January 15, 2013 | Vol. 73 No. 25

Fontana to serve as chair of key Senate committee

State Senator Wayne D. Fontana (D-Brookline) has been re-appointed to serve as Democratic chairman of the Senate Committee on Community, Economic and Recreational Development.

Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) said Mr. Fontana’s experience, proven leadership and unwavering enthusiasm for revitalizing communities make him a perfect fit for the Democratic chairmanship.

This marks the third legislative session for which Fontana will serve as Democratic chair of the committee, which focuses on revitalizing communities through economic development, job creation and investing in Pennsylvania’s businesses.

The committee also has oversight of the Gaming Control Board, which regulates the state’s thriving gaming and casino industry. Mr. Fontana said the committee has worked tirelessly over the past few years to craft legislation to make sure gaming funds are reinvested back into communities.

The senator said he will continue to press Senate leadership to prioritize ways to help local communities overcome obstacles and capitalize on their unique assets.

During the past legislative session, at his request, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee held three separate hearings in Mr. Fontana’s legislative district. Lawmakers met in Oakdale to discuss efforts to link education curriculum with available jobs; held a hearing in the South Side to take testimony on efforts to manage the growth of liquor establishments; and held a roundtable discussion in McKees Rocks on economic development issues.

Last month, Mr. Fontana and his fellow Democrats announced their “Growth, Progress & Sustainability” (GPS) plan for Pennsylvania’s communities. The plan would update the state’s financial distress program (Act 47), step up local tax reform efforts, encourage greater municipal cooperation and foster new economic development strategies.

Elected in 2005, Mr. Fontana was also appointed to serve on the Senate committees on: Judiciary; Law and Justice; Urban Affairs and Housing and Policy.

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