Jay Costa began serving his fifth full term as state Senator from the 43rd District in January 2013. He was first elected to the Senate in a special election on April 23, 1996 and was sworn in on May 13, 1996. He was reelected in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012.
Sen. Costa was first elected by his Senate colleagues in November 2010 and reelected in 2012 and 2014 to serve as Democratic Floor Leader, making him the highest-ranking member within the Senate Democratic Caucus. During the 2009-10 session, Costa served as the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, an influential position to which he was elected by his fellow Democratic senators in November 2008. He also served as Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman from 2005-08 and is past Democratic chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In addition to his work in the Pennsylvania Senate, Sen. Costa is a former adjunct professor to the Community College of Allegheny County and a member of the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County Bar Association. In 2001, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the University of Pittsburgh.
Sen. Costa earned his law degree from the Duquesne University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.