Senator Christine M. Tartaglione was born September 21, 1960, in Philadelphia. She is the daughter of the late Eugene and Margaret Tartaglione. The Senator is a lifetime Philadelphia resident. She attended St. Martin of Tours, St. Basil Academy and Peirce Junior College where she graduated Maxima Cum Laude.
She answered the call to public service at an early age by serving as an assistant to Philadelphia City Councilwoman Joan Krajewski from 1986-1989. She later worked as a Senior Executive Assistant to State Treasurer Catherine Baker Knoll from 1989-1992. Her commitment to working families led to the position of Business Representative for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1776 in 1992.
In 1994, Senator Tartaglione became only the fifth woman in state history to win election to the State Senate and in 2010 became the first woman elected to Senate Democratic Leadership when she was chosen Caucus Secretary. Now in her seventh term, she is Democratic Chairwoman of the Labor and Industry Committee, and serves on the Law and Justice, Aging and Youth, Banking and Insurance, Legislative Budget and Finance committees and the Senate Committee on Ethics. She also serves as chairwoman of the Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania Senate delegations.
Senator Tartaglione is widely known as the Senate’s leading advocate for workers and their families, as well as people with disabilities. She authored Pennsylvania’s landmark 2006 minimum wage increase and was instrumental in the establishment of the state Office for People with Disabilities.
She was the principal sponsor of successful legislation protecting healthcare employees from the dangerous practice of mandatory overtime, as well as legislation that created the Pennsylvania Center for Health Careers. The Senator also authored legislation to provide the Commonwealth with a focus for developing strategies to ensure an ample complement of quality healthcare workers for the short-term and long-term. She continues to be a leading advocate for safe nurse staffing levels.
During the 2011-2012 session, Senator Tartaglione’s legislation was enacted to allocate additional funding to the Pennsylvania State Police, allowing the department to reinforce its dwindling complement of troopers.
Also during the 2011-2012 session, legislative amendments proposed by the Senator extended unemployment compensation benefits for workers and provided a shared work option in lieu of terminating jobs.
Today, Senator Tartaglione continues to work diligently to reform Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, gender-wage equality, and wage payment and collection laws, and to draft new legislation advocating for workers and military veterans with disabilities. She has partnered with Governor Tom Wolf to propose legislation to raise the statewide minimum wage to $12 in 2019 and $15 by 2025. She has also introduced bills to prevent employers from taking a cut of tipped workers’ earnings and to empower workers with new tools to challenge wage non-payment. She is the principal sponsor of legislation that protects public transit workers from physical assaults.
Senator Tartaglione is the primary sponsor of new bills that would establish a state civil service hiring preference for people with disabilities and would provide real estate tax relief for disabled veterans. She is authoring legislation to require contractors to demonstrate to the Attorney General that they carry worker’s compensation insurance coverage.
Continuing her focus on issues important to senior citizens, children and working families, Senator Tartaglione has proudly supported legislation that provides for:
- providing family sustaining jobs
- mental illness and intellectual disability programs
- stability of workers’ jobs
- law enforcement and emergency personnel
- equality in education
- affordable long-term care
- improved access to health care
- quality childcare
Senator Tartaglione has served as a member of Pennsylvania’s Public Television Network Commission, Intra-Governmental Council on Long Term Care, Task Force for the Protection of Older Pennsylvanians, Joint Select Committee to Investigate the Financial Integrity and Stability of the State Workmen’s Insurance Fund, Children’s Trust Fund Board, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
As a member of both the Joint Select Committee on Election Issues and the Governor’s Task Force on Voting Modernization, the Senator has been at the forefront of efforts to reform Pennsylvania’s voting system. She has also been a member of the Firefighters and Emergency Services and the Port Legislative caucuses, the Delaware River Basin Commission, the Accessibility Advisory Board within the PA Department of Labor and Industry, the State Unemployment Compensation Advisory Council, and the Training America’s Teachers Commission.
Community Service and Awards
Locally, Senator Tartaglione has served as a member of many boards and committees. She is a member of the Temple University Board of Trustees and has served on the boards of Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, Temple University Health System Episcopal Hospital, PATH (People Acting to Help), Empowerment Zone Board, Impact Services Corporation, the President’s Advisory Council of the American Street Corridor Business Association, the PenJerDel “Rebuild the Delaware Valley” Steering Committee and the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, Inc.
Senator Tartaglione was elected Vice-Chair of the Pennsylvania Democratic State Party in June 1995 and served as Chair from June 1998 to June 2002 where she continued to advance the Democratic agenda in the state. As Chair, she led the Pennsylvania Delegation at the 2000 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles and served as President of the 54th Electoral College in December of 2000.
She has been awarded the prestigious “John F. Kennedy Memorial Award” by the Kennedy Foundation for her tireless support of Mental Health/Mental Disability Programs. In 2012, she was named Legislator of the Year by Pennsylvania Industries for the Blind and Handicapped (PIBH). Both the Retired Police, Firemen and Prison Guard Association of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Area Project on Occupational Safety and Health (PHILAPOSH) named her “Woman of the Year,” and she was awarded the Firefighters Friend Award by the Philadelphia Firefighters Union Local No. 22. The senator is a recipient of the Temple University Health System Episcopal Campus Health Care Visionary Award and the Organized Labor Supports American Veterans Public Service Award. In 2018, Senator Tartaglione was presented with the Moss Rehab Empowerment Award and was named “Public Servant of the Year” by the Philadelphia Public Record.
The Philadelphia lawmaker is the recipient of the “Jo Cooper Foundation for Family Unity” award from Congregation Beth Solomon Synagogue and Community Center, the First Annual “Profile In Courage” award from the Women Making a Difference, Inc., the “Rosa Parks” award presented by the Honorable Louise Bishop, the “Tuttleman Award for Excellence in Healthcare,” the “Magee Leadership” award, the United Food and Commercial Workers Minority Coalition’s “Legislator of the Year Award,” the Philadelphia Veterans Multi-Service and Education Center and Organized Labor Supports America’s Veteran’s “2005 Public Service Award,” the Service Employees International Union’s “Thomas F. Zuber Award for Patient Safety,” the “John O’Donnell Friend of Frankford Boys Club Award,” the “Columbus Civic Association Achievement Award,” the “Working Woman of the Year Award” by the Coalition of Labor Union Women, and the “Achievement Award” from the Concerned Black Leaders of Lower Tioga-Hunting Park. She has also been recognized for her outstanding and continuing support by the 2nd Police District Advisory Council and the Juniata Boys and Girls Club.
She is cited in the “Italian Americans of the Twentieth Century” and is a member of the Ecumenical Hospitaller Order of St. John Knights of Malta for her work as a political and community leader.
Updated May 2019