After a career of public service, including thirty-two years in the state legislature, Senator Bob Robbins has announced that he will retire at the end of his current term. First elected to the House of Representatives in 1982, Senator Robbins represented the citizens of the 17thHouse District for eight years until his election to the 50th Senatorial District in 1990 following the retirement of Senator Roy Wilt.
In announcing his retirement, Senator Robbins said “It has truly been an honor and pleasure to represent the great people of our area as a member of the House and Senate. While the decision to retire has been a difficult one, I now look forward to spending more time with my family and friends as I move into the next phase of my life.”
A graduate of West Point Military Academy, decorated combat veteran of two tours of duty in Vietnam and last combat veteran serving in the Senate, Senator Robbins made veterans issues a priority during his legislative career. As Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs committee, he was instrumental in establishing the National Guard’s Educational Assistance Program and securing its dedicated funding. For his commitment to the National Guard, Senator Robbins was honored as the first inductee of the Army National Guard Hall of Fame and subsequently received induction in the Air National Guard Hall of Fame. In 2001, Senator Robbins was nationally recognized as a recipient of the Charles Dick Medal of Merit, which is awarded to elected officials for exceptional contributions to the National Guard.
Other legislative achievements include the consolidation of the Department of Community Affairs and the Department of Commerce into the modern Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), a move which has streamlined its operations and saved the Commonwealth millions of dollars. Senator Robbins was instrumental in establishing the Governor’s Center for Local Government Services within DCED, which serves as a resource for thousands of local government officials throughout Pennsylvania. He later served as Chairman of the Senate Local Government Committee and the Local Government Commission, a bicameral service agency dedicated to local government issues.
During his time in the Senate, the 50th District was the site of several firsts. The District saw the first location of Pennsylvania’s successful Land Recycling Program, which was known as “Brownfields Legislation,” and returned shuttered industrial sites to productive, job creating workplaces. The District was also the site of the first Charter School and the first Keystone Opportunity Zone, a local economic development incentive program.
Senator Robbins’ work on behalf of sportsmen is well known with such accomplishments as the Mentored Youth Program, and his strong advocacy of the individual’s right to bear arms.
Senator Robbins held the Senate leadership positions of Majority Policy Chairman from 1997 to 2000 and Majority Caucus Secretary from 2001 to present. He credits much of his success to the dedication of his staff. “I could not have accomplished what I have without their support and dedication,” said Senator Robbins. “But most importantly, I have been blessed to have the unwavering support of my wife, Cindy. I’m forever grateful for the many friends I have made and for the opportunities I’ve been given to serve.”