Sen. Vincent J. Fumo

District Office

1208 Tasker Street
Phila, PA 19148

Harrisburg Office

545 Main Capitol
Hbg, PA 17120



_____________________NEWS RELEASE
State Senator

1st Senatorial District
Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman
Room 545 Main Capitol, Harrisburg PA 17120
Internet Website:

PHONE: 717-787-5662 



     HARRISBURG, April 8, 2003 Ė State Senator Vincent J. Fumo (D-Philadelphia) marked his 25th year representing the First Senatorial District on April 3. Fumo was first elected in a special election to fill a vacant seat in 1978. Since then, he has been re-elected to full four-year terms six times.

     "It is a job I love," said Fumo. "There were times when I considered running for another office, but eventually I realized that the state Senate is where I want to be. I can have a direct, positive impact on the lives of Pennsylvanians, and on my city."

     Fumo grew up in the South Philadelphia neighborhood that he now represents. He had held Democratic party positions and government jobs, but had never run for public office when he decided to seek the state Senate seat in 1978. Early in his tenure, he was elected caucus secretary, and in 1984 became chairman of the Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee, a post he has held ever since.

     Fumo has been a tireless advocate for Philadelphia and all urban areas of the commonwealth. Among his accomplishments are enactment of a dedicated funding stream for mass transit and permanent funding for the child welfare system. He played a pivotal role in establishing the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (PICA), which rescued Philadelphia from the brink of bankruptcy in the early 1990s.

     He has also been a strong supporter of the arts community in Philadelphia. He secured funding from former Gov. Robert Casey for the Kimmel Center, and for then-mayor Ed Rendellís Avenue of the Arts project. Conductor Peter Nero has called him the best friend the Philly Pops ever had. He helped gain funding for the Philadelphia Ballet, Orchestra, and Opera, as well as the Wilma Theater, the Prince Theater, and the Pavoratti International Voice Competition.

     In all, Fumo can take primary responsibility for a cumulative total of nearly $4 billion of direct state funding to Philadelphia since he became Appropriations chairman. Included is money for community and economic development projects, increased public education support, transportation, health care, higher education, and public welfare.

     He has also applied his political leadership to other causes. For example, after failing to win Legislative approval for an amendment that would have mandated rate reductions for consumers in the state electric deregulation bill in 1996, Fumo led a court battle that resulted in guaranteed rate cuts of $2 billion for PECO customers.

     More recently, Fumo led the effort to prevent the collection of artifacts and documents of the Philadelphia Civil War Library and Museum from being moved out of state. The result will be a new Civil War Museum in the city.

     He was the chief architect of a thorough revision of state guns laws in 1995, which cracked down on gun-related crime while preserving the rights of law-abiding citizens to own firearms. His legislation created the stateís instant background check system while toughening the list of offense that could result in someone being denied the right to purchase a firearm. It also increased penalties for gun-related crimes. The bill was supported by both the National Rifle Association and gun-control advocate Sarah Brady.

     With his widely respected intellect, combined with a street-tough sense of how to play politics, Fumo gained a reputation as one of the most powerful members of the General Assembly, despite Democrats having been in the majority for only three of the 25 years that he has served in the Senate.

     "There have been ups and downs, but overall Iíve been very happy. The best thing about the job is the way I believe Iíve been able to help the city over the years. That, and the many friends from both political parties that Iíve made at the Capitol."