HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced the award of $245,500 in state grants to help the State College Area School District buy and install three solar energy systems at three of the district’s elementary schools. “I’m ecstatic that the State College Area School District was included in this grant disbursement,” Conklin said. “I know full well the students at these schools are going to benefit from the installation of alternative energy in more ways that they know. Plus, it shows them the importance and significance of alternative energy at a young age.” One of the Solar Energy Program grants, worth $93,500 , will be used for the purchase and installation of a 63.9-kilowatt solar power system to be located on a new two-story classroom and existing gym at the Spring Creek Elementary School . The solar panels will produce 74,053 kilowatts annually, approximately 28.45 percent of the building’s energy use, and save the district $5,769 in energy costs. The district will fund the remaining $93,500 . Another $85,250 grant will be used for the purchase and installation of a 59.3-kilowatt solar power system to be located on a new two-story classroom and existing gym at the Corl Street Elementary School . The solar panels will produce 68,700 kilowatts annually, approximately 20 percent of the building’s energy use, and save the district $5,352 in energy costs. The district will assume the Read more
HARRISBURG, March 16 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, will be introducing legislation in the near future that will enact combined reporting to close the "Delaware loophole” and reduce the Corporate Net Income tax rate from 9.99 percent to 7.99 percent. The legislation is geared toward enhancing job growth in Pennsylvania, and protecting small and medium-sized businesses, while ensuring taxpayers are not footing the bill for larger corporations. Pennsylvania’s current CNI tax rate is 9.99 percent, the second highest in the nation behind Iowa, which has a tax rate of 12 percent. The Delaware loophole is a longstanding, legal practice that large corporations in Pennsylvania use to exploit a state law that allows them to establish holding companies in Delaware. Doing so enables companies to transfer all profits earned in the commonwealth to their out-of-state subsidiary because, unlike Pennsylvania, Delaware does not have a CNI tax. “If Pennsylvania is going to be an innovator in business development, we need to consider reducing the corporate tax burden,” Conklin said. “But, this should not be done at the expense of hard-working families across the commonwealth.” In his ongoing effort to close the loophole, Conklin also recently introduced legislation, House Bill 1719 , which would require corporations and their related subsidiaries to file taxes as a single company for state CNI tax purposes. Nearly 76 percent of the Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, Jan. 22 – State Rep. Scott Conklin praised today’s Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruling that the state’s Congressional Redistricting Act of 2011 violates the Pennsylvania Constitution. The League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania filed a lawsuit against the commonwealth arguing that the state’s congressional redistricting that took place in 2011 was done in order to maximize the number of Republicans elected within certain districts after the 2010 census. “I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the 2011 Congressional redistricting plan,” said Conklin, D-Centre County. “This decision underscores the need for Congressional redistricting reform. The political interests of incumbents should not come before the interests of the Pennsylvania electorate.” The Supreme Court is prohibiting use of the current redistricting system in the 2018 elections, beginning with the primaries scheduled for May 15. The Supreme Court will draw and use its own plan in this year’s election if the General Assembly does not pass a new plan by Feb. 9 or if Gov. Tom Wolf does not approve the plan by Feb. 15. “The law of the land is that voters choose their elected officials,” said Conklin. “For far too long, the redistricting process has allowed incumbents to choose their voters.” Last week, Conklin introduced a bill that would create a Congressional Redistricting Commission and provide Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, Jan. 16 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced a bill that would create a Congressional Redistricting Commission and provide guidelines for the congressional redistricting process. By amending the Pennsylvania Election Code, H.B. 2020, the Congressional Redistricting Commission would be established each year following a decennial census, as well as require the commission to adhere to redistricting principles created by state and federal law and court precedents. “The intent of my bill is to put integrity back into the process of redistricting and to insure that congressional districts are drawn by considering the fair and equal representation of the citizens of Pennsylvania rather than the political parties currently drawing maps,” said Conklin, D-Centre. Last year, the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania and others filed a lawsuit arguing that the state’s congressional redistricting that took place in 2011 was done in order to maximize the number of Republicans elected within certain districts. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is now expected to hear oral arguments regarding the case. Conklin said he would like to see Pennsylvanians have the authority to draw congressional maps, and leave partisanship out of it. “Over the past year, I have watched partisanship and gridlock in Washington, which have caused divisions in our nation and our commonwealth,” said Conklin, also the Democratic chairman of Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, Oct. 25 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, invites the public to explore the high-tech offerings of the Pennsylvania CareerLink mobile career center, which will visit his legislative office in Philipsburg from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14. Known simply as The Link, the bus-like vehicle is equipped with seven computers, internet access, printing capabilities and a presentation screen – all to assist residents in their job-search efforts. Professional staff support for job matching, career guidance, workforce training and employer recruitment is also part of The Link experience, Conklin said. “I’m pleased and excited to present this opportunity to residents of the 77 th Legislative District and Centre County,” Conklin said. “As our society and economy grow more technical by leaps and bounds, this is one way for us to help job-seekers and employers keep up with the times.” In addition to Centre County, the mobile center hits the road to provide its services to Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Mifflin, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder and Union counties. For more information, please contact Conklin’s legislative office in Philipsburg at (814) 342-4872. It is located at 209 E. Presqueisle St. Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, Aug. 7 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, is co-hosting a “Pathways to Pardons” event from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16 at the State College Municipal Building, 243 S. Allen St. Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who chairs the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, has partnered with Conklin to present the event, where they and others will explain the process for obtaining a pardon or expungement of a past criminal conviction in Pennsylvania. Conklin understands the need to remove such impediments for those who may have made a mistake, paid for it and now wish to obtain gainful employment. The program is free, open to the public and will include a question-and-answer session. Stack created the “Pathways to Pardons” program to bring together experts in corrections, drug and alcohol treatment, probation and parole, and public interest law to give step-by-step help to people who want to remove barriers to employment by clearing a minor criminal conviction from their records. For more information, please contact Conklin’s office at (814) 238-5477. Media coverage is invited. Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, June 19 – Separate resolutions honoring eight Penn State teams that earned Big Ten championships, introduced by state Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, unanimously passed the House last week. Conklin said the resolutions coincided with “B1G Champs on the Hill” day, where Penn State coaches and athletes from the championship teams were recognized in Harrisburg for their accomplishments. “The 2016-17 academic year was one of great success for Penn State athletics, with eight teams winning Big Ten Conference championships,” Conklin said. “With much pride and rooting interest, I am proud to sponsor these resolutions honoring their achievements.” The football, wrestling, men’s ice hockey, field hockey, women’s soccer, women’s indoor track and field, men’s outdoor track and field, and men’s volleyball teams are those recognized by Conklin’s resolutions. “The Big Ten is one of the nation’s most respected and competitive sports conferences, so having this many champions in a single year is quite impressive,” Conklin said. “It is my hope that we have even more reasons to celebrate Penn State’s academic and athletic excellence in the years to come.” Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, June 9 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, today announced a $108,964 state grant to Patton Township to fund the Valley Vista Drive School Crossing Project. Conklin said the source of funding – PennDOT’s 2016 Automated Red Light Enforcement Program – comes from red light violations in Philadelphia. An eight-member committee then distributes the money statewide for relatively low-cost projects that improve safety, enhance mobility and reduce congestion. “It is great to report that a project in the 77 th Legislative District has qualified for some of this funding,” Conklin said. “But it’s even better to report that because of this money, a school crossing will be made safer for our children.” Conklin said the ARLE grants can be applied for and used for improvements to traffic signals, roadways at intersections with traffic signals, or school zones – and such things as installing guiderails or making roadside safety enhancements. Read more
HARRISBURG, June 6 – In an effort to ensure a quality higher education system for students and for Pennsylvania’s future workforce needs, state Rep. Mike Hanna, D-Clinton/Centre, today joined other state lawmakers to push for a comprehensive study of every public college and university in the state. Hanna was joined at a Capitol news conference by state Reps. James Roebuck, D-Phila., Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, Scott Conklin, D-Centre, and others to discuss and promote a long-term sustainability and viability study of Pennsylvania’s public institutions of higher education. The lawmakers discussed House Resolution 331 , which would direct the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct the feasibility study and analyze all 14 universities of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the state’s 14 community colleges, the Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, the Rural Regional College of Northern Pennsylvania, the Allegheny College of Maryland and four state-related universities. Hanna said that there are many proposals suggesting studies of one institution over another. However, in order to provide an accurate and thorough analysis of the future of public higher education in this state, he said it is important for the LBFC to analyze not just PASSHE, but all of the state’s public institutions of higher education. “All Pennsylvania residents benefit from the skills and education gained Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, May 23 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, received a 2017 Champions for Children award from Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children (PPC), in recognition of his hard work over the years to improve public policies and increase state investments that benefit the commonwealth’s children. The award was presented in conjunction with PPC’s 25 th Anniversary celebration at the state Capitol on Monday, in which nearly 60 policymakers and the governor were honored. “Representative Conklin understands how public policy can impact a child’s life, and his legislative career has focused on improving child well-being and making Pennsylvania a top state to raise a child and be a child,” said Joan L. Benso, PPC president and CEO. “We thank him for his commitment to Pennsylvania kids and look forward to continuing our partnership to advance policies and investments that will improve the lives of every child in Pennsylvania.” Conklin serves as Democratic chairman of the House Children and Youth Committee. “I am honored to receive this award, but the real champions are those who tirelessly advocate for policies and programs that help our children become productive and well-adjusted members of society,” Conklin said. “Working together, we can make a difference in the lives of many.” Read more
CENTRE COUNTY, May 12 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, announced that more than $146,000 in state funding has been awarded to areas within the 77 th Legislative District to make intersection and traffic signal improvements. Conklin said the funding will be administered through the Department of Transportation as part of the Green Light-Go Municipal Signal Partnership Program. The projects include: - $80,000 for traffic signal upgrades within Ferguson Township. - $198,082 for the Valley Vista Drive adaptive signal project. "It is welcomed news for Centre County to be included in this statewide program," Conklin said. "As the bedrock of local communities, infrastructure improvements go a long way to keeping our neighborhoods safe, attractive and efficient." The Green Light-Go Program was established under Act 89 of 2013. The grants may be used for traffic studies, removal of unneeded traffic signals, replacement of signals with LED lights and retiming signals to improve traffic flow and safety. Read more
HARRISBURG, April 27 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, this week voted in favor of legislation that would strengthen the state's animal cruelty law. The legislation, H.B. 1238 , would update Pennsylvania's animal cruelty provisions by breaking down various cruelty to animal offenses and resulting penalties. "Animals deserve to be protected, period," Conklin said. Conklin said the three categories of offenses include neglect of an animal, cruelty to an animal and aggravated cruelty to an animal. They would be classified as a summary offense, second-degree misdemeanor and third-degree felony, respectively. "This means not providing food, water or a clean environment, abandoning an animal, torturing or causing bodily injury to an animal would no longer be tolerated," Conklin said. "No human deserves inhumane treatment, why should animals? "I sincerely hope our senators across the hall agree and we can swiftly see this bill signed into law." The legislation passed the House by vote of 167-20; it now awaits action by the Senate. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin speaks at a Capitol news conference honoring volunteers and advocates who work to prevent child abuse.
HARRISBURG, March 22 – A bill that would create a task force to examine the opioid epidemic’s impact on infants and children has cleared the House Children and Youth Committee, according to its Democratic chairman, state Rep. Scott Conklin. House Bill 235 , of which Conklin, D-Centre, was prime co-sponsor, seeks to identify strategies, make short- and long-term recommendations, improve outcomes for pregnant and parenting women, and promote the health, safety and permanency of at-risk infants and young children due to parental alcohol and drug abuse. “This bill aims to help the truly innocent victims of the opioid abuse crisis plaguing our commonwealth – infants and children,” Conklin said. “The scope of the problem is staggering, as parental substance abuse was a factor in 56 percent of the infant protective custody cases in Pennsylvania in 2014.” Conklin also noted that between 2010 and 2014, more than 7,500 infants covered by Medicaid – 61 percent of whom died before reaching age 1 – were found to suffer from Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome because their mothers had used heroin or prescribed opioids during pregnancy. The task force would include representatives of the state departments of Human Services, Health, and Drug and Alcohol Programs; three members each from the state House and state Senate; and four appointed by the governor. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin was in Erie to talk about renewable energy at a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing. Conklin believes that Pennsylvania should focus on all sources of energy found right at home. Read more
Pa. state Rep. Scott Conklin attended the House Democratic Policy Committee hearing in Erie about jobs in the 21st Century. Conklin is encouraged by what is happening in Northwest Pennsylvania and is looking to use those ideas to bring more and better jobs to Central Pennsylvania. Read more
HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – Centre County state Rep. Scott Conklin released the following statement in response to Gov. Tom Wolf's 2017-18 budget address: "I am pleased that Governor Wolf and I share the same focus on education. From making sure students get a healthy breakfast to start their day, to recognizing the need to keep our colleges and universities at the front of education, this is an ambitious plan to invest in education. We need to fund education in a comprehensive manor by investing at the pre-K level all the way through to job training and workforce development. "As a whole, this is a time to make smart decisions that put people first. Protecting gains that we have made is important, however, it is incumbent upon the General Assembly to make sure government is protecting people during these hard times. "The budget address is the beginning; it's the blueprint of the state's checkbook. The governor has laid his foundation and the focus will now shift to the House and Senate to lay the groundwork to strike the appropriate balance," said Conklin. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 9 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, has been re-appointed as Democratic chairman of the Children and Youth Committee for the 2017-2018 legislative session. This will be Conklin's second consecutive term to lead the committee's Democrats. He will work alongside the committee’s majority chairperson, Rep. Katharine Watson of Bucks County. "Pennsylvania children remain high on the list of our most vulnerable," Conklin said. "This position allows us to narrow the focus on doing everything we can in the best interest of our youngest citizens. "The work of this committee has been known to be very effective, deliberate and productive. I look forwarding to continuing that work." Conklin noted that during this session, the committee is expected to address the needs of children affected by the state's heroin and opioid epidemic. "Not addressing this issue would be turning our backs and covering our ears," Conklin said. "We lose too many young people every day through drug overdoses. We lose too many parents everyday through drug overdoses that leave small children behind. It's a trickle-down effect and it's not stopping until we address it." Conklin was first elected to the House in 2006 and currently is serving his sixth term. Read more
HARRISBURG, Jan. 4 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, yesterday took the oath of office to begin his sixth term representing the 77 th Legislative District. "It is a great honor to continue serving the Centre Region in the General Assembly," Conklin said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and am energized to advance sensible policies that benefit all Pennsylvanians.” The swearing-in ceremony in the House chamber marked the beginning of the 201st Legislative Session. The state constitution mandates that the legislature convene at noon on the first Tuesday of January each year. "My priorities for this two-year term begin with keeping our unemployment rate low, increasing public education funding and keeping school property taxes as low as possible,” Conklin said. “There is much challenging work to be done.” The 77th Legislative District includes Philipsburg and State College boroughs, Huston and Rush townships, and portions of Ferguson and Patton townships. Conklin has two constituent service centers in his district. The State College service center is located at 301 S. Allen St., Suite 102, and can be reached at (814) 238-5477. The Philipsburg service center is located at 209 E. Presqueisle St. and can be reached at (814) 342-4872. Various resources and links to state programs also are available at www.pahouse.com/Conklin . Read more
HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Scott Conklin, D-Centre, said more than $4 million was approved today by the Commonwealth Financing Authority for school renovation and streetlight upgrade projects in the portion of Centre County that he represents. Read more
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