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Brewster Appointed to Seat on Senate Appropriations Committee
On June 29, 2015
Harrisburg – June 29, 2015 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) has been appointed to serve on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee.
“I am very pleased that the Senate Democratic leader recommended me for appointment to this important committee at this crucial time,” Brewster said.
Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa (D-Allegheny) explained his reasons for recommending Brewster to serve on the committee:
“The Senate Appropriations Committee has input on important matters that involve spending tax dollars and I believe Senator Brewster will do an outstanding job as a member of the committee,” Costa said. “His decades of experience in the banking industry and years of negotiating both in the private sector and as a public official will be of great value to the committee as it works through issues.”
Before his election to the Senate in 2010, Brewster served as mayor of McKeesport and was a vice-president at Mellon Bank.
The appropriations committee examines legislation that involves the expenditure of state funds. Since most legislation has a fiscal impact, a large percentage of proposed bills are considered by the committee.
Brewster said the Senate, House of Representatives and governor are wrestling with a state budget and ideas to close a $1.3 billion structural deficit. The state House passed a $30.1 billion Republican-sponsored budget over the weekend that he criticized for using gimmicks and one-time revenues.
Brewster is the prime sponsor of a number of bills that would impose a responsible tax on shale drillers with all the funds generated earmarked for education. He is also the Senate Democratic point on liquor modernization and is expressly supportive of property tax relief including the new Senate Democratic plan that would eliminate property taxes for two million homesteads via a $1,990 rebate.
The appropriations committee in the Senate is comprised of 23 members with the Senate President Pro Tempore, majority and minority leaders serving as ex officio members.