Sainato meets with Gov. Wolf, discusses potential initiatives to help Lawrence County

HARRISBURG, Feb. 9 – State Rep. Chris Sainato met with Gov. Tom Wolf this morning to discuss legislative initiatives to help his constituents in Lawrence County.


Sainato told the governor that development of the proposed Lawrence Downs racetrack and casino, legislation to address blight, economic development and education top this list of priorities.


"I appreciate Gov. Wolf taking time to learn about the needs and concerns of the people I represent," Sainato said. "I hope this is the start of a good working relationship that will produce initiatives that help move the 9th Legislative District and all of Lawrence County forward."


Sainato said he wants to see the Lawrence Downs project come to fruition because it will create up to 1,000 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs.


"This project will stimulate economic development in the region, and the people of Lawrence County have consistently said they want the casino to be built," Sainato said.


Sainato also told the governor he’s interested in initiatives that help third-class cities such as New Castle address blight. Sainato said the expansion of City Revitalization Improvements Zones (CRIZ) could help New Castle. CRIZ uses state tax revenue produced by jobs created in an economic development project to help finance the project. 


Sainato said financially distressed communities under Act 47, such as New Castle, must be a priority in CRIZ legislation to rebuild their tax base.


In regards to education, Sainato said he wants to see smart investments, such as early childhood education programs. Sainato noted that a dollar invested in early childhood education returns up to $17 by saving on special education and juvenile delinquency costs and producing productive workers.


He also said investments must be made to ensure workers have the skills necessary to land family-sustaining jobs.