Francine Panehal served seven terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. During her tenure with the Ohio General Assembly, she became the first Democratic woman elected majority whip (1979-1981). She also served on the following House committees:
- Finance and Appropriations,
- Governmental Affairs,
- Human Resources Subcommittee,
- Highways and Highway Safety,
- State Government,
- Land Conveyance and Townships, and
- General Subcommittee.
Panehal was affiliated with the Cleveland Landmarks Commission, the Citizens League, the League of Women Voters, the West Side Irish American Club, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Executive Committee, the American Association of University Women, and the Catholic War Veteran's Auxiliary.
She is the recipient of numerous civic awards recognizing her leadership and service. Among these are: Outstanding Service to the Young Children of Ohio (1977); Outstanding Legislator, Lake, Cuyahoga and Geauga County Regional Councils on Alcoholism (1979); Outstanding Service, Ohio Association for Gifted and Talented Children (1980); Legislator of the Year, Ohio Perinatal Association (1980); Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children (1986); Neighborhood Centers of Cleveland (1986); and the Outstanding Service and Contribution to Quality Child Care (1986).
Biography courtesy of the Ohio Women's Policy and Research Commission