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Senator Larry Farnese was elected to the Senate in 2008 to represent Pennsylvania’s First Senatorial District. The district comprises many unique and vibrant neighborhoods from Port Richmond on the Delaware River to Fairmount Park on the Schuylkill River and also includes South Philadelphia, Center City, the Navy Yard, Philadelphia International Airport and other areas.
Senator Farnese serves as the Democratic Chair of the Communications and Technology Committee. He is also a member of the Appropriations Committee, Banking and Insurance Committee, the Law and Justice Committee and the Judiciary Committee.
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 is presently of counsel at Archer and Greiner, P.C. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Housing Advisory Committee and serves on the board of the Pennsylvania Historical Society. He also serves on the board of Casa Farnese, the first affordable senior housing complex in Philadelphia, founded in 1966 by the Senator’s grandfather.
Following in his family tradition of commitment to education, Senator Farnese was recently appointed to serve on the boards of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) and the Public School Employees Retirement System (PSERS).
Senator Farnese continues to build his record as a reformer through legislation and policy initiatives in the areas of public safety, economic development, and job creation. Recognizing that quality of life is crucial to economic development, Senator Farnese has sponsored a number of initiatives to improve public safety. He has introduced legislation to reduce gun violence, and supported continued funding of the Gun Violence Task Force to combat straw purchases of illegal handguns. Senator Farnese obtained state funding to help restore the Philadelphia Police Mounted Unit, and has also worked closely with local officials and community leaders to improve oversight of neighborhood nuisance bars. He recently became the leading proponent in Pennsylvania for “Caylee’s Law.”
Senator Farnese has championed capital funding for many commercial and cultural institutions, including new hotel construction, expansion of the convention center, and development of the Delaware River waterfront. He has been an advocate for dredging the Delaware River and the expansion of Philadelphia’s ports, activities which support and create thousands of family-sustaining jobs. Senator Farnese introduced enabling legislation for Philadelphia’s property tax abatement program to spur new construction, and successfully led the fight to defeat proposed taxes on the arts and professional services.
Understanding that economic growth also requires confidence in government, Sen. Farnese has sponsored bi-partisan legislation to enact campaign finance contribution limits, and initiatives to end to pay-to-play contributions by companies doing business with the state. In 2009, he drafted the provisions in state law that ended the DROP program for future elected officials statewide, and also authored new reforms to Pennsylvania’s gaming law.