Asserting that “much more still must be done to address the needs of all Pennsylvanians,” state Senator Jay Costa announced that he would seek re-election to another term in the state Senate.
“District residents want solutions to health care, energy, economic development, education and a host of other critical problems,” Costa (D-43) said. “The agenda that I've been working on touches each of these issues and that's why I'm asking voters to elect me to another term in the state Senate so I can continue my work.
Sen. Costa, former Allegheny County Deputy Sheriff and Register of Wills, has been serving the 43rd District since he won a Special Election in 1996. He's been re-elected to three full terms.
“There are great challenges that require balancing initiative, legislative skill and resolve,” Sen. Costa said. “Now is the time to reform health care, make college more affordable and change the way business is done in Harrisburg.”
He was one of the leaders in the successful effort to change the operating rules of the Senate to make the deliberations more open and accountable. Since 1996, Mr. Costa has also worked on other key issues including the earmarking of new gaming funds to slash property taxes, hiking the state's minimum wage, increasing insurance benefits for National Guard members serving in combat, landslide remediation and mercury pollution abatement.
Sen. Costa was elected by his peers to leadership in the Democratic Caucus and has served as minority chair of the active Senate Judiciary Committee. Through is work on this committee, he has been involved in the effort to strengthen “Megan's Law.” In addition, he was the prime sponsor of a new law requiring a life-sentence for sexual assault if the victim of an attack was thirteen or younger and suffered a serious bodily injury.
Mr. Costa also worked on new laws to improve court procedures. This effort includes establishing qualification standards for language interpreters and expanding access to records that increase jury pool diversity.
Beyond his legislative accomplishments, he has been very successful in securing grants to aid development efforts in his district and throughout Allegheny County. He has brought funding in for the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill, economic development in Homestead, brownfield reclamation on the South Side as well as a host of other projects scattered throughout the sprawling district.
Born and raised in Pittsburgh's 14th Ward, Costa is a graduate of Allderdice High School, Community College of Allegheny County, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Duquesne University School of Law. Costa currently is shareholder in the Pittsburgh law firm Grogan Graffam, P.C.
Mr. Costa resides in Forest Hills with his wife and three children.