Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Long-Time Democratic Chair Of Senate Environmental Committee Ray Musto To Retire

Sen. Ray Musto (D-Luzerne), long-time Democratic Chair of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, this week announced he will not seek re-election and will retire from the Senate at the end of his current term.
"After nearly 40 years of public service to the citizens of the northeast and seven terms serving the 14th Senatorial District, it is time to retire from the Senate," Sen. Musto said. "I have been fortunate and blessed, and I am grateful for all the kindness that has been extended to me over the years."
For many years Sen. Musto has been the regarded as a leading voice on environmental issues in the Senate and as a fierce advocate for his district. He has been involved in the passage of every major state environmental law and program for the last 30 years.
Among the notable environmental laws and initiatives completed as a result of Musto's work:
-- Curbside Recycling: Legislation that created Pennsylvania's curbside recycling program -- the largest in the country;
-- Land Recycling: Pennsylvania's land recycling program--Acts 2, 3 and 4 of 1995 which has become the national model program for the effective re-use of abandoned industrial property;
-- Growing Greener: Act 68 (1999) Pennsylvania's Growing Greener program that has led to the protection of open spaces and farmland preservation as well as water and sewer system upgrades;
-- Air Pollution Control: Far-reaching changes to the Air Pollution Control Act (Act 95) that has led to steadily improving air quality;
-- Hazardous Materials Spills: Act 165 (1990) a measure that enables counties to be better prepared in the event of a hazardous materials spill; and
-- Establishment of Nescopeck State Park.
"It is amazing how much can be accomplished when no one worries about who gets the credit," Musto said, attributing his long tenure in the Senate and in public service to his dedicated staff and supportive family.
"My staff both in the district and Harrisburg has been quietly serving residents for nearly 40 years and doing a tremendous job meeting the needs of the local community," Musto said. "They are hard-working, honest and determined to make sure the job is done correctly."
"They are great public servants who, along with my family, made great sacrifices over the years," Musto said. "Being in public service is a tough job where criticism and cynicism come with the territory; but it is also a wonderful job because you can directly make a difference in the lives of people."
Sen. Musto is a Korean War veteran who served in the U.S. Army from 1951-53. He is a 1971 graduate of King's College in Wilkes-Barre. He holds Doctorate of Letters degrees from Kings and Wilkes Colleges. Musto has received many awards and honors for his work in the Senate.
The veteran lawmaker served in the state House from 1971 to 1980. He began his career when he was elected in a special election in 1971 to fill his late father James Musto's unexpired term. Musto was then elected to Congress in a special election in 1980. In 1982, he was elected to the state Senate. Musto has the distinction of being among only a few public servants to serve in the U.S.Congress, the state House and state Senate.
The senator's term will conclude on November 30.

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