Imagine How Taxpayers Must Feel
State Sen. Richard Alloway surprised his constituents and fellow legislative Republicans by announcing this week that he will resign, effective Feb. 28. Alloway, 50, who represents all or parts of Franklin, Adams, York and Cumberland counties, said he has lost his zest for the work and that he is “sick and tired” of politics in the Legislature, where he has been unable to advance to top leadership positions in his chamber. At least Alloway’s condition is fortuitously timed. The senator said he announced his decision now so that Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will have the opportunity to schedule a special election to replace Alloway in conjunction with the primary election in May — thus reducing costs for that special election. But he also announced his impending departure after achieving 10 full years in the Legislature. That means that he will be fully vested in the Legislature’s outrageously generous fixed-benefit pension plan, and be eligible for high-level health insurance benefits, for life, at negligible personal expense. Such publicly funded largesse is not unique to Alloway, of course, and it is to his credit that he is leaving office without a police escort — unlike many other legislators in recent years who have managed to hang on to their lucrative benefits even after being convicted of corruption. Most recently, the Republican House leadership allowed former Rep. Nick Miccarelli, of Delaware County, to reach his 10-year anniversary and collect his lucrative, publicly funded lifetime benefits. House leaders did so after stripping him of his committee assignments and isolating him because they had found credible the assertions by Rep. Tarah Toohil, of Luzerne County, and a woman who worked as a political consultant, that Miccarelli allegedly had assaulted them. So, given Alloway’s illness and fatigue over the state of politics in the Legislature, he and his colleagues should imagine how taxpayers must feel.