Solobay named to powerful Senate committee

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Democratic leaders in Harrisburg announced Tuesday that state Sen. Tim Solobay has been appointed to the Senate Appropriations Committee for the 2013-14 legislative session.


“A voice on appropriations is certainly a big honor, but it’s also a big responsibility,” said Solobay, D-Canonsburg. “The budget challenges we face are daunting, and it’s going to take some creativity and cooperation to get through it.”


The appropriations committee evaluates the fiscal implications of proposed legislation before it comes to the floor and makes recommendations for the state’s annual budget.


“Basically, everything has to end up (going) through appropriations,” said Solobay.


The committee will be kept busy this spring as its members tackle an agenda packed with matters such as pensions, education, job creation and transportation infrastructure, which Solobay said is going to be a big issue. He said the recent revival of a long-stalled Southern Beltway project linking Southpointe to the Pittsburgh International Airport is a sign of economic growth in the region and he seeks to continue the momentum.


While serving on committees means taking on additional tasks, Solobay said they are important for developing relationships. He said he looks forward to working with both Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre County, and Vincent Hughes, D-Philadelphia, who serve as the committee’s majority and minority chairs, respectively.


“I think I was chosen for the committee because of my record of working with members on both sides of the aisle to come up with reasonable solutions without partisan fighting,” said Solobay. “Going forward, we’ll need to put some pressing needs ahead of politics.”


In addition to the appropriations appointment, Solobay was also named to committees for transportation, consumer protection and processional licensure, agriculture, policy and veterans affairs and emergency preparedness – the latter of which he will serve as Democratic chair.


“I feel very blessed with the committees I was assigned,” he said. “I think I hit a home run on every one of them.”


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