Sen. Vincent J. Fumo

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120



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 new state 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 improvements. 

  • 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 reconnect service 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 predatory lenders who offer so-called “payday loans” at extraordinarily high interest rates. 

  • 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 a problem. 

  • 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 capital improvements. 

  • When the 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 items. 

  • 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 offenders. 

  • 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.

The 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 Pennsylvanians. 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.

  • Revitalization of the Italian Market occurred in the late 1980s, when Fumo provided the seed money for neighborhood improvements.

  • Calcutta House, across from St. Joe’s hospital – Senator Fumo helped create this hospice for AIDS patients.

  • Women’s Protection 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. 

  • Police helicopters, 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.



Copyright 2000 Sen. Vincent J. Fumo