About Larry

Senator Larry Farnese was first elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in 2008 and reelected to his third term in 2016 to represent the First Senatorial District. The District, which comprises some of Philadelphia’s most unique and vibrant neighborhoods, spans from Port Richmond on the Delaware River to Fairmount Park on the Schuylkill River and includes South Philadelphia, Center City, Fairmount, the Navy Yard, and Philadelphia’s International Airport and sports complexes.

Senator Farnese is a champion for city and state economic development. In addition to securing capital funding for many commercial and cultural institutions, as well as job training and tax incentives, he has been a vocal supporter of and advocate for the Delaware River dredging and expansion of Philadelphia’s ports. He has secured over $50,000,000 in Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program Grants to create jobs, economic development, green energy solutions and improve tourism in the City.

Understanding that economic growth also requires confidence in government, Farnese has sponsored bi-partisan legislation throughout his tenure to enact campaign finance contribution limits. In 2012, the Senator called on the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to expand public input for the proposed second Philadelphia casino. Since 2009, he has sponsored legislation limiting “pay-to-play” in awarding state contracts and in the same year drafted the provisions that ended the DROP program for future elected officials statewide.

Farnese is seen as one of the State’s most passionate public safety advocates because quality of life is crucial to the long-term success of the neighborhood. He has worked to reduce gun violence, ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines, close the Florida Loophole, increase the penalty for illegally carrying a concealed weapon, and combat the straw purchases of illegal handguns. In his first term, he also obtained funding to restore the Philadelphia Police Mounted Unit and continues working closely with local officials and community leaders to improve the oversight of neighborhood nuisance bars.

As a representative of one of the Commonwealth’s most diverse LGBTQ communities, the Senator is a passionate, outspoken supporter of equality and nondiscrimination legislation for all Pennsylvanians. In addition to being a member of the state’s LGBT Equality Caucus, he has sponsored and co-sponsored a number of pro-equality bills that would: prohibit discrimination in employment, housing and accommodations because of a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; expand the state’s hate crime laws; end bullying in schools and in our neighborhoods; and ban conversion therapy.

The Senator was elected in 2014 and 2016 to serve as the Senate Democratic Caucus’ Secretary.  He also serves as the Democratic Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and is a member of the Banking and Insurance, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, Rules and Executive Nominations, and Transportation Committees. He holds a membership position with the Pennsylvania Housing Advisory Committee and serves on the boards of the Pennsylvania Historical Society and Casa Farnese, the first affordable senior housing complex in Philadelphia.

Senator Farnese earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Villanova University and graduated from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in 1994. He was chosen as the Italian Museum of Philadelphia’s Italian-American of the Year in 2013 and presented with Chinatown Development Corporation’s Community Service Award in 2015. Larry is widely recognized as a defender of neighborhood associations thanks to his SLAPP legislation protecting them against frivolous lawsuits. The Senator lives in Center City Philadelphia.