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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Budget Outlook

CapitolThe 2012-13 fiscal year ends this week and budget negotiations for the new fiscal year are underway.  While there are several major issues on the table including state store privatization, pension reform and transportation funding that would add to budget expenditures, my primary focus will remain passing a state budget that is fiscally responsible while at the same time investing in essential programs and services without raising any broad based taxes. 

I look forward to hearing from my constituents about issues that are important to them. At the same time I want to remind citizens that language in many of these pieces of legislation will change drastically over these next several days so I will remain open minded until the Legislature is ready to vote.

As always, I will remain an advocate for education funding, human services programs and job-creation legislation.  In addition, I will continue to secure funding for programs that will benefit and enhance the Pittsburgh region so that my district will have many more opportunities in the future to shine. 

Elder Abuse Awareness

Elder Abuse MonthI want to inform you that June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month and the Pennsylvania Department of Aging is encouraging people to know the signs of elder abuse and report suspected cases to the authorities.  Elder abuse can include neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and financial and material abuse.  Signs of abuse can include bruises or broken bones, weight loss, or the withdrawing of large sums of money from an account for no apparent reason.

In 2012, more than 18,000 cases of suspected abuse and neglect were report to the Department of Aging’s protective services program, with nearly 40 percent of those reports leading to protective services for the victim.  As Pennsylvania’s older population increases, the number of reported cases is expected to rise and it is important to remain vigilant in protecting citizens who may be at risk.

If you suspect elder abuse, please contact the 24-hour statewide Elder Abuse hotline at 1-800-490-8505.  You may also contact the Allegheny County Older Adult Abuse Hotline at 412-350-6905 or 1-800-344-4319.  For more information on elder abuse, what signs to look for, and how to report it, you may also visit the Allegheny County Department of Human Services website.

Did You Know…

Did you know, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse, elders who experienced abuse, even modest abuse, had a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who had not been abused?

 

Table Games Revenue Increases Again

Table GamesThe Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board announced recently that revenue generated at the state’s 11 casinos from table games play in May increased 13.6 percent over May 2012.  Gross revenue from table games during May was nearly $63 million, an increase of over $7 million from May 2012.  Combined with figures released on revenue from slot machines earlier this month, the overall gross revenue from slots and table games in May was over $274 million, an increase of 2.4 percent from last May.  Tax revenue generated from table games in May was over $9 million with approximately $7.75 million being deposited into the state’s General Fund with $1.255 million going towards the Local Share Fund.

There are 11 casinos operating across the Commonwealth, offering both table games and slot machines, and employing over 16,000 people. These casinos, collectively, generate an average of $4 million per day in tax revenue, which is used for property tax reduction, funding the Commonwealth’s horse racing industry, fire companies, a statewide water and sewer project grant program, and the state’s General Fund, as well as establishing a new stream of tax revenue to local governments that host casinos, for community projects. You can read more about gaming in Pennsylvania by visiting the Gaming Control Board's website.

Summer Meals for Children

Summer Food ProgramWith most students on summer vacation, I want parents to be aware of a program that offers children from low-income families a free summer meal.  The Summer Food Service Program provides eligible children, under the age of 18, with free meals throughout the summer at more than 1,200 locations around the state.  This program was created by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to ensure children have access to nutritious meals during the summer break, when they are out of school.  To view locations where meals, including breakfast, lunch, and morning and afternoon snacks, are provided and hours of operation, please visit www.pasummermeals.com.  You may also call 1-800-331-0129 for more information.

Recognizing a Community Leader

Jeffrey Harbin
Carnegie Borough Police Chief Jeffrey Harbin, who is retiring, receives congratulations from incoming Chief Jeffrey Kennedy, Mayor Jack Kobistek and Council President Rick D'Loss at the Borough Council meeting, June 24th.

After a long and distinguished record of public service, Carnegie Borough Police Chief Jeffrey Harbin is retiring, effective at the end of June.  Being in Harrisburg I was unable to personally present him with a Senate Citation at last night’s Borough meeting, commending him for his years of service, but was fortunate to have a member of my staff present if for me. 

Chief Harbin is a native of Carnegie and graduated from Carylnton High School in 1972.  After serving four years in the United States Marine Corps, he joined the Carnegie Police Department in 1976.  In 1988, he was promoted to sergeant before becoming the police chief four years later, in 1992.  Starting in 2011, Chief Harbin took on the role of Borough Manager in addition to his police duties. 

Chief Harbin has been an excellent public servant for Carnegie and has been instrumental over the years in both protecting the residents and advocating on behalf of the community.  He will be sorely missed.  I wish Chief Harbin well in his retirement and thank him for all he has done for the residents of Carnegie.

Around the District

2nd Annual Taste of Beechview

Senator Fontana visited the 2nd Annual Taste of Beechview on Saturday, June 22nd.  Hundreds gathered in Beechview’s business district to purchase food, drink and other collectables from local merchants.

Senator Fontana speaks at the Hilltop Economic Development Coporation’s (HEDC) 5th Annual Crusin’ on the Hilltop community festival.  Senator Fontana recognized Steve Hutter, the Elder-Ado’s Executive Director, who is retiring and was presented with the HEDC President’s Award.

Senator Fontana is pictured with Steve Hutter, Executive Director Elder-Ado, and State Representative Harry Readshaw after Steve was presented the HEDC President’s Award for his years of service to the community.

Crafton Celebrates

Crafton CelebratesCrafton Borough is hosting its 38th annual festival, Crafton Celebrates, this weekend in Crafton Park.  The three-day event begins Friday at 6:30 p.m. with the kick-off parade and continues at 7:15 p.m. with opening ceremonies led by the American Legion and the Carlynton High School Marching Band. 

During the entire weekend, Crafton Celebrates will feature a variety of family-friendly activities including a bounce house, petting zoo, many games, and food.  This year’s festival also contains a diverse line-up of entertainers who will perform at selected times throughout the weekend.  The 12th Annual Thomas J. Witt Memorial Firecracker, 5K Run or Walk, is part of this year’s festival, scheduled for Sunday morning and the festival will conclude with a fireworks show Sunday evening at 9:30 p.m.  For more information on this year’s Crafton Celebrates festival, please visit www.craftoncelebrates.com.

Brookline Business Feature

Anna NailsThis week’s featured Brookline business is Anna Nails Design.  Located at 814 Brookline Boulevard, Anna Nails Design offers manicures, pedicures, acrylics, and airbrushing designs.  Anna Nails prides itself on providing full nail services at affordable prices.  Walk-ins are welcome and appointments are also accepted between the hours of 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday-Saturday.  To learn more, please call 412-531-2446.

Please continue to support local merchants during the Brookline Boulevard Streetscape Project and remember:

Brookline is open for business!

 

PA FarmsFontana Fact

Pennsylvania’s farms generate $1.7 billion in international sales each year, making agricultural products the state’s leading export.  There are over 63,000 farms in Pennsylvania and 97 percent of those farms are family owned.  One farmer produces enough food and fiber to feed 154 people.

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

  Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Fax: 412-344-3400
Harrisburg
543 Main Capitol
Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plz.
524 Pine Hollow Rd
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Fax: 412-331-2079
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Phone: 412-343-2080
Fax: 412-343-2418
Crafton Celebrates Summer Food Service Program