HARRISBURG, Noviembre 17, 2010 – – State Sen. Vincent Hughes (D-Phila/Montgomery) has been elected to serve as the Democratic Chairman of the state Senate Appropriations Committee.

“I am honored to be chosen by my colleagues to serve as Democratic Chairman of the Appropriations Committee,” Hughes said. “We are facing serious budget shortfalls, a fragile economy and huge job losses so it is clear that tough decisions on priorities will have to be made. Creating jobs, balancing needs and stretching dollars are critical priorities that will require us all to come together and find common ground.”

The Appropriations Committee is responsible for determining how state dollars are budgeted and spent. It is one of the most influential committees in the General Assembly.

“Serving in the General Assembly for many years and knowing Philadelphia as I do, I will be able to reach out and build bridges so that we can resolve problems,” Hughes said. “I am confident that by working with a unified Democratic Caucus we can face tough issues and have great success.”

Hughes replaces state Sen. Jay Costa (D-Allegheny), who was chosen Democratic leader. Costa has chaired the committee since 2008.

Hughes has served as Democratic Caucus Chairman since 2008. He has been a member of the state Senate since Noviembre of 1994. Prior to coming to the Senate, he was a member of the state House of Representatives from 1987-1994.

Hughes has championed issues that directly impact working families. He helped spearhead efforts to raise the minimum wage and continues to fight to establish a statewide jobs program.

“It is imperative that we in the legislature work diligently to ensure that Pennsylvanians get back to work with quality jobs,” Hughes said. “By working closely with other members of the Appropriations Committee and my fellow Democrats, I am confident that we can invest in Pennsylvania’s economy and grow revenues.”