Wednesday, May 8, 2013
The focus should be on growing these profitable gaming markets rather than trying to dismantle successful assets, state Sen. Wayne Fontana says.
Wednesday, May 8
Throughout its more than 40 years in existence, the Pennsylvania Lottery has funded approximately 75 percent of the state's Department of Aging budget through programs that offer low-cost prescription drugs, free and reduced-fare transit, property tax and rent rebates, long-term living services and senior centers. Today, our Lottery is one of the most profitable in the nation. When Pennsylvania legalized slots gaming in 2004 and expanded to table games in 2010, one of the issues the Legislature faced was how the state's lottery would be affected by these additions to the gambling industry. Recognizing the concerns, a provision was included in Act 71 of 2004 that requires the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LB&FC) to issue annual …
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
State Sen. Wayne Fontana discusses school safety legislation, and a new bill that could provide schools with funding to address safety issues.
Wednesday, April 24
School safety is of the utmost importance for everyone in our communities as well as employees of a school district. We send our children to these institutions to receive an education believing that this place is a safe haven for all who are involved in the development and learning of our young ones. The recent tragedies that have occurred across the United States and in particular, Sandy Hook, remind us that even the young and innocent are often the target of some mentally disturbed individuals. Last week, the Pennsylvania Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 10 (SB 10), which would provide targeted grants to Commonwealth schools in order to address the issue of school violence and improve school safety statewide. In particular, the …
Friday, April 19, 2013
'The recent disagreements between Highmark and UPMC have caused great concern and anxiety for the many people who are employed by these health care giants, customers, individuals and companies ... as well as local officials.' - state Sen. Wayne Fontana
Friday, April 19
In 2011, the state's largest insurer, Highmark, signed an affiliation agreement with the financially troubled West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS) and its five Pittsburgh-area hospitals to create an integrated health system. The goal of the acquisition is for the integrated health system to be a competitor to the largest hospital network in western Pennsylvania, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC). Now, the acquisition agreement between Highmark and WPAHS is set to expire at the end of the month. At this point, it is up to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department to make a decision on whether the money being spent by Highmark will compromise the health care system's ability to pay the claims of its customers while still …
Tuesday, March 12, 2013
This ruling is a victory in favor of hard-working Pennsylvanians, state Sen. Fontana says.
Tuesday, March 12
Last week, the Commonwealth Court ruled that two statutes that stripped money from the successful adultBasic and Medical Assistance Benefits for Workers with Disabilities programs were unconstitutional because they diverted money from the federal Tobacco Settlement to finance items other than health care in the general budget. I consider this ruling a victory in favor of hard-working Pennsylvanians who have found themselves in a position where they lack health care benefits because of Gov. Tom Corbett Administration policies of cutting programs for low-income residents. Under the Tobacco Settlement of 1998, tobacco companies agreed to distribute $200 billion over 25 years among Pennsylvania and other states. However, two subsequent laws …
Sunday, February 17, 2013
An eastern Pennsylvania state senator has introduced legislation to legalize marijuana and sell it alongside alcohol.
State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery County) introduced legislation last week to legalize marijuana use in Pennsylvania for adults age 21 and older. Gov. Tom Corbett has already stated opposition to the proposal. Leach has also introduced a few medical marijuana bills in the Pennsylvania Senate, the latest of which in 2011 was co-sponsored by two state senators from Allegheny County, Jim Ferlo and Wayne Fontana. Leach’s latest proposal would provide for legal possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. He envisions that it could be sold alongside alcohol in state liquor stores and at beer distributors. Production, distribution and sale would be regulated in the same way as alcohol. He said the state should tax the sale, which at $1 per …
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
'What is most lacking from the implementation of this law is convenience.'
"While the focus remains on the ongoing court case and the politics surrounding the law, there has not been enough attention paid to the administration's implementation of the law," wrote state Sen. Wayne Fontana about Pennsylvania's new voter ID law in a Sept. 24 editorial in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "What is most lacking from the implementation of this law is convenience." Fontana, who represents all of Baldwin Township and holds an office on Brookline Boulevard, has recommended that elected state officials' offices be among the places that can issue valid voter IDs. Read his full editorial here. --- Follow the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for the daily Baldwin-Whitehall newsletter.
Friday, September 14, 2012
State Sen. Wayne Fontana's family-friendly event goes down at Riverfront Park on the South Side.
Rain or shine, the 8th annual FontanaFest will be held at Riverfront Park in Pittsburgh's South Side area this Saturday, Sept. 15, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Created by state Sen. Wayne Fontana, who represents all of Baldwin Township, the daylong festival promotes family-oriented activities and celebrates the Pittsburgh area's rivers. Free food and drinks will be available, and activities will be held throughout the day—on and off the river. A full schedule of events is available in this article's media gallery. More information, including a list of sponsors and photos from past events can be found on the FontanaFest website or on the official website of state Sen. Wayne Fontana. This article originally appeared on the Dormont-Brookline Patch…
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Molchany is one of three Democrats competing on April 24 for a spot on November's ballot.
22nd House District Democratic Primary Democrats Erin Molchany, Shawn Lunny and Martin Michael Schmotzer will compete during an April 24 primary for the right to represent their party in November's general election for Pennsylvania's 22nd House District seat. UPDATE: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court decided on April 13 that Shawn Lunny's name is to be removed from the ballot of April 24's Democratic primary election for Pennsylvania's 22nd House District seat. Story here. The entirety of the 22nd District includes at least parts of Whitehall Borough, Baldwin Township and Castle Shannon Borough and the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of Overbrook, Brookline, Mount Washington, Beechview, Duquesne Heights, Manchester, Sheraden and Esplen. Click here …
Thursday, February 9, 2012
The governor released his 2012-13 budget proposal on Tuesday.
Gov. Tom Corbett released his 2012-13 state budget on Tuesday, immediately drawing either applause or gnashing of teeth depending on which side of the aisle certain legislators sit. The governor discussed the $27.14-billion budget proposal, a budget that would keep spending in line with a 2011-12 budget that slashed a billion dollars from public education and welfare programs. However, public universities such as the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University face even larger reductions in funding from the state in this year's budget. Corbett's budget does not include any tax or fee increases but also does not address transportation issues that include crumbling infrastructure and mass transit-funding problems. Corbett, a …
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
She was the 22nd Legislative District representative for more than five years.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Chelsa Wagner has submitted her resignation to the Chief Clerk of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives after serving the residents of that state's 22nd Legislative District for more than five years. "It has been a distinct honor to serve the residents of the 22nd Legislative District," Wagner said in a press release. "I am confident that our work together to achieve sustainable results will make a lasting impact on these communities well into the future. I am also confident that my House colleagues, specifically Reps. (Daniel) Deasy, (Harry A.) Readshaw, (Matthew H.) Smith, (William C.) Kortz and (Jake) Wheatley, will be zealous advocates for the needs of these residents." Wagner took office as Allegheny County Controller on Jan. 2 …