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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:

  • Senator Farnese to Hold Hearings to Investigate DNA Backlog

  • Common-Sense Gun Laws

  • TastyKake’s Success is Important

  • Legislative News

  • Restoring the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol Unit

  Staying Connected, 
Sen. Larry Farnese  

Senator Farnese to Hold Hearings to Investigate DNA Backlog

Senator Farnese will hold hearings in Philadelphia to hear testimony about the State Police backlog in DNA testing and to recommend DNA testing when inmates enter prison instead of when they are released.

Senator Farnese, a member of the Judiciary Committee, called for the hearings following the arrest of a suspect in the case of the Kensington Strangler on the strength of a DNA match. I then came to light that the suspect’s DNA had been available since October but had not been entered into the database because of a two to three month backlog.

The public had been vulnerable during that time because the suspect remained at large.

In terms of funding, Senator Farnese wants to find out exactly where we are and what we need to do to get to where we need to be. Senator Farnese is committed to the victims of crime and their families as well as to the public at large.

He is also asking the Corbett administration to make increased funding for DNA testing a top public-safety priority.

More information about the hearings will be available as soon as the date and location are confirmed.

Click here to listen to Senator Farnese's interivew with WPHT's Dom Giordano

Common Sense Gun Laws

Senator Farnese remains committed to public safety and common sense gun laws. Senator Farnese supports extensive background checks and will also introduce several measures that will strengthen gun safety laws and further protect the public. The bills will:

  • Prohibit convicted drug felons, including juveniles, from possessing or purchasing firearms to further prevent straw purchases.

  • Decrease illegal street sales of firearms by allowing prosecutors to properly charge buyers who purchase guns in illegal street sales and equate the penalties for illegal street sales to those of illegal store sales.

  • Increase the Grading for Illegal Street Sales to give the same grading to an illegal street sale that is currently given to an illegal store sale.

  • Prohibit Possession by Those Convicted of Possessing Guns with Obliterated Serial Numbers so that street sellers who alter or obliterate serial numbers would be barred from future possession or purchase of firearms

  • Ban Firearm Possession for defendants on bail awaiting trial for violent offenses.

  • Reinstate the mandatory sentencing provision for straw purchases of multiple firearms

TastyKake’s Success is Important

The future of TastyKake is important to our region for many reasons, and the first reason is jobs.

There are more than 350 people who work there every day, who make their livings and support their families at TastyKake.

Those 350 people and their families are first and foremost in my mind.

There are also the suppliers whose livelihoods depend on TastyKake. The ripple effect extends to suppliers of flour, eggs, butter milk, cocoa spices and flavorings, not to mention the manufacturers of the machinery, parts and equipment used for baking, all of which defines TastyKake as vitally important to our economy.

Despite the current financial challenges, the company has consistently generated annual gross sales of $280 million dollars. TastyKake is a true Philadelphia success story, a Philadelphia institution and part of the fabric and culture of our city.

We hope that the company’s recent financial reprieve results in another 100 years of success.

Click here to listen to Senator Farnese's interview with WPHT's  Chris Stigall.

Legislative News---Senator Farnese Votes to Allow Abortion Coverage 

Senator Farnese voted to allow abortion coverage from policies obtained through health insurance exchanges that are to begin in 2014.

However, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted to bar the abortion coverage. No public hearing was held.

Last year's federal health care law requires states to set up the exchanges to provide a marketplace where small businesses and individuals can buy coverage.

Senator Farnese agrees with reproductive rights proponents who say that federal law already restricts taxpayer funding for abortion coverage, and that this bill goes farther than federal law by restricting abortion coverage in private policies.

The bill now advances to the full senate.

Initiative to Restore the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol Unit

Fundraising continues to restore the Philadelphia Police Mounted Patrol Unit. Our goal is to have the Mounted Units back on the streets this year.

Senator Farnese recently announced that he has secured $100,000 in funding to jumpstart the effort, but there is still a long way to go.

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


Offices of State Senator Larry Farnese