 2004 allows auto accident investigators to file summary charges up to a year after an accident, thereby giving law enforcement officials the necessary time needed to complete their investigation of the most difficult incidents – ones that cause serious bodily injury or death and frequently involve multiple vehicles.
Baker is a opponent of cannabis reform. He does not support the legalization of medical cannabis.  Baker has taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from pharmaceutical companies, in reward for his opposition to medical marijuana.
After looking into Matthew Baker’s campaign finance reports on the Influence Explorer database, Baker has received $22,800 from the Pharmaceutical Industry and some of those campaign contributors include Astra Zeneca, the American Society of Anesthesiologists and Pfizer.
Last year, the American Society of Anesthesiologists, who lobby for pain killers, issued a press release claiming that medical marijuana is ineffective when it comes to treating chronic pain, which is one of the key issues medical marijuana advocates are pushing for in Pennsylvania. In that news release, the ASA wrote:
“The surprising result of our study was the absence of any kind of analgesic activity of THC-standardized cannabis extract on experimentally induced pain using well-established human model procedures,” study author Dr. Birgit Kraft said in a prepared statement. “Our results also seem to support the impression that high doses of cannabinoids may even cause increased sensitivity in certain pain conditions.”
The study is published in the July issue of the journal Anesthesiology.
Previous research has suggested that cannabis and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC — the main psychoactive component of marijuana) may help ease chronic pain in cancer patients, spinal cord injury patients, and people with multiple sclerosis. There have been inconsistent findings about the effects on acute pain.
This new study’s findings about oral cannabis and acute pain are seemingly conclusive, according to the researchers.
Last September, Lee Fang reported that Pfizer has become a major player in the pain killer industry. He stated that “Pfizer has moved aggressively into the $7.3 billion painkiller market. In 2011, the company acquired King Pharmaceuticals (the makers of several opioid products) and is currently working to introduce Remoxy, an OxyContin competitor.”
Baker graduated from Cowanesque Valley High School, Westfield. He holds an Associate Degree from Corning Community College, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree as an honors scholar from Elmira College. He also has a Certificate in Business Management, and attended Mansfield University. Formerly of Westfield, Pennsylvania, Baker resides in Wellsboro, Tioga County, with his wife Brenda.
- "Representative Baker's Web Profile" http://repbaker.com
- Goldstein, Chris. "Philly420: Pa. House committees entertain medical marijuana fiction". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 9 April 2015.
Romeo, Tony. "Medical Marijuana Tougher Sell In Pa. House". CBD Philly. Retrieved 9 April 2015.