State Sen. Rafferty to seek 4th term

State Sen. John Rafferty Jr.

State Sen. John Rafferty Jr., R-44th of Collegeville, announced Wednesday he will seek a fourth term in the state Senate.

“I am proud of what I was able to help achieve over the last four years and look forward to tackling the many challenges ahead,” said Rafferty, whose term expires at the end of the year. “It has been a true honor serving the constituents of the 44th senatorial district and I humbly ask for their support once again this year for another four-year term.”

The 44th senatorial district encompasses parts of Chester, Berks and Montgomery counties. No Republican has stepped forward to challenge the incumbent.

On the Democratic side, Chester County Commissioner Kathi Cozzone is running for the seat.

Under his direction as the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, the state took a step toward improving its aging and deteriorating transportation infrastructure through passage of legislation that will increase the state’s annual transportation investment by $2.3 billion.

The measure, known as Act 89, will infuse capital to repair unsafe roads and aging bridges, undertake construction projects in congested areas like the routes 30 and 422 corridors, and improve ports, rail lines and mass transit systems.

The law comes on the heels of the new Public Private Partnership legislation he authored that will allow the investment of private dollars into transportation modes throughout the state.

“I’ve said countless times that Pennsylvanians recognize that a safe and reliable transportation system is much more than a matter of personal convenience,” Rafferty said. “This transportation funding plan is also about jobs, economic development, quality of life and safety. It’s about investing in our future.”

Rafferty also serves as a member of the Senate Law and Justice Committee and has supported laws to prevent child and sexual abuse. He was a chief proponent of legislation that integrated Pennsylvania with the national sex offender registry and closed loopholes in the state’s Megan’s Law. He also worked to strengthen arson laws.

During his time in Harrisburg, Rafferty said in a statement announcing his candidacy, he has been an advocate for government reform and was a prime sponsor of legislation designed stifle corruption in state’s gambling industry.

“I have zero tolerance for political corruption and zero tolerance for abusing our children,” Rafferty said.

Another accomplishment Rafferty pointed to in his release was ensuring residents have access to health care, especially in specialized medicine. Rafferty said he recognized the high cost of medical liability insurance is driving many doctors out of Pennsylvania and has written legislation to mitigate the problem through the state’s MCARE Act. Rafferty was also supporter of the Fair Share Act, a law designed to significantly reduce the number of frivolous law suits filed in state courts, which he said drive up the overall cost of medicine.

Priorities to address in the coming year for the senator included eliminated the reliance on property tax for local governments and providing adequate state funding for the education system at all levels.

Rafferty, 61, is a former attorney who served his private practice before beginning a political career. He served as the Deputy Attorney General for the Commonwealth from 1988 to 1991. He holds degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s at Beaver College and attended the Temple University School of Law for his J.D.