AudioClick below to listen to audio clips of floor remarks, press conferences and my monthly Pennsylvania Moment radio program.
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa says authorities can be alerted to child abuse by anyone anytime of the day or night.
More than 200 community college students and faculty rallied at the State Capitol today, urging Gov. Corbett and state lawmakers to provide an increase in funding in next year’s state budget. Here’s more with Senator Costa, who’s also a member of the Community College of Allegheny County’s Board of Trustees.
On the Senate floor, Senator Costa delivers a tribute to retiring University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg.
Pennsylvania Moment: Sen. Costa reminds you that March 31st is the deadline to sign up for health insurance provided by the federal Affordable Care Act.
Pennsylvania Senate and House Democrats are questioning Gov. Corbett’s state budget assertions and successes, and so today at a State Capitol news conference they unveiled a fact check website. Here’s more with Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa who says Gov. Corbett is distorting the facts and his record.
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa says Pennsylvania’s Career Link offices can connect the unemployed to businesses that need workers.
Reports around the State Capitol say Gov. Corbett and some Republican legislative leaders are trying to come up with a new plan to privatize the state store system and beer sales. Here’s more with Senator Costa who, along with other Senate Democrats, says a better plan would be to modernize the way the state sells liquor.
Senate Democrats are applauding a Commonwealth Court ruling today that strikes down Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law. Here’s more with Senator Costa, the Democratic Leader in the Pennsylvania Senate, who says the court was right to find the photo identification law unconstitutional.
Pennsylvania Moment: It’s never too early to begin saving for your child’s college education. Senator Costa says the state Treasury has a plan that can help now and in the future.
Senator Costa says he’s pleased that Gov. Corbett is abandoning his plan to privatize the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery, ending a contract extension agreement of more than one year with United Kingdom based Camelot Global Services which wanted to take over the management of the state lottery.
Senator Jay Costa says the mid-year budget briefing given by the governor’s budget secretary is a gloomy summary of the Corbett Administration’s three years in office in which they blame budget woes on state employee pensions, the welfare department and corrections. Senator Costa blames the state’s fiscal mess on the failed policies of the Corbett Administration.
Senator Costa comments on a 10-bill package of child protection measures that have been signed into law by the governor, including legislation that redefines child abuse and how it’s to be investigated.
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa suggests celebrating the holidays by donating to your local food bank.
Senator Costa says the former Westinghouse Atom Smasher site that straddles Chalfant Borough and Forest Hills in Allegheny County will be the subject of an environmental site assessment funded by an $88,000 Industrial Sites Reuse Program grant. Here’s more with Senator Costa who says this is the first step in turning the abandoned industrial site into a planned residential community.
In advance of the governor’s mid-year budget briefing, Senate Democrats held a State Capitol news conference today to outline their plan for state budget savings and new revenue. Here’s more with Senator Costa who says the plan would generate more than $1-billion dollars in budget savings and revenue that could be used to make key investments, avoid deep cuts or tax increases, and deal with a projected state budget deficit.
On the floor of the Senate, Senator Costa explains his vote on the Transportation Funding Bill.
Senate Democrats announced at a State Capitol news conference today that they’re introducing a comprehensive package of 23 bills intended to help Pennsylvania veterans and their families deal with issues ranging from housing to employment as they return to civilian life from military service. Here’s more with Senator Costa on a plan called “Saluting Pennsylvania Veterans.”
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa says now is the time to apply for home heating assistance.
Senator Costa spoke on the floor of the Pennsylvania Senate in remembrance of Congressman Bill Coyne.
Senator Costa spoke on the floor of the Senate about news from the House that a move might be made to impeach the state’s Attorney General.
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa says your child might be eligible for free or low-cost health care.
Sen. Costa reminds his House and Senate colleagues that funding for mass transit needs to remain a top priority as discussions continue on a proposed transportation funding plan for Pennsylvania.
The Pennsylvania Senate has adopted a resolution recognizing October as Arts and Humanities Month in Pennsylvania. Here’s more with Senator Costa, sponsor of the resolution, who’s calling upon Pennsylvanians to celebrate and promote the arts and culture in their communities and in the commonwealth.
Senate Democrats issued the following statement in response to Gov. Corbett’s announcement today of his Healthy PA Plan to reform Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program. Here’s Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa of Allegheny County:
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa reminds drivers to be watchful for police and emergency personnel working by the side of the road.
Although the state legislature won’t be returning to Harrisburg for another month, Senate Democrats already have their top priorities set for the fall legislative session. Here’s more with Senator Costa who says the priorities involve some unfinished legislative business.
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa says your summer vacation driving will be easier if you follow this tip before you start.
Want to get rid of documents that you no longer need that have personal information on them such as your bank account or social security numbers? Senator Costa is sponsoring a free “Shredding Event” on Saturday, September 7th at Woodland Hills High School. Here’s more with Senator Costa who says this is a good way to protect your personal information.
Legislation is being worked on in Harrisburg that would create a dedicated state funding source for a variety of local museums throughout Pennsylvania. Here’s more with Senator Costa who’s working with a Senate Republican leader on a bill that would restore some of the state money that museums have lost in recent years due to tight state budgets.
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa reminds motorists to be aware of bicyclists on Pennsylvania’s roadways this summer.
Assailing House Republicans for robbing more than a half-million working Pennsylvanians of health care coverage, Senate Democrats on Wednesday attempted to reinstate Medicaid expansion language into a budget related bill, but came up short. Here’s more with Senator Costa who says the fight is not over and Senate Democrats will try again this fall to expand the state’s Medicaid program.
Senator Costa was among a bipartisan group of state Senators who passed legislation by a 40-10 vote that will implement Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania. The language for expanding Medicaid was included in the welfare code bill, which also contains several provisions key to Governor Corbett’s proposed budget. The legislation will now be sent to the House of Representatives for final passage and, if approved, sent to Governor Corbett for his signature. Pennsylvania is eligible for $4 billion annually in federal funds to provide insurance to low-income working individuals as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Pennsylvania’s Building & Construction Trades Council held its third annual Apprentice Day at the Capitol rally to promote apprenticeships and job training in 20 different building trades’ crafts for recent high school graduates, technical school graduates, and veterans. Senator Costa spoke at the rally and asked the members to support the transportation funding bill recently passed by the state Senate.
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa has details about Pennsylvania’s “Here To Help” website.
Senator Costa joined with Senator Rob Teplitz and union workers who rallied at the state Capitol to call for an end to cuts in education and human service funding.
Senator Costa speaks on the floor of the Senate in favor of Senate Bill 1, the Transportation Funding Legislation.
Senator Costa addresses a rally on funding for mass transit in the Capitol Rotunda sponsored by Pittsburghers for Public Transit (PPT) and other groups supporting full funding for mass transit across the state.
Senator Costa says the budget proposed by Senate Democrats Properly Funds Education, Job Creation, and Social Services.
Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa says there’s a simple, inexpensive step you can take to bring peace of mind for you and your dog.
Senate Democrats say new high school graduation standards being pursued by the Corbett Administration will threaten graduation for thousands of future high school students and stick school districts and local taxpayers with a costly unfunded state mandate. Here’s more with Senator Costa who spoke at a State Capitol news conference today in support of a moratorium on the new graduation test standards.
Senator Costa reacting to today’s decision by the state Insurance Department to approve Highmarks proposed affiliation with the West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS).
The state Senate unanimously passed a Resolution declaring April to be “Community College Month” in Pennsylvania. Here is an exerpt from remarks Senator Costa made on the floor of the Senate while presenting that Resolution.
Pennsylvania Moment: There is help for people struggling to make their mortgage payments. Senator Costa has details.
A Senate Resolution recognizes Tuesday, March 26, as Epilepsy Awareness Day in Pennsylvania. Here’s more with Senator Costa, sponsor of the Senate Resolution.
Tuesday, March 19th, is being recognized as Arts Education Advocacy Day in Pennsylvania. Here’s more with Senator Costa, sponsor of the Senate Resolution, who talks about the importance of the arts to our education system in the commonwealth.
Senate Democrats are introducing legislation that would compel Pennsylvania to expand its Medicaid program so that some 600,000 or more people without health care insurance will get coverage. Here’s more with Senator Costa who says the bill is necessary because Gov. Corbett is refusing to participate in a program that’s aimed at helping the working poor.
Pennsylvania Moment: Thinking about going to college this fall? Believe it or not, now is the time to apply for financial aid. Senator Costa has some helpful information.
State Senate Democrats held a public hearing in Pittsburgh on Friday, March 1st, to discuss the budgetary and economic impact of Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania. Senator Costa attended the hearing; here are his opening remarks.
February 12, 2013: Senator Costa today spoke to a group of University of Pittsburgh students, parents, faculty, and alumni at Pitt Day at the State Capitol. It’s an annual event in which students, alumni, faculty and Pitt staff lobby state lawmakers about legislation important to higher education. Here’s more with Senator Costa who’s also a member of the University of Pittsburgh Board of Trustees.
February 2012: Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa says the Pennsylvania Department of Aging has set up a special phone number to answer your questions about care for the elderly.
February 7, 2013: If you can’t win the election by getting more votes than the other guy, then change the rules of the game. That’s what Senate Democrats say Pennsylvania Republicans are trying to do when it comes to the presidential election. Here’s more with Senator Costa who strongly opposes Senate Republican legislation that would change the way in which Electoral College votes are allocated in Pennsylvania.
February 5, 2013: Senate Democrats say Gov. Corbett’s $28.4 billion proposed state budget does little to solve key problems and relies on shaky and faulty figures. Here’s more with Senator Costa, the Democratic Leader in the Pennsylvania Senate.
As the Pennsylvania Senate begins its work in earnest this week, Senator Costa outlined the legislative priorities for Senate Democrats in the 2013-2014 session.
Pennsylvania Moment: Sen. Costa has an important message for veterans about their benefits.
Senator Costa takes the oath of office on New Year’s Day for a new four-year term in the Pennsylvania Senate. Here’s more with Senator Costa who talks about his priorities and goals for the new two-year legislative session.
Senator Costa and his fellow Senate Democrats have outlined their priorities when it comes to transportation funding in Pennsylvania.
Acknowledging the growing problems in financially distressed small cities across the state, Senate Democrats discussed their plans at a State Capitol news conference to address a wide range of problems impacting aging and distressed communities. Here’s more with Senator Costa on the Senate Democrat’s Growth, Progress and Sustainability, or GPS plan, to strengthen distressed communities.
Pennsylvania Moment: Sen. Costa suggests a way you can make this holiday special for families in need
New Rules: State Senator Jay Costa talks about the recommendations made by a special task force on child protection in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and plans to privatize the PA lottery on WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR News Station. → Click here to listen
December 7, 2012: Senate Democrats say the Governor should open up the lottery privatization process so that the public and lawmakers can have a chance to get all the facts and offer their opinions.
December 4, 2012: Senate Democrats have set their budget priorities for the new session of the General Assembly that begins in January. Senator Costa and his colleagues say the focus is on jobs.
November 21, 2012: Senator Costa says Gov. Corbett wants to outsource one of the most productive, efficient and critical agencies that we have in Pennsylvania — an agency that supports life-saving programs for many of the state’s 1.2 million older residents. Here’s more with Senator Costa reacting to the lone bid received by the state so far to manage the Pennsylvania State Lottery.
November 7, 2012: Pennsylvania Moment: Senator Costa says those who need help paying their heating bills this winter should apply for LIHEAP assistance as soon as possible.
October 19, 2012: Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate hit 8.2 percent in September, above the national average of 7.8 percent. That’s the first time that’s happened in six years, and Senator Costa says things must change.
October 11, 2012: Pennsylvania Moment: If you’re looking for help, Senator Costa says there’s a website that will connect you to many of the services the state of Pennsylvania offers.
October 4, 2012: Senator Costa says Commonwealth Court ruling clears up confusion over Voter Photo ID Law. Here’s a Public Service Announcement with Senator Costa that’s being aired on local radio stations.
September 13, 2012: Pennsylvania Moment – Pennsylvania is ready to help you find a job. Senator Costa has details
September 4, 2012: The state Senate will reconvene for a short session at the end of this month, and Senate Democrats say putting Pennsylvanians back to work should be a priority.
August 17, 2012: Pennsylvania Moment: If you see that a senior citizen is being abused, you can do something to help. Senator Costa says there’s a hotline number you can call to report elder abuse.
August 15,2012: Senate Democratic Leader Costa says the decision by a Commonwealth Court judge to uphold the Voter ID law is highly disturbing and disconcerting because it seems to have been a political decision.
July 18, 2012: Pennsylvania Moment: Pennsylvania is ready to help you find the best route when it comes to summer driving. Senator Costa has the details.
June 29, 2012: Senator Costa talks about the 2012 state budget.
June 28, 2012: Senator Costa gives his reaction in remarks on the Senate Floor to the United States Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision today to uphold the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
June 18, 2012: PA Moment- Senator Costa says, thanks to the CHIP program, no child will be without quality health insurance.
June 8, 2012: A new final redistricting plan for Pennsylvania House and Senate seats has been adopted by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission in Harrisburg, but the vote was not unanimous. Here’s more with Senator Costa, a member of the commission, who cast the lone dissenting vote.
June 4, 2012: If Gov. Corbett proceeds with plans to turn the State Lottery over to a private management firm, Senator Costa wants to make sure that the process is open and accountable to the public.
May 10,2102: PA Moment- Senator Costa says a state program provides certain individuals with rebates on their property taxes or rent, and explains who is eligible.
May 9, 2012: Senator Costa speaks on the floor of the state Senate about the budget bill (SB 1466) that passed 39-8 on May 9th.
May 2, 2012: The Legislative Reapportionment Commission held a hearing at the Capitol in Harrisburg this week to receive comment from the public on potential House and Senate district maps that were given tentative approval by the Committee in April. 26 people testified at the hearing. Senator Costa sits on the Commission
May 2, 2012: Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa of Allegheny County today issued the following statement on the agreement between Highmark and UPMC.
April 12, 2012: Senator Costa describes his vote against the Preliminary Reapportionment Plan that was approved by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission on a 4-1 vote.
April 10, 2012: PA Moment-Sen. Costa reminds homeowners to purchase flood insurance
March 21, 2012: More than seven months after his special commission on transportation funding released its report, Gov. Corbett is still refusing to come up with a proposal to fix roads, bridges and mass transit systems in Pennsylvania. Here’s more with Senator Costa.
March 14, 2012: Sen. Costa says cuts to human service programs on the county level will hurt the most vulnerable Pennsylvanians.
March 10, 2012: PA Moment-Sen. Costa says Pennsylvania helps families save for college
February 2012: PA Moment - Senator Costa reminds seniors that they can get help paying for their prescriptions.
January 25, 2012: State Senate Democrats have outlined their priorities for the upcoming budget in advance of next month’s state budget address by the governor to the General Assembly. Howard Ondick has more with Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa of Allegheny County.
January 19, 2012 – There’s assistance for low-income Pennsylvanians who need help paying their heating bills, but there’s not as much funding as in years past. Sen. Costa advises you to apply early
October 11, 2011 - President Obama’s visit to Pittsburgh highlights the need for job training.
September 30, 2011 - Senate Democrats roll out jobs plan
August 18, 2011 - Reapportionment Commission now has 90 days to redraw legislative district lines.