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1st District Connection

Senator FarneseDear Constituent,

Welcome to another edition of First District Connection. I have information to share about several topics:

  • Legislative Priorities in 2011

  • Initiative to Restore the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol Unit

  • Electricity Choice Comes to Pennsylvania

  • New Committee Assignments

  Staying Connected, 
Sen. Larry Farnese  

Legislative Priorities in 2011

Senator Farnese’s number one priority is getting people back to work and creating more family-sustaining jobs through important projects such as the expansion of Southport and other development projects.

These projects will create a robust economy and ensure that Philadelphia remains competitive in our global marketplace.

In terms of public safety, which Senator Farnese believes is the first responsibility of government, he will continue the fight in Harrisburg for sensible handgun legislation.

He is also committed to making sure that the fundraising drive to restore the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol Unit reaches its 2011 goal.

We will face many challenges in Harrisburg this year. Senator Farnese holds that we must never compromise our principles but we can and must find common ground, especially when it comes to critical issues such as Marcellus Shale. While the state can generate a significant amount of money through a severance tax, it is imperative to put in place strong regulations to make drillers accountable and establish strong environmental and health protections.

Initiative to Restore the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol Unit

Senator Farnese recently announced that he has secured $100,000 in funding for the restoration of the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol Unit.

He made the announcement at a news conference with Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey, Mayor Michael Nutter and other officials.

“Our police officers put their lives on the line for all of us every day, and for that they deserve every possible available resource,” said Senator Farnese. “The safety of our citizens depends on it, and public safety must be our first priority.”

The $100,000 in funding will go a long way to help get the fundraising effort off the ground. These dedicated funds will go directly to the Philadelphia Police Foundation to be used expressly for the purpose of restoring The Mounted Patrol Unit.

For the last several years the State Police have graciously lent their Mounted Units to the city, at no charge, for planned events such as the World Series, but we clearly need our own Mounted Patrol Units for emergency situations.

In terms of controlling large crowds, a Mounted Officer can protect both the public and other officers. At a time when the city budget is stretched a Mounted Unit is highly cost-effective because one Mounted officer can take the place of several patrol officers.

And from a Community Policing strategy point of view, there is no better style of policing.
As Lieutenant Dan McCann, the Commanding Officer of the new Mounted Patrol Unit, said at the news conference, “No one ever came up to me and asked to pet my police car.”

And with the support of the Philadelphia Police Foundation the Police Department expects to have the Mounted Patrol on the streets of Philadelphia by the summer of 2011.

Those who would like to join Senator Farnese in restoring the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol can visit the Philadelphia Police Foundation website at www.phillypolicefoundation.org.

Electricity Choice Comes to Pennsylvania

Electricity choice has come to Pennsylvania.

As of January 1, 2011, consumers have the option of choosing an electric company.

This is happening because Pennsylvania passed a bill deregulating the electricity market.

Now customers can keep PECO or try another company.

If you want to stay with PECO, you don’t have to do anything at all.

If you want to switch, there are at least 15 companies from which to choose, and customers who shop around could save as much as $75 to $90 a year.

But there are other factors to consider.

For example, besides the base rate, customers also want to be sure to find out if the new company has a fixed or a variable rate.

Variable rates typically rise or fall with the season or the price of energy.

So, it is very important for consumers to educate themselves about rates and other possible charges for switching back as well as finding out if there is a contract for a certain length of time.

If you decide to switch, PECO will still send your bill, and if there’s a power outage, you will still call PECO.PA Power Switch

If you are thinking about switching, the important thing is to thoroughly research the choices and terms in order to make an educated decision.

The Public Utilities Commission of Pennsylvania has an excellent website where consumers can educate themselves, compare companies and rates and easily find answers to their questions: The website is papowerswitch.com.

New Committee Assignments

The New Year brings new opportunities for the senator to serve the First Senatorial District.
Senator Farnese is pleased to remain on the Appropriations Committee and the Banking and Insurance Committee. He is pleased to announce that he will also serve on the Law and Justice Committee where he can directly address important liquor issues. He will now serve on the Judiciary Committee where he will focus on public safety and common-sense gun laws.

Additionally, he will serve as the Democratic Chair of the Communication and Technology Committee where he will be involved with such matters as biotechnology development.

His appointment to the Democratic Policy Committee affords him influence in developing position and policy statewide.


 

Offices of State Senator Larry Farnese