HARRISBURG, January 6, 2015 – With family, friends and supporters on hand, State Senator Wayne Fontana took the oath of office today and pledged to continue fighting for jobs, economic investment and tax relief.

First elected in 2005, the Brookline lawmaker ran unopposed for the four-year term in last November’s General Election. In November, his Democratic colleagues elevated him to caucus chairman, a key leadership position that empowers him to set the daily caucus agenda and lead the discussion on bills that are under consideration on the Senate floor.

“The voters were very clear,” Fontana said. “They are tired of political gamesmanship and want bipartisan solutions to the state’s most pressing problems. Even though the Corbett Administration saddled us with a daunting budget deficit, I am confident our new governor can help us find common ground and craft the best possible solutions to our most serious problems.”

Fontana said his top priorities include pressing for more economic development and job training investment, cutting property taxes and properly funding schools.

“While the Pittsburgh region has improved by leaps and bounds over the past decade, there are still some glaring issues that need to be addressed. Chief among these is the lopsided tax burden on property owners.”

In the past session, Fontana pressed for bills aimed at shifting the school funding burden away from property owners and compelling non-profit corporations to shoulder a greater share of the local tax burden.

The Brookline Democrat also introduced legislation that requires school personnel to be more vigilant about reporting physical abuse. He also has used his clout to bring Senate committees to Allegheny County to focus on issues ranging from job training to liquor licensing.

The 42nd Senatorial District includes numerous Pittsburgh wards, along with Avalon, Baldwin Twp, Bellevue, Ben Avon, Carnegie, Castle Shannon, Coraopolis, Crafton, Greentree, Dormont, Heidelberg, Ingram, Kennedy, McKees Rocks, Neville , Reserve, Scott, Sharpsburg, and Stowe.

From 2000 to mid-March 2005, Fontana was a member of the Allegheny County Council, where he served as council vice president. A realtor, he and his wife Francine live in Brookline. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Fontana’s Pittsburgh district office is located at 932 Brookline Blvd. The phone number is 412-344-2551. He also has offices in Kennedy Township (412-331-1208) and Beechview (412-343-2080).

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