Op-ed: Serving in the Senate has been an Honor and Privilege

There comes a moment in every person’s life when they realize it is time to move on to other endeavors. After serving in the Pennsylvania Senate for the past 10 years, I recently announced that I am retiring at the end of February to explore new career opportunities.

As I look back upon the previous decade, I am filled with mixed emotions. Although much work remains to be done in order to give Pennsylvanians the state government they truly deserve, we accomplished a great deal together, both legislatively and in terms of local projects completed.

After taking office in 2009, one of my first priorities was to represent sportsmen and protect the Second Amendment. One of my earliest pieces of legislation helped establish the Castle Doctrine in Pennsylvania to ensure responsible gun owners would not face legal consequences when they acted in self-defense if threatened by an attacker in their home or vehicle.

As Chairman of the Senate Game and Fisheries Committee, I heard many serious concerns about the risks and dangers associated with Lyme disease. After several years of strong advocacy, the state’s 2018-2019 budget included $2.5 million to support awareness, prevention and surveillance of the tickborne illness.

Cutting costs and saving taxpayer dollars were goals throughout my tenure. I closed my office in Waynesboro because I felt it was underutilized. I never accepted per diems, and I supported legislation every session to reform the state’s broken reimbursement system. Also, every year I fought against proposed tax increases and voted for fiscally responsible state budgets.

In addition to representing the best interests of our community, it also became apparent to me that our furry family members needed a stronger voice in Harrisburg. With the support of an army of volunteers and animal advocates throughout the state, I was proud to lead the Senate in passing Libre’s Law, which strengthened penalties for animal abuse.

I also worked to promote clean water and a healthy environment as Chairman of the Pennsylvania Delegation of the Chesapeake Bay Commission, successfully fought for the elimination of inheritance and realty transfer taxes to help family farms and small businesses, and ensured dedicated funding for critical agriculture programs was preserved. 

One of my highest priorities from day one was to ensure that state tax dollars were brought home for economic development and infrastructure projects in the 33rd District. As a result of the efforts of numerous members of the community, tens of millions of dollars worth of projects were completed with financial support from the state, including road and bridge improvements, wastewater and stormwater management upgrades, community and recreation projects, tourism investments and many other public projects.

None of these legislative and local accomplishments would have become a reality without the dedicated efforts of so many community residents who took the time to advocate for the causes that were close to their hearts. The people of Adams, Cumberland, Franklin and York counties served as a guiding light throughout my tenure in the Senate, and I am eternally grateful for their support and guidance.

I never took the trust that you placed in me for granted, and I deeply appreciate the amazing opportunity to serve you since 2009. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for allowing me to be your voice in Harrisburg, and may God continue to bless you and your families in the years ahead.

Senator Alloway represents the 33rd District in the Pennsylvania Senate. The district includes Adams County, and parts of Franklin, Cumberland and York counties. He is retiring effective February 28.