HARRISBURG, February 23, 2011 – Calling it his top legislative priority, state Sen. Wayne D. Fontana (D-Allegheny) today joined with fellow Senate Democrats in unveiling a six-point proposal that would help businesses create jobs, rebuild the state’s aging infrastructure and energize Pennsylvania’s economy.

As Democratic chairman of the Senate Committee on Community, Economic and Recreational Development, Fontana helped draw up and coordinate the legislative proposals.

“These bills would create thousands of jobs, help small businesses, invest in promising new industries and build our economy without spending additional state revenues,” Fontana said at a Capitol news conference. “The package fosters constructive partnerships with businesses and leverages private investment money and federal dollars on proven initiatives.”

The Democratic package, called “PA Works,” focuses on: helping small businesses, strengthening workforce training, making targeted investments, fostering investment in clean and green energy industries, rebuilding infrastructure, streamlining government jobs programs, and instilling tax fairness.

Fontana said small businesses have been hampered by tax policies and global competitors who have unfair competitive advantages. He said new state policies must level the playing field and remove obstacles that stunt local businesses from investing and hiring.

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy,” Fontana said. “By removing unnecessary impediments, competitive disadvantages and red tape, we help them help themselves — and accelerate our state’s economic resurgence.

“It is imperative that job creation and economic development be at the forefront of our legislative agenda this year. A strong economy is the best tonic for many of the difficult ills we face.”