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Brewster Begins Another Term in Senate
On January 3, 2017
Takes oath office today in Harrisburg ceremony
Harrisburg – January 3, 2017 – State Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) was sworn in today for another term in the state Senate serving citizens in portions of Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.
“It is an honor and privilege to serve the citizens in the 38 municipalities that are part of the 45th District,” Brewster said. “I will continue to pursue a broad agenda that is focused on families.
“My legislative proposals include measures that promote job creation, tax relief, education support and help for those who are in need.”
Brewster, who was recently reappointed Democratic chair of the Senate Law and Justice Committee and Game and Fisheries Committee, indicated that he would push his broad legislative agenda. He has authored a sweeping charter school reform measure, a multi-pronged plan to require American steel to be used in fracking operations and initiatives to help local law enforcement via body cameras and additional patrol officers.
The lawmaker has also written legislation to institute a responsible energy extraction tax on Marcellus Shale drillers and to use the revenue to fund education. He is also the prime sponsor of a package of bills to reform the legislature and make it more accountable.
Brewster was first elected to the Senate in a special election in 2010. He was re-elected in 2012 and 2016.
The senator has been involved in successful legislative efforts over the last several sessions. These include the passage of Act 89 – the transportation financing plan – that has rebuilt roads, bridges and funded mass transit, plus an effort to eliminate blight in economically disadvantaged cities. He was also the author of legislation (Senate Bill 773) that was inserted into another measure and signed into law as Act 109 in 2014. This proposal created a new “Hunting Heritage” license plate.
Brewster said that there are great fiscal challenges ahead for lawmakers this session. Pension reform, a huge budget deficit and growing medical assistance and corrections expenses will dominate discussions, he said. Even amid these substantive and difficult issues, he said that there was an opportunity to address issues involving local government.
“As the former mayor of McKeesport, I know the great difficulties that economically-stressed communities face,” Brewster said. “Lawmakers in Harrisburg need to focus on addressing the problems of small cities and struggling communities.”
Brewster has been widely recognized for his work in aiding the steel industry. Beyond his measure to require domestic steel in hydraulic fracking pipelines and safety equipment, Brewster was prominent in pushing a resolution (Senate Resolution 365) that called for strong enforcement of trade laws to protect the domestic steel industry from the dumping of foreign-made steel.
The lawmaker has district offices in Monroeville, McKeesport and in the Allegheny-Kiski Valley.