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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Introducing the FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk

Join us prior to the start of the 13th annual FontanaFest on Saturday, August 19, for the 1st annual FontanaFest One Mile Fun Run/Walk sponsored by Highmark and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC! 

The FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk will take place at Highmark Stadium with runners beginning at 10:30 a.m. and walkers at 10:45 a.m.  The unique course will start inside Highmark Stadium before turning onto the river trail, ultimately ending inside the stadium.  All participants will get a t-shirt and awards will be presented following the race. 

Registration is $10 for individuals and can be done by clicking here or visiting  Families with three or more people can register for a flat fee of $25.  Proceeds from the race will be donated to organizations in support of fighting childhood cancer and supporting families – Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.

FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk Following the race, awards will be presented on the field at Highmark Stadium while the 13th annual FontanaFest kicks off at 11 a.m. 

FontanaFest, a free community event, is perfect for families and children, promoting healthy and active lifestyles by providing many fun activities, games and crafts.  Children will have the chance to play on several inflatables, an obstacle course, and a climbing wall.  All attendees also are provided with the opportunity to engage with more than a dozen organizations from around the region and receive important information on available services and programs, nutrition, health care and much more.  A Roving Puppet Stage from Pittsburgh Puppet Works will be present from noon – 2 p.m. and guests can also mingle with the Pirate Parrot and perhaps a few of his friends.

Parking will be free in the stadium’s West Lot, compliments of Forest City. 

Whether you’re an avid runner or just like the idea of taking a casual stroll along our riverfronts, consider participating in the 1st annual FontanaFest Fun Run/Walk while supporting the worthwhile cause of ending childhood cancer and providing support for families and then stay for the 13th annual FontanaFest!

The Budget Debacle Continues

On Monday, July 10, the 2017-18 budget became law without Governor Wolf’s signature.  The governor stated that he would allow this to take place in hopes that the General Assembly would continue to work together in the coming days to negotiate a responsible and balanced way to pay for the spending plan.  Instead, the Legislature was sent home because no progress was being made. 

The Pennsylvania Senate has returned to Harrisburg this week, but the conundrum remains as there is still no deal to pay for the $2 billion budgetary hole.  Leaders from three caucuses are trying to negotiate how much borrowing will occur to pay for the spending plan and how much one-time revenue versus recurring revenue sources will be used.  However, absent from these talks are the House Republicans who do not seem to be in any rush to get the job finished.  Instead they are busy fast tracking legislation that would require the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to seek a waiver for its Medicaid recipients to impose employment and job search requirements for those that are physically and mentally able. 

Also, a part of this House sneak-attack so-called-reform includes “locking-in” Medicaid recipients in their managed care plans and requesting a waiver to the federal government to charge premiums to families with disabled children.  These changes could be devastating for hundreds of thousands of our residents that utilize Medicaid services daily.  Not to mention that many advocacy groups believe that these changes would be difficult and expensive for the state to administer. 

If the revenue fiasco was not enough, the credit rating agency, Standard & Poor’s Global Rating, has put Pennsylvania on notice of a potential downgrade of our credit ratings because of the increased likelihood that the commonwealth will not enact a structurally balanced budget.  This bad news is deepened since a downgrade will mean an increase in the cost of borrowing for the state. 

A solution to this debacle would be to finally enact a severance tax on the extraction of natural gas.  Governor Wolf ran and won on this idea, yet here we are several years later with the option continually being overlooked.  Pennsylvania has already lost potentially billions of dollars as we allow this industry go untouched.  

And this is an overwhelmingly popular idea.  A 2016 Franklin and Marshall College poll found that 73 percent of respondents supported a severance tax on the natural gas industry.  However, leaders from the House Republicans have been reluctant to do this citing the major gas corporations would leave the state.  How so?  Where would they go?  Pennsylvania has the resource and remains the only major gas-producing state in the nation without a severance tax. 

Instead of wasting time in the Capitol Building trying to take away from the elderly and disabled, we should be focusing our attention on an industry that is siphoning away our natural resources basically for free while the Legislature continues to debate ways to pay for the 2017-18 budget.

Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic

shotI will be hosting my annual Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic on Thursday, September 28 from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Quinn Hall at the Church of the Resurrection in Brookline.  American HealthCare Group will be providing free vaccinations to any senior with the Medicare Part B health insurance card.  Make sure to bring your card with you.

I am also pleased that several organizations from around the region will be present to provide seniors with important information on available services and resources.  Organizations scheduled to participate thus far include: ACCESS; Allegheny County Department of Human Services, Area Agency on Aging; Allegheny County Bar Association; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Duquesne University Mylan School of Pharmacy; OASIS; and the Office of the Consumer Advocate; with more to come.  I will continue to update you with additional information on this year’s Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic throughout this summer.

PUC Seeks Public Input on PA American Water’s Rate Increase Request

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) is hosting a “Smart Hearing” next Thursday, July 27 to gather public comment on a rate increase request filed by Pennsylvania-American Water Company.

The Smart Hearing, conducted by the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge, will be held at the PUC’s headquarters in Harrisburg on:

Thursday, July 27, 1 p.m.
Commonwealth Keystone Building
Hearing Room 1
400 North Street
Harrisburg, PA 17120

PUC Smart Hearings are broadcast live on the PUC website at and enables residents and concerned parties throughout Pennsylvania to see and hear the testimony being offered without the need to attend the hearings in person.  Witnesses are able to offer their comments by telephone, from the convenience of their homes or other locations, to be considered as part of the Commission’s review.  In-person testimony at the Harrisburg hearing site also will be included, for those who prefer to comment in that manner.  Individuals will have the option of not having their testimony live-streamed, if they prefer.

Individuals wishing to testify at the hearings by phone must contact the PUC’s Office of Administrative Law Judge at 717-787-1399 and provide contact information no later than this Friday, July 21.  Attendance in person requires no prior action, simply show up and sign in.

For more information, please visit

Sound the Alarm

Sound the Alarm Sound the Alarm Please join the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross as they Sound the Alarm to save lives during a free smoke alarm installation event being held in the Allentown, Beltzhoover, and Knoxville neighborhoods of the City of Pittsburgh on Saturday, Sept. 23. Volunteers are needed to help the Red Cross install 1,000 free smoke alarms in area homes.

Working in teams, volunteers go door-to-door in the community, meeting with residents, educating them on the importance of home fire safety, and installing free smoke alarms as needed. Volunteer commitment is from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Full training and lunch is provided.

Those interested in volunteering can do so by visiting or by contacting Jen Bailey at or 412-522-9512.

Did You Know…

Did you know that seven people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly, and that 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day?

Civic Leadership Academy

The City of Pittsburgh is accepting applications for its Civic Leadership Academy.  This free program, open for City of Pittsburgh residents and business owners, is an 11-week course that encourages more informed, effective and inspired community and civic leadership by giving participants an opportunity to learn about their local government.

The 11-week course schedule begins on Wednesday, Sept. 6 and runs each Wednesday through Nov. 15 from 6 – 8:30 p.m. Participating City departments include: Office of Mayor Peduto; Finance; Emergency Medical Services; Fire Bureau; Police Bureau; Water and Sewer Authority; Parking Authority; Parks and Recreation; City Planning; Urban Redevelopment Authority; Public Works; Permits, Licenses and Inspections; and the Housing Authority.

Applications are available online at or by clicking here.  The application period closes on Friday, August 4 at 5 p.m.  For more information on the Civic Leadership Academy please contact Molly Onufer at 412-255-4773 or

Summer Food ProgramSummer Food Program for Children

Children ages 18 and younger can participate in the Allegheny County Summer Food program which began in mid-June.  Summer Food will run in over 80 locations in Allegheny County through August.  At these locations children can receive a free breakfast and lunch during the summer recess from school.  For more information on the program, including information on locations and times, please call the Allegheny County Department of Human Services at 1-800-851-3838.  You may also click here to view a listing of locations.

OASIS Intergenerational Tutoring

OASIS is seeking volunteers interested in tutoring students to join their Intergenerational Tutoring Program.  Volunteers tutor students enrolled in Pittsburgh Public Schools in grades K-4 in reading and writing.  Free training will be given to older adults, age 50 and over.  All materials and clearances are provided by OASIS.  OASIS Oasis

Training sessions will be held on Tuesday, August 8 and Thursday, August 10 from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. at the OASIS office located at 411 Seventh Avenue, Suite 525, in downtown Pittsburgh.

For more information on how to become an OASIS tutor, please contact John D. Spehar, Pittsburgh OASIS Tutoring Program Director at 412-393-7648 or OASIS is an affiliate of the Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council.

Fontana Fact

pirates Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday marked the 47th anniversary of the first game the Pittsburgh Pirates played at Three Rivers Stadium.  On July 16, 1970, in front of a crowd of 48,846, the Pirates lost the first game played at Three Rivers, dropping a 3-2 decision to the Cincinnati Reds.  Two Hall of Famers hit home runs in the game.  The Reds’ Tony Perez hit the stadium’s first home run in the 5th inning and the Pirates’ Willie Stargell hit one in the 6th inning. 

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
543 Main Capitol | Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plaza
524 Pine Hollow Road
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
By Appointment
Northside (Mobile Office)
Carnegie Library | Allegheny Branch
1230 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212
By Appointment
Smart Hearing