Senator Vince Fumo has accomplished many things
for Philadelphia and the entire state during a 30-year career in the
state Senate. Below are just some of his numerous achievements from the
past dozen years. In many cases, his achievements help to reveal where
he stands on issues related to the work he has done.
In 2007, Vince Fumo developed a
transportation plan, then got it passed in the legislature.
It will provide nearly $1 billion annually for roads, bridges and
mass transit throughout Pennsylvania. It was especially important
for SEPTA, which will receive a 44 percent increase in state
funding, plus another $58 million every year for SEPTA capital
In 2006, Fumo conceived an idea to attack the
increasing murder rate and high levels of gun violence in
Philadelphia. He approached state Attorney General Tom Corbett about
creating a special task force to go after dealers who supply gun to
those who can’t legally buy them on their own. Using his knowledge
of the state budget process that he accumulated in more than 20
years as Democratic Appropriations Chairman, he obtained $5 million
per year in state funding to create
the illegal gun
task force, which operates solely in Philadelphia under the
Attorney General, District Attorney Lynne Abraham, and the
Philadelphia Police Department. It has already arrested dozens of
illegal gun dealers.
Fumo also wrote the 1995 law that created
Pennsylvania’s state instant background check system, which
requires everyone who purchases any type of firearm in Pennsylvania
to first clear a criminal background check.
In 2006, Fumo created a program for PGW customers who
are unable to pay their bills. Using funding steered to the program
by Fumo, the Governor and House Appropriations Chairman Dwight
Evans, the programs pays to
in the wintertime for those whose homes are without heat because they
cannot pay their gas bills.
Fumo led the fight over the past several years to
halt the operation in Pennsylvania of
who offer so-called “payday loans” at extraordinarily high interest
Fumo was main author of the 2004 law legalizing
slot machine gambling
in Pennsylvania. He insisted on strong public-protection provisions,
such as a ban on campaign contributions from gambling interests, and
a central control system that allows the Department of Revenue to
electronically monitor every slot machine in the state in real time,
and it shut it down from the main office in Harrisburg if it detects
He insisted that the law provide wage tax relief
for Philadelphians. Proceeds from slot machine revenues will
begin to fund wage tax cuts this year and continue every year
hereafter. The law also will provide an estimated $25 million
annually straight to the City of Philadelphia budget, including a $5
million sum that will go to the school district every year for
Civil War Library
and Museum, located in an aging building on Pine Street,
threatened to move its priceless collection of artifacts and
documents to Richmond because of weak finances, Fumo stepped in
and initiated court proceedings that kept the museum in the city. He
also started the process to raise money that will result in a
new, much larger museum in Center City to display properly the
unique and valuable Civil War
Fumo lent staff support and helped obtained funding
early this decade for Jefferson Square, a project that transformed
a blighted section of the city into an attractive, low-density, modern
community of affordable homes.
Fumo was a key leader in helping to create the
Community Court. He obtained a funding grant of $1.2 million to
establish the court, and he assembled top officials from law
enforcement and the court system to agree to a plan. Since it opened
several years ago, Community Court has made a big
difference in the quality of life in the city by reducing crime. It
has also made a difference in the lives of many people who were
headed down the wrong path. The court coordinates the criminal
justice system with social service agencies. The aim is to deliver
swift punishment, and at the same time get help for low-level
After the Ridge Administration pushed an electric
deregulation plan through the Republican-controlled legislature in
1996, Fumo argued that it created a windfall for electric utility
companies such as PECO, with no guarantee that the savings would be
passed on to consumers. So Fumo sued, and then led a lengthy court
fight that produced rate cuts for all electric utility customers,
and caps on electric rates that are still in effect today.
list of things Vince Fumo has done to make Philadelphia a better place
is long, and includes annual battles in Harrisburg for things such as
increased education funding
and health care coverage for all
Here are just a few others:
The establishment of PICA in
1991, which created an oversight board for the Philadelphia budget,
making the city's financial turnaround possible.
the Italian Market
the late 1980s, when Fumo provided the seed money for neighborhood
across from St. Joe’s hospital – Senator Fumo helped create this
hospice for AIDS patients.
From Abuse Court,
created when Fumo obtained state funding, after women’s anti-abuse
groups expressed concerns that filing a complaint through the normal
procedures was often a demeaning experience for abuse victims.
in use since 1999, when Senator Fumo obtained funding for
two helicopters for the Philadelphia Police Department.
The state Homeowners Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP),
which Fumo started during the recession of the early 1980s, helps
Pennsylvania homeowners pay their mortgage and save their homes when
they lose their job through no fault of their own.
Fumo was primarily responsible for the legal
framework that protects the state’s child welfare system from
being shortchanged in the state budget each year.